Mr. Deepak Kumar Sharma is the Vice President, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.
Harnath Sithamraju: Can you please elaborate on your relationship with OIFC?
Deepak Kumar Sharma: Ministry of Overseas Indians and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) as a Partnership to engage Indian Diaspora started OIFC and one of the reasons Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd (Kotak) joined was to engage the Indian diaspora in Investments and Financial space. Kotak being one of the new generation banks in India and growing fast, we found OIFC to be a great platform to associate as it also provided an opportunity to engage with Indian diaspora both through online and at investors meets held in various parts of the world. We also found a common ground at the events of OIFC that we have participated.
HS: Under your leadership NRI banking has acquired a key business focus. What are your plans for developing business?
DKS: Interesting thing about Kotak is that we have built very innovative products and solutions to connect with NRIs. Indian diaspora is the second largest in the world and Indians visit India often. At the same time, they are interested in investing in India either for emotional reasons or for a better return on investments in India. There is a continued surge in NRI deposits and India is the largest recipient of inward remittances over the last 4-5 years. Last year it peaked at USD 71 billion. Currently NRI deposits contribute close to 16% of our retail bank deposits in India. Our strength lies in offering Indian products to Indian diaspora.
HS: What are Kotak’s plans for Indian businesses in Australia and India for Trade and Investments.
DKS: Lot of Indian Corporates have moved to Australia and many more are moving here especially in the area of Commodities and Energy sectors. Kotak with largest investment banking presence in India and a large corporate base is very keen to follow its clients and see how we can facilitate their banking requirements.
HS: What can Indian diaspora expect from Kotak.
DKS: Indian diaspora can look at the entire banking relationship in India with us because we provide a banking relationship close to where they are. We have built a 24/7 online banking model for our customers under which they can come on our platform: NRI/kotak.com. They can open an NRI account online with us. Even the documents can be picked up at their doorstep in Australia.
We support them with a 24/7 NRI centre in India. Indian diaspora don’t have to worry about Indian banking time with us, we work as per the banking hours of our clients in different parts of the World.We have a separate team that works on Australia- New Zealand corridor. Also we have a ‘click to talk’ arrangement. We have also started a toll free number for customers in Australia. We have one of the best award winning, mobile applications rated as one of the top 5 in the World, so that you can do business seamlessly.
HS : Do you intend to have partners in Australia for channelizing business to and from India.
DKS : We are talking to a couple of large banks in Australia, which are in an advanced stage. Once we firm it up we will definitely let you know.