Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari will give away the country’s most coveted banking awards — FE Best Banks Awards — in India’s financial capital today. Applauding the winners will be the who’s who of the banking and corporate worlds. The winners were picked by a high-powered jury chaired by S Ramadorai, former CEO of Tata Consultancy Services and the chairman of the governing board of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, in a keenly fought contest. Helping them with the number work was the team from EY.
A jury’s task is never easy but the brilliant insights of the members and their collective wisdom combined to deliver a list of outperformers.
Uday Kotak, vice-chairman and managing director, Kotak Mahindra Bank, will take home the award for lifetime achievement for having built a banking franchise trusted by 10 million customers and a market capitalisation of Rs 2 lakh crore. Kotak has always used capital carefully and this focus on preserving capital has helped him grow several businesses without getting carried away. His conservative approach to growth, in spite of his eagerness to scale up, is what has enabled him not just to stay in the game but also get ahead of competitors.
Arundhati Bhattacharya, former chairman of State Bank of India (SBI), will walk away with the Banker of the Year award for 2015-16. Bhattacharya took the clean-up of bank balance sheets in he stride, never losing sight of the long-term goal. She also convinced the unions of SBI’s affiliate banks, a merger with the parent was good for them. Bhattacharya also realised the importance of going digital and it is thanks to her drive that SBI today can compete with its peers.
R Thyagarajan, founder of the Shriram Group, will be felicitated for having pioneered the financing of second-hand trucks in the country. Thyagarajan’s vision has seen Shriram Transport Finance become a business with assets of nearly `80,000 crore.
Among the banks that were adjudged winners in their respective categories were SBI, HDFC Bank, City Union Bank and Barclays Bank. The jury felt these lenders had done extremely well at a difficult time in the banking industry.