Uday Kotak is the billionaire head of India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. Under his watch, the Kotak Group has become a strong player in a raft of financial services such as banking, stock broking, investment banking, car finance, life and general insurance and asset management. Kotak is one of India's most well-known bankers. On Wednesday, he wrote a New Year letter to employees, outlining his vision for the group.
As we bid goodbye to 2019, it is the last time in my life that I will have seen the teen years. We now move to the 20s and friends, it is a time for us to reflect on the year gone by and the year ahead.
Three Messages for 2020 and Beyond
The year gone by gives us three clear messages for the year ahead and beyond:
1. Darwinian Theory - Survival of the Fittest: We live in a world where we will
have to be constantly on our toes. Whether it is the airlines sector, telecom,
renewable energy, real estate or finance, we are in an era of survival of the fittest.
2. Good Governance: Good governance matters — whether it is a country or a
company. We are therefore very committed to building our company in the
20s on the back of good governance.
3. Accountability: The world in general believes that it needs empowerment and freedom. But along with freedom comes accountability. Freedom is not the right to do what one wants to do - it is the responsibility to do what one ought to do.
The India Story
Looking at the India story, I dream about a clean India with clean air and clean water. I dream about an India where we educate our people and commit to healthcare. And in that context, I would like to commit that Kotak, through its social responsibilities, will do its bit in building a cleaner, better educated and a healthier India.
The Kotak Group
It is a great opportunity for Kotak to grow in an environment which is consolidating. As the financial sector goes through its throes, Kotak must meet the challenges and take this opportunity to strengthen its position as a credible, high-quality, high on integrity, and value-based player in the system. I would encourage all of us to focus on a Kotak of the future, which stands by its deep values and commitment.
I also see Kotak moving to digital-first in the 20s. The world is changing fast and we must grasp this change from physical to digital. It will take time and we will have to, in the interim, live with both the worlds but moving more towards digital. We must be committed to having faster turnaround times, focusing on technology and customer-first as the basis of our future.
As far as employees are concerned, I would love to see a two-way commitment to responsibility and accountability — of the firm to the people and people back to the firm. I am very optimistic about Kotak’s future but we also have a larger commitment to make Kotak and India a better place to be.
And with that, I wish every Kotakite a very happy 2020 and a wonderful innings in the 20s.
With warm regards,