‘China scored over India with customer ownership’

Uday Kotak (File photo)

BENGALURU: Billionaire banker and founder of Kotak Mahindra Bank, Uday Kotak, said it is critical to have complete ownership of customers for real leadership in the digital world, where countries like China have scored over India. He cited examples of Chinese conglomerates like Alibaba and Tencent. He was speaking at the Global Fintech Fest, talking about Indian entrepreneurial products that can be global at scale.
“India has been a little late to the party. On the other hand, China had nothing on the technology front. It started from scratch and probably built a strong domestic national ownership kind of a platform and did not allow some of the global majors like Google, Amazon to capture their market in the early stages. India was pretty open, and I’m not saying that was wrong….but we kept our markets open and we led a lot of consumers’ ownership to move away to global majors,” he said.
The Kotak Bank chief cited the example of his own product, 811 accounts, and that he has to pay these platforms to source customers. “Many of those customers are sourced from Google or Facebook and we are paying a price to them because they are rendering a service or a lead. The customer goes on to Google or Facebook and not on what we have created as domestic products and platforms,” Kotak said.
His comments come at a time when the Indian government is looking to scrutinise the influence of capital from China in the domestic economy and recently banned 59 Chinese apps. Then, Reliance’s Jio Platforms raised around $20 billion from technology majors like Google and Facebook.
“We haven’t done it in the past, but we are seeing early developments on that with some of the very large players now, including some of them in the telecom sectors,” Kotak added.

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