Business Today

In The Fast Lane

Shanti Ekambaram juggles all her responsibilities with a keen sense of purpose and planning
twitter-logo Anand Adhikari   New Delhi     Print Edition: October 6, 2019
In The Fast Lane
Shanti Ekambaram, President, Consumer Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank \ Photograph by Rachit Goswami

A philanthropist at heart, a regular marathon runner and the head of a fast-growing consumer banking segment in one of India's largest private sector banks, Kotak Mahindra Bank - that's how many who know Shanti Ekambaram, President, Consumer Banking, Kotak Mahindra Bank, describe her.

Consumer banking is the fastest growing vertical at the bank with 40 per cent of the Rs 2 lakh crore advances in retail products. The business has been growing at 20 per cent-plus rate year after year. A lot of the action is in digitisation, in front-end as well as backend functions, and cross selling using big data and analytics. "We are a digital first and mobile first bank," says Ekambaram, who also sits on the board of IIM-Bangalore. The bank recently stitched a partnership with Ola; the bank's customers can directly book a cab using the bank's app. In fact, the bank has integrated many apps like that of Goibibo and Flipkart in its own app. "We have an open banking platform with a collaborative ecosystem available for enterprises, fintechs and app developers," she says.

While the assets side of the bank is growing, its biggest move has been on low-cost current and savings account (CASA). Kotak Mahindra Bank has the highest CASA ratio of 52 per cent, even though newer banks are offering higher deposit rates.

Ekambaram's weekdays are packed, and her weekends are reserved for the Society of Parents of Children with Autistic Disorders (SOPAN), which aims to make autistic children self-sufficient.

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