Uday Kotak is a constant feature on the billionaire list, but the Kotak Mahindra Bank MD credits the middle-class values that he has grown up with for his personal and professional growth. “The most important thing I have learnt in life is common sense and middle-class values. And that is the bedrock of all of us,” Kotak said at an economic meet in Mumbai recently.
During the talk, Kotak referenced a question he was asked at the World Economic Forum last year — What will the bank of the future be? “The bank of the future needs three human qualities: First is prudence, which means no excessive leverage. Second is no complex products, so simplicity. And third, humility since bankers believe they are masters of the universe because they manage other people’s money. The fact is exactly opposite,” Kotak said.
Kotak said that not only does he personally believe in these three values, he stresses on them even for the running of his company. “Banking is a highly leveraged business. And therefore, bankers need humility. That’s why the three qualities — prudence, simplicity and humility — are crucial, certainly for banking and for anything in our day to day lives,” he said.
Addressing concerns about the current economic environment in the country, Kotak said it was going through a cleansing and purging process. “Business in India happened in a particular manner for a long time. The rules of the game were different. They have changed. Business, in general, has taken a little longer time to recognise the new rules of the game. It is moving towards survival of the fittest,” he said.