The first speaker to visit DAIS to address Grades 10 and 11 on 6th March, 2013 was Mr Uday Kotak, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra Bank. He has been an icon to the Indian banking industry, and his superior entrepreneurial skills and visionary thinking were instrumental in making him India's top banker. Mr. Kotak spoke to the students about leadership in the financial sector, and provided us with an interesting perspective on the digital age. He spoke about the division of the workforce into Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z, and how they were already extremely well versed in technology. Mr Kotak began his Bank with just Rs.30 Lakhs in capital, which has grown today into a multibillion dollar conglomerate. He also highlighted the importance of his Indian Education, and advised students not to reject the prospect of studying in India, as it would be a great experience as well. Indian education, he stressed, instils rigour while western education brings in the creative element. Both are equally important to achieve success.
The most significant moment of Mr. Kotak's speech was his 4 defining principles for success:
1. Whatever you do, make it simple.
2. Keep your word.
3. Go that extra mile.
4. Execute quality at speed.
Mr. Kotak ended his lecture with an Inspirational Quote from George Bernard Shaw about how reasonable people adapt to the world whereas unreasonable people expect the world to adapt to them. Success depends on the unreasonable man.
Mr. Kotak was also kind enough to answer several questions from the student body and took time to answer every question thoroughly and comprehensively. The students asked numerous questions pertaining to the hardships faced by Mr. Kotak when he started his business, some of his regrets in life, and the challenges of managing his large firm that consisted of a diverse range of employees. One of the interesting questions asked by the students was how the combination Mr. Anand Mahindra's overseas education and Mr. Kotak's Indian Education helped their firm succeed.
It was a great learning opportunity for all of us, as we were able to interact with and gain from the advice given by Mr. Kotak. Such a dialogue is not only valuable for success in our student years, but will guide us in our future careers. I am sure that all of us will think twice before dismissing the idea of studying within India after the 12th standard. As he said, it is important for every one of us to "follow our passion and not chase money" and his life is one of such a challenge.