Uday Kotak, Managing Director and CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank – Business Line
Kotak Mahindra Bank aims to invest more in technology, get bolder in unsecured retail finance
Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank is ready to grow at a substantially faster pace and plans to invest more in technology and digital platforms, and also look at opportunities in the unsecured retail finance.
In his message to shareholders in the bank’s annual report, Uday Kotak, Managing Director and CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank said the lender has undertaken a mindset shift to make retail and commercial lending the focus, in addition to the corporate and deposit franchise.
“For example, we are leveraging our low cost of funds to offer a competitive interest rate on home loans. Home loans give us an opportunity to build a longer-term relationship with customers,” he said, adding that the bank will get bolder in unsecured retail finance too. The bank will hold its AGM on August 25.
Kotak further said that the bank “will not shy away” from taking bolder bets. “Today, we have a much lighter balance sheet and with sufficient capital in our hands, we are ready to grow substantially faster, but on our terms,” he said, adding that it has a deep conviction in the India growth story and confidence in risk management capabilities.
Emphasising on the importance of technology, he said it is the epicenter around which businesses will revolve and so needs more investments.
“The other area that takes precedence for us is higher investments in strengthening our digital and technology platforms and offerings. The future may be uncertain, but we can be confident that it belongs to technology,” he said.
The bank will also shift its business model towards being even more customer-centric.
“While customer-first was always the byword that we lived by, the needs of the customer are now even more front and centre. Our model will revolve principally around customers and business decisions will be taken with the customer at the core,” he said.
He also stressed on the need for inclusive and sustainable growth. “Growth that is inclusive and that takes into account the environment, is socially responsible and scores high on governance and ethics. Doing good and doing well go hand in hand,” he said.
He also underlined that for the financial sector, the disproportionate importance of risk management has come to the fore.
“The industry also needs to stop postponing the inevitable and kicking the can down the road,” he said, adding that upfront action with an eye on enduring, sustainable growth, not swayed by quarterly, short-term results is a must for the future of a healthy Indian financial sector.