“Things change so fast; you can’t afford to be complacent “- Uday Kotak.

Uday Kotak, the Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank, was born in the year 1959 March 15, in Mumbai. Spurning his family’s trading business, Uday Kotak started his own finance company in 1985, which was converted into a bank in 2003. 

Uday is a self-built Indian Businessman with a worth of 3 billion dollars. In a concise period, he made profits in his company.

He also switched his business into many areas of financial services, with a prominent presence in bill discounting, stock broking, investment banking, car, finance, life insurance, and mutual funds.

In the year 2003 March 22, Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd became the first company to take a banking licence from the Reserve Bank of India. He also created a brand name in the banking and investment sector.

After acquiring ING Bank’s Indian operations in 2014, Kotak Mahindra Bank now ranks among the top four private sector banks in India.

In 2016, Kotak’s 811 app took its name from November 8, the day when the government cancelled 86% of all rupees in circulation.

In June 2020, Kotak sold some shares to reduce his stake in the bank as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India.

Beginning of the company: 

Upon graduation, he entered the finance business. He observed that many companies took 6% interest from depositors and 16.5% from borrowers. At that time, a Tata subsidiary company named Nelco needed working capital, so Uday seized the opportunity.

He then lent money to Nelco at 12%, where he started small trade finance and provided short-term trade credit to Nelco. After this success, he moved on to bill discounting, following the same principle.

In 1986, Uday Kotak established his Kotak company with a 50% stake in business along with Anand Mahindra, who invested considerable money. Therefore, the company was named Kotak Mahindra.



His success path was increasing year by year, and during the 1980s, he started Kotak Mahindra Finance Ltd with bill discounting and entered the Lease and Hire Purchase market.

During the 1990’s he entered the auto finance division, FICOM, set foot in the fund’s syndication sector, and invested in banking, Mahindra Limited, and Ford vehicles.

He also launched Matrix Information Services Limited, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, and Kotak Mahindra Venture Capital Fund.

During the 2000s, he launched insurance services, Kotak Securities Ltd, established commercial banks, bought a 25% stake held by Goldman Sachs in Kotak Mahindra, launched a pension Fund under the New Pension System, Ahmedabad Commodity Exchange as an anchor investor, national commodities exchange.

The turning point for Kotak Group:

After realising that banking had become very significant and the government had taken control of the sector, Uday Kotak first ventured into non-banking sectors and then entered the banking sector after thriving in them. 

The bank increased its market share at the expense of state-owned banks. Hence Uday decided to join the banking sector. Uday handled six different businesses from a single platform.

Personal Life:

Uday hails from an upper-middle-class family who were traditionally cotton traders. He completed his schooling at Hindi Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai. He was a very bright and talented mathematics student and a very skilled cricket player. He got married to Pallavi Kotak in 1985, and they were blessed with two children.

One of Kotak’s sons, Jay Kotak, a Harvard Business School graduate, has been with the bank since 2017. During his early stages, kotak encountered numerous obstacles and challenges. However, he stood firm against all odds and proved that diligent work would never fail.

A brief overview of Milestones: 

  • 1959 – Uday Suresh Kotak was born in Mumbai, India.
  • 1985 – Setup Kotak Capital Management Finance.
  • 1986 – Company name changed to Kotak Mahindra Finance.
  • 1995 – Forms partnership with Goldman Sachs in India.
  • 1998 – Enters mutual fund business with an asset management company.
  • 2003 – Converts Kotak Mahindra Finance into a full-fledged bank.
  • 2006 – Kotak Mahindra sells stake in Hutchison Essar.
  • 2006 – Buys out Goldman Sachs’s stakes in their two ventures.
  • 2012 – Central bank orders Kotak to cut stake in Kotak Mahindra.
  • 2014 – Acquires ING Bank’s Indian operations.
  • 2016 – Kotak Mahindra acquires BSS Microfinance for $21 million.
  • 2020 – Kotak sold some shares to cut his stake in the bank as mandated by the RBI.



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