Uday Kotak Says ‘Succession From Me Isn’t Necessarily To My Son’
For billionaire banker Uday Kotak, retirement is still “a long way off”.
“At some point in time it will be appropriate for considering a role as a non-executive director. But certainly not in the near future,” Asia’s richest banker, also the founder and chief executive officer of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., said in a conversation with David Rubenstein, co-founder of Carlye Group Inc., at the Bloomberg India Economic Summit on Thursday.
The Reserve Bank of India has proposed a 10-year cap for bank founders as a chief executive officer or a full-time director. If the rules are formalised, Kotak, 61, may have to step down by as early as 2022.
The private lender has long-term succession planning in place, Kotak said, adding that “as of today, there’s no law in force” to cap tenures, just a discussion paper. He also reiterated the family’s commitment to remain long-term owners and shareholders of the bank.
We’re 26% shareholders as a family, and we are very committed to continuing as long-term owners, shareholders and value creators for all shareholders.Uday Kotak, CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank
Earlier this year, Kotak had cut his stake in the bank to 26% from nearly 30%, as part of efforts to settle a legal battle with the RBI.
Kotak On Sons: ‘Their Choice, Their Future’
Kotak’s elder son, Jay, is an associate vice president at Kotak Mahindra Bank. That, according to him, doesn’t mean he has a seat reserved at the top.
“I’m a believer that it has to be on merit and succession from me is not necessarily to my son. There’s a whole team of professional managers who will be well ahead,” Kotak said. “It’s up to Jay and the bank on what works for them in the future.”
Dhawal, his younger son, is about to begin his MBA in the U.S. and seems to be intent on living there, Kotak said.
As far as both my boys are concerned, I’ve left the choice of where they want to make their future to them. My older son has chosen India. My younger son is more inclined, probably to the U.S. But that’s fine, it’s their choice and their future.Uday Kotak, CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank
Will Kotak Join Politics?
In the U.S., as Rubenstein pointed out, many successful businessmen have joined politics. Is Kotak keen?
He’s always ready to take responsibilities and do his bit for the national interest, Kotak said. But his passion lies with the financial institution.
I love my business, I love my job, I love my company.Uday Kotak, CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank