Ms. Shanti Ekambaram
Group Head - Corporate and Institutional Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.
Director, Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Ltd.
Thank you Dharen for that very nice introduction, infact when I came here and I saw this room full of people I was wondering what I was doing here because we are a whole host of marketing biscuits, people who build brands and a hard core financial professional whose done deals all her life. I’ve been with Kotak for the last 15 years and I came in a little early so that I could hear people. I heard that the early bird catches the worm so I thought I could get the worm, of ideas but the fact that the early one gets caught. So our session got flipped because some one got late so I will just say that I got caught. I will spend the next 7-10 minutes whatever it takes to talk about why it is important to build a strong domestic brand and a strong domestic business if you want to be globally competitive. I’ll take a word of what – said, I’m a firm believer that international borders are glorying, the world is one stage and we as India for the first time is really looking at taking a part of that stage or be present in that stage in some significant way. But I think if we really want to make a mark we’ve got to build a really strong domestic presence. I have got a few slides which are pointers and I want to relate that in the context of our business. We are a financial services house which has been in existence for the last two decades and we believe and we are dreaming of making it global. But if we want to make it global we believe that we must be dominant in India. I will just talk about why and the significance of it and we will relate it to some global industry. You know why and I will divide it into three parts. Its addressing the needs of individuals like you and me, it is addressing the needs of corporate India and it is addressing the needs of global people. Let’s start with individuals. You know Indians, Dr. Kakar just talked about the global Indian consumer and I didn’t realize that he will see my presentation and I didn’t see his speech but the fact of the matter is India has one billion people. you know in the early 90s when the FIIs first came to India I used to keep making presentation after presentation, Indian middle class, 200 million people an they would say you guys don’t have any system, we see the market but you know this is become a reality. And if you see the last three years every Indian is aspiring to really be a global Indian. What do I mean by that? Everyone aspires for a better standard of living, everyone aspires to have a better education, everyone aspires to travel and see the world, everyone aspires to create wealth and become wealthy. So we are really seeing the emergence of the global Indian consumer and they are demanding, they will accept no less and being Indians they will not pay the price for it. We always want the best at zero value, that’s an Indian trait and that has similar in businesses so I wont complain about that. But today there is an emerging class of Indians which are just soaking up products like never before. Let me talk about the financial services products, people want to buy a house, people want to buy a car, people want to buy a farm house, people want to buy a jet, people want to invest money. Stock markets are creating wealth, property markets are creating wealth, they want to invest money but they are demanding about each one of their needs. So there is a huge business opportunity. We cannot think of going anywhere in the world and saying we are a world class service provider if the people of India do not give us that signature that yes this is a world class service provider. Why do I need to go abroad that is a different matter? Second is we are really seeing blurring of Indian orders. People are traveling abroad for education, tourism, financial products so we are finally seeing the emergence of the great Indian middle class. Something that FMCG and grand marketers from the early 90’s have been in search of saying where is the consumption demand and look at the financial service sector, the consumption demand and the consumption credit has just boomed in the last three or four years. If that is about individuals, this is about companies. You have seen the emergence of the great Indian entrepreneurs whether it is a company which is 50 crores or whether it is a company that is 5000 crores. You see a gleam in the eyes of promoters today, you see a confident step and you see a little bit of a swagger, we can take on the world. So whether it is a Ranbaxy who is buying global company or whether it is a small 50 crore guy who is buying another 100 crore guy in Europe and then in US, there is a huge confidence among Indian business. Indian business requires services like never before. Indian businesses want to establish global benchmark Indian businesses want to establish global footprint... I don’t know how many of you know but in 1990, Infosys when they did their IPO I don’t know how many people know about it; actually nobody wanted to buy their stock. Today everybody in the world and every guy on the street wants to buy an Infosys stock but how did they make it happen? They made it happen by sheer enterprise so Indians are extremely enterprising and you can see the emergence of the global Indian company. We cannot go to any company in the world and say we are providers of global standard products if a person of the company in India does not certify the same. So a there is a huge business opportunity and b there is an opportunity for branding and third is the global companies who have huge Indian aspirants, look at these companies. You heard about Wal-Mart wanting to come to India, I think the top 50-100 fortune 100 companies are all here in India, they all want to own a piece of India so whether it is a global company, whether it is a global investor, whether is a non resident Indian or it id a foreign investor, everybody wants to buy India and where are they seen, can you take me to Ludhiana, I believe it is a wonderful place with lots of money, can you take me to Coimbatore, can you take me to Jaipur so I am discovering India myself in terms of the pockets of enterprise, pockets of entrepreneurship, pockets of wealth. So if I look at it a there is a huge Indian market but secondly and more importantly if we do not have a strong Indian presence I don’t think any one of the segments if they do not certify us we will not be in a position to go and create a global foot print. I don’t know how many of you are aware of the stock markets but you know we have this ORPHAN stock theory. You know Indian companies trying to list globally, always discourage them saying that do not go abroad without a local listing and the reason is very simple. Because if you list overseas without listing in your home market you become an orphan stock. You became an Orphan stock because there is no referencing back home, there is no referencing form the market you have come from, there is no referencing of price and there is no referencing of track record. So any company wanting to go global they always say first list in your domestic markets, prove yourself in your domestic markets, create a track record and then go abroad, It is very similar for Indian brands. You must have a domestic base; you must be strong in your markets. Opportunity apart you cannot go to the global market unless you are known in your local market and have created that kind of pace and brand. So to sum up I would say why you need a domestic presence, strong delivery platform, its all about delivery. Strong delivery platform in the local markets to deliver to both local and global giants and the power of being ----. I think Indians today are dreaming big and if you have to be big you have to dream of being a global brand on the basis of strong local presence and I would like to give you a small example. I don’t know how many of you know about Kotak but we recently bought up our joint venture partner -----the worlds leading investment banking group. And when I look at names in the financial side like Citigroup, JP Morgan and -----, they are known globally but they are made up of global people. JP Morgan was started by a gentleman called J.P.Morgan. He started a small bank. JP Morgan is a global name but they first established a dominant position in North America, in the US markets before they ventured out. Citigroup this week Sandy ---laid down his office but Citigroup started out in the international markets after creating a dominant position in the USA. Golden Sachs was started by two gentlemen, Mr.Golden and Mr. Sachs as a partnership to look at how they could go global. And today they have a global presence in the last 13 years only. Till then they established a strong US presence and when you think of Japan one name comes to mind, Minura. What Minura has created in Japan in the financial services market which now they are creating in the world. If you look at the global brands and successes in the financial services market they have all been successful because they have a home base with a very strong presence. So that is the reason why I think it is very important and what is the core strength, power of the Indian middle class. Indians have a way of making it, Indians are enterprising, Indians have a way of doing and they have an ambition to succeed, probably it is in our genes. We are always fighting to get school admissions, fighting to get into the train, fighting into a queue, fighting for everything so there is a passion in us to succeed. Power of Indian values. I think Indians understand the concept of relationship management, value systems. It is that middle class value systems which I think as added strengths to add on to a global brand. That is what I call core Indian values. But there are a challenge which is the last thing that I want to say is that it is all good that Indian have passion, they want to succeed, they are enterprising. That enterprise is also viewed by many as cutting corners; Indians are known to cut corners. Indians are not necessarily known to meet deadlines, it is called Indian stretchable time, IST is not international standard time but Indian stretchable time, whether it is a wedding or whether it is a meeting. But if you have to get cutting edge some of our core values whether it is meeting deadlines, terms of imposing discipline, governance practices brutal adherences to processes, brutal execution and we have to get out of our tolerance zone. So if I were to say what the challenges are and can I build global brands, absolutely. What are the challenges? These are some of the things that we have to work upon because if you go overseas and you see some of these global brands these are claims that they follow religion and culture etc. that’s it ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.
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