10-member Global Jury names Uday Kotak the winner among 60 finalists from 51 countries
Uday Kotak recognized for creating a new bank in a challenging and highly regulated environment; with strong focus on inclusive growth
Uday Kotak, the founder, Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank was last night named the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 at an awards ceremony held in Monaco’s Salle des Etoiles. Mr. Kotak was picked from among the 60 country finalists vying for the title from 51 countries, each of whom has already been named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in their home countries.
Rebecca MacDonald, founder and Executive Chair of Just Energy Group, Chair of the World Entrepreneur judging panel said, “It was an incredibly tough decision, but Uday shone through for the way he created a new bank in a challenging and highly regulated environment that has a positive impact in the community. We were impressed with his strong focus on inclusive growth, providing low-cost services to rural customers that have a tangible impact on people’s lives.”
Mr. Kotak is the second from India to win the coveted World Entrepreneur Of The Year award and his selection comes 11 years after Mr. N R Narayana Murthy of Infosys had won in 2003.
Said Rajiv Memani, Country Managing Partner for EY in India, “Uday has done India proud by winning the global title in the midst of 60 business leaders from around the world. We are delighted as this not only recognizes and celebrates his outstanding achievements but also raises the Indian flag to new heights.”
Mr. Kotak said, “I’m delighted and honored to receive this prestigious award at such a spectacular event. It is recognition of the skills and dedication of the 25,000 employees of KMB who have worked so hard to build a world class Indian financial services brand.”
Mr. Kotak set up Kotak Capital Management Finance Ltd in 1985. In 2003 the company became the first non-banking finance company in India's corporate history to be converted into a bank. It has progressed from a seed capital of less than US$250,000 to an international group with US$2.8b in revenues. Headquartered in Mumbai, the bank has 605 full-fledged branches across 354 locations across India and international offices in London, New York, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Mauritius and Singapore and is considered one of India’s leading financial services conglomerates.
“Uday is a wonderful example of an entrepreneur who, with a clear vision and strategy, took on established institutions by rewriting the rules of his industry to build something from scratch.” said Maria Pinelli, EY’s Global Vice Chair, Strategic Growth Markets.
Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO of EY, concludes, “The world now needs entrepreneurs more than ever to create sustainable, permanent jobs to help secure a global economic recovery. Uday is a truly inspiring World Entrepreneur Of The Year winner for 2014 and together, he and our 59 other country winners are truly helping to build a better working world.”
Broadcast coverage and an interview with the winner will be available to download for broadcast and online use at: https://broadcast.ey.com
About the judging panel
The independent judging panel was a distinguished group of entrepreneurs. The judging panel was chaired by Rebecca MacDonald of Just Energy Group (Canada). Joining her were:
About Uday Kotak and Kotak Mahindra Bank
- Chieko Aoki of Blue Tree Hotels (Brazil)
- Mikael Hed of Rovio Entertainment Ltd. (Finland)
- Dr. Tetsuya Iizuka of THine Electronics, Inc. (Japan)
- Kay Koplovitz of USA Network, Koplovitz & Company, and Springboard Enterprises (United States)
- Ulysses Kyriacopoulos of S&B Industrial Minerals SA (Greece)
- Denis O'Brien of Digicel Group (Ireland)
- Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin of Battersea Project Holding Company Ltd, and S P Setia Berhad (Malaysia)
- Ashish Thakkar of Mara Group (Uganda)
- Michael Wu of Hong Kong Maxim’s Group (China)
In the early 1980s jobs within blue-chip multinationals were scarce and highly coveted. Even so, Uday Kotak rejected an offer to work for Hindustan Lever, Unilever's subsidiary in India, in order to set up his own business.
He spotted a huge opportunity in banking and finance due to the wide interest rate spreads of over 10%. So Mr. Kotak set up Kotak Capital Management Finance which was a non-bank finance company and one of thousands of others that were setting up at the time. Today, Kotak Mahindra Bank (in which famous businessman Anand Mahindra was one of the early investors) is among the surviving few. It has progressed from seed capital of less than US$250,000 to an international group with US$2.8b in revenues.
In the early years, Mr. Kotak forged several partnerships with global financial giants to leverage their brand and expertise. He had an auto finance joint venture with Ford Credit and an insurance joint venture with Old Mutual. In 1995, Goldman Sachs became a minority partner in the investment banking and stock broking part of the business, in which it acquired 25%.
Despite the rapid growth in investment banking, Mr. Kotak was not tempted to narrow his bank's focus. He expanded his group's business to the US, UK, UAE, Singapore and Mauritius, targeting remittances from Indians abroad, trans-national investment banking for Indian corporations and investment products in India for international customers.
In 2007, when the Indian growth story had all the major investment banks lining up to enter the country, Goldman Sachs offered to buy out KMB. But Mr Kotak rewrote the rules by buying out Goldman instead. Over the past ten years, he boosted the group's assets 25 times and its income 30 times. Today, KMB is considered the fifth most valuable bank in India overall.
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About World Entrepreneur Of The Year
EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year®
is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in 145 cities in 60 countries.