Money & Banking

Integrating people, technology are main challenges, says Kotak Mahindra CFO

Mumbai | Updated on March 08, 2018 Published on April 01, 2015

Jaimin Bhatt , CFO

With the RBI giving its approval to the amalgamation of ING Vysya Bank with Kotak Mahindra Bank, the latter will face challenges relating to people and technology integration. Jaimin Bhatt, President and Group CFO, Kotak Mahindra Bank, spoke to BusinessLine about the positives and challenges the fourth largest private bank faces in the year ahead. The merged entity now has over 1,250 branches, with a wide-spread pan-India network. ING Vysya had around 10,000 employees, while Kotak Bank has around 29,000. Excerpts from an interview:

What was the reaction of the Board to the RBI approval?

We knew this was coming and this was the only thing remaining. But after we got the letter formally in hand yesterday (Tuesday), we are relived. We have already been working on the transition in the last one month... While the corporate entity has merged, the merger in terms of departments will happen over a period of 9-12 months.

Now that the approval is through, what are your plans?

The biggest advantage we got is with the branches in the southern geographies where we were absent.

Now, we can sell our offerings and products such as commercial vehicle, car and tractor loans to the ING Vysya customers. Also, ING has a strong SME (small and medium enterprise) base and we can replicate some of their experiences into Western and Northern India, where we have a stronger presence. So, there are several thoughts and we have started working on.

What are the changes on the Board and senior management?

There will be integration of senior management and their designate CEO Uday Sareen becomes part of Kotak’s senior management. Uday will be a part of the operating management committee at Kotak, which is just below the directors. He will continue to operate and oversee the functions of what is not merged including branches, retail lending, etc. and also a large part of the balance sheet which is not merged.

What will be the challenges now?

One is people and (second is) technology. The union (of employees at ING) is about 3,000 people and now at bank level we will be about 30,000 people and all contracts and awards will be on us. With over 1,250 branches, there is a growing balance sheet, business, etc. So, we will make sure a lot of internal people will be taken. We also have our life insurance which we have entered into, there is general insurance which will need people… At the entry level, it would not make a change as far as recruitment is concerned.

A lot has been happening internally to take the ING employees into confidence and absorb the merger and you will hear soon from us.

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Published on April 01, 2015
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