De-risk the Risk: Spot the Gold Nugget in the Coal Field

Innovation is not a gamble. It is a considered, calculated risk. When you take a risk, measure the downside, and make sure the upside is obvious’ says Uday Kotak, M.D. of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

I ask him about the need to take risks. ‘I don’t believe in betting the firm. I will not get into a deal where I do not have a handle on the downside. Thinking can be wild. Acting has to be based on ideal analysis of the risk. Be ready to accept mistakes, but don’t blow up the firm. My dream was to create a global financial institution like Merrill Lynch.’

What stands in the way of India becoming a global leader’ I ask. Uday Kotak says ‘India may have won political independence in 1947, but we have not yet earned emotional independence and confidence. We are still overawed by anything foreign.’

I try to develop professional entrepreneurs in this company. We think of our business not as lending money but avoiding inconvenience and offering a total solution. We want to be an advising desk, a mentor. Someone who helps our clients to network with all available resources’.

We try to create professional entrepreneurs internally. We provide equity for employees. We encourage speed, while providing entry support to teams to ensure safety and quality. We focus on spotting the golden nugget in the coal field and going after it first and gaining first mover advantage.’