“The industry also needs to stop postponing the inevitable and kicking the can down the road,” Kotak said. “Upfront action with an eye on enduring, sustainable growth, not swayed by quarterly, short-term results is a must for the future of a healthy Indian financial sector.”
Kotak highlighted that his bank was well prepared to take on future opportunities.
“Banks also need to be relevant for the future, the winds of change are blowing and banks need to reinvent themselves,” he said. “Customer-focus and Digital-first are the keys to survival and growth. As a financial services institution, I believe that Kotak is well-positioned to take on the future with more than adequate capital in our arsenal, a nimbler balance sheet and a more assertive attitude.”
Kotak also said in these trying times for the financial sector, the disproportionate importance of risk management has come to the fore. He added that the ability to price risks well and having superior underwriting skills is core to the success of a financial services institution.
Kotak also said that with the pandemic there will be significant shifts in the lender’s approach, which is sharper on both aggression and execution.
“We will not shy away from taking bolder bets,” he said. “We have a deep conviction in the India growth story and confidence in our risk management capabilities. And we believe the time is right to experiment more, concentrate on segments that we deem offer the best opportunities for returns and, in the process, support the Indian economy by extending credit, while at the same time providing safety to our depositors.”
The private lender will also make higher investments in strengthening their digital and technology platforms and offerings.
“When it comes to digital and technology, we have leapfrogged five years in the span of a year, and while there will be some rebalancing when we revert to more in-person interactions, there is no going back completely, with digital extending to almost all aspects of our lives,” he said.