FE Best Banks Awards: Here’s why Uday Kotak’s friend asks not to play Teen Patti with him

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Updated: Dec 09, 2017 8:18 PM

One should not play Teen Patti or other cards games with Uday Kotak, said his close friend and top lawyer Cyril Shroff said. Here's why he said so

Uday Kotak, clean business, clean politics, Uday Kotak clean business and clean politics, Uday Kotak quotes on clean business, clean politicsOne should not play Teen Patti or other cards games with Uday Kotak.

One should not play Teen Patti or other cards games on opposite side of Uday Kotak, said his close friend and top lawyer Cyril Shroff said. Uday Kotak, Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, has an extreme sense of mischief that makes him a winner at any card game. “Don’t be opposite side of him while playing Teen Patti, you are going to lose,” Cyril Shroff said, while sharing three best qualities that made him successful at the FE Best Banks Awards.

Uday Kotak, who won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the event, has three personal values that made him the so successful besides his professional skills: trustworthiness, humility, and national pride, shared Cyril Shroff. He said that he met Uday Kotak in 1975 and they were friends since then. “Jab we met in 1975… we spent four years together. Apart from being friends were also fierce competitors,” he recalled.

“I want to talk about personal values. “One is his trustworthiness. He never breaks his word… second is humility. We have known him from half-pant days but did not see him change; his success has not made any change in his demeanor… national pride, when others were tying up with foreign companies, Uday Kotak said that we will not be owned,” Cyril Shroff said.

FE Best Banks Awards: Uday Kotak, Winner, Lifetime Achievement Award

In a country where being from a business family is often the same as being in the family business, Uday Kotak chose to start up — long before it was considered cool — and established the non-banking financial company (NBFC) Kotak Mahindra Finance. In the early 1980s, fresh out of B-school, he spotted opportunities in the gaping spreads that banks retained both in the plain vanilla loan business and while discounting bills. And in a sense, he was doing banking — borrowing from individuals by paying a rate higher than the deposit rate and lending to companies at a rate that was lower than the bank rate — even before starting a bank.

Referring to a transaction with Nelco, Uday Kotak says, “It worked since everybody I spoke to was willing to lend to a Tata company as the deposit was risk-free.” In 1989-90, he innovated in the car financing business — dominated by players like Citibank — offering customers not just the loan but also a car on the spot. That meant one didn’t need to wait for six months before getting the car. Quick to spot an opportunity, he snapped up a fixed deposit distribution business for some `50 lakh, pocketing an 800 square feet office on Dalal Street as part of the deal. In 1991, he forayed into merchant banking, and by the end of the year, had taken his own company public. Even as he grew the business, he was careful not to live beyond his means, always cutting his cloth according to his means.

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