Uday Kotak: Founder, MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank

Megha Rani Megha Rani
Jan 30, 2021 5 min read
Uday Kotak: Founder, MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank

Uday Kotak is an Indian billionaire, who founded Kotak Mahindra Bank in 2003. He serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank. On 22 March 2003, it became the first company in India’s corporate history to receive a banking license from Reserve Bank of India. He is also the Chairman of the Indian infrastructure development and finance company, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS). As of January 2021, he has an estimated net worth of $15 billion.

Uday Kotak- Biography

Name Uday Kotak
Born 15 March, 1959
Birthplace Mumbai, India
Age 62 (2021)
Education University of Mumbai
Professional Businessperson
Position Founder, MD & CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank
Net worth $15 billion (January 2021)
Spouse Pallavi Kotak
Children 2

Uday Kotak- Personal Life
Uday Kotak- Education
Uday Kotak- Professional Life
Uday Kotak- Success story
Uday Kotak- Founder of Kotak Mahindra Bank
Uday Kotak- Acquisitions
Uday Kotak- Memberships
Uday Kotak- Honors & Awards


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Uday Kotak- Personal Life

Uday was born to a Gujarati family. He loved to play cricket and also used to play the musical instrument, sitar. He lived in a huge joint family with 60 people sharing a common kitchen under one roof. His family ran a cotton trading business.

He asserts that he has learnt socialism at home and capitalism at work. He is married to Pallavi Kotak and the couple has two children. The family currently resides in Mumbai.

Uday Kotak- Education

Uday was a student of mathematics and this propelled him to choose his career path. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Sydenham College in Mumbai. He further completed Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in 1982.

Uday Kotak- Professional Life

Uday started with his business soon after completing his management studies. He borrowed less than $80,000 from his family and friends to start Kotak Capital Management Finance Limited, which later became Kotak Mahindra Finance Limited. He successfully converted it into Kotak Mahindra Bank in 2003.

He serves as the Chairman of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), which operates through more than 120 subsidiaries including IL&FS Investment managers, financial services and transportation networks. He was the President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the year 2020-2021.


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Uday Kotak- Success story

Uday eventually converted the bill-discounting startup into a financial services conglomerate in 2003. Kotak Mahindra Bank became the second largest schedule commercial bank by market capitalization in India (private and PSU). Kotak has assets of worth $62 billion, in addition to 1600 branches and 2519 ATMs, as of the year 2020.

Uday Kotak- Founder of Kotak Mahindra Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank Logo

Uday founded Kotak Mahindra Bank in February 2003. It is India’s third most valued bank and is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. As of 2020, the bank grosses a revenue of $7.1 billion.

The subsidiaries of Kotak Mahindra Bank include, Kotak Mahindra General Insurance, Kotak Life Insurance, Kotak Mutual Fund, Kotak Securities, Kotak Mahindra Prime Limited, and Airtel Payments Bank.


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Uday Kotak- Acquisitions

Uday almost doubled his wealth as shares of Kotak Mahindra Bank rose high after he closed a $2.4 billion deal in November 2014 in rivalry with ING Vysya Bank, which is partially owned by Dutch financial services group ING. He acquired ING Vysya Bank for $2.1 billion in 2015. After the merger of Kotak and ING, ING Group held a 7% stake in Kotak Mahindra Bank.

In 2015, he tried the general insurance business and partnered with telecom magnate Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel to start a small payments bank. He reduced his stake in the Kotak Mahindra Bank to 30%. As of now, he is required to bring his stake down to 20%, according to the RBI instructions.

He ended a 14 year partnership with Goldman Sachs by acquiring 25% stake in two subsidiaries for Rs. 72 million in 2019. In August 2019, he received a monthly salary of Rs.27 lakh. He thus became one of the most highly paid CEOs of any Indian bank in the year 2019.


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Uday Kotak- Memberships

Uday is a member of the Government of India’s High level Committee on Financing Infrastructure, the Primary Market Advisory Committee of the Securities & Exchange Board of India, Member of the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Securities Markets and ICRIER.

He is also Governing Member of the Mahindra United World College of India, and Member of National Council of CII. He is also a member of Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, the strategic board which advises the national law firm.

Uday Kotak- Honors & Awards

  • Uday was ranked #2 in Best CEO's in the year 2020.
  • His bank, Kotak was ranked #4 in the Best Managed Company in the year 2020.
  • Uday received the Lifetime Achievement Award at Magna Awards 2019 by Businessworld.
  • At the Business Today Best CEO Awards 2019, he was named the Best CEO in Banking Sector.
  • In 2019, Kotak received the Best Bank Domestic award at the Asset Country Awards 2019.
  • He was ranked #8th in India’s 50 most powerful people of 2017 list by India Today.
  • He was the only Indian Financier to feature in Money Masters: The Most Powerful People in The Financial World, by Forbes magazine, US (May 2016).
  • He was named Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year in June 2014.
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