Super Seven

The man who saw tomorrow

The first-generation banker believes the future of banking will be more virtual, more affluent and more non-urban

Soumik Kar

Year: 1989. Venue: The Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai. Scene: A 33-year-old candidate is trying to figure out if he really should join a relatively unknown financial firm. The 30-year-old interviewer, a first-generation budding entrepreneur, in turn, is trying to judge if the candidate has enough spunk to be taken on board. Twenty-three years later, C Jayaram is happy to have taken up the offer — after a second meeting, though — to team up with Uday Kotak in 1990. “Having worked for ICICI and Sanmar group in the past, I took up the job thinking I wouldn’t stick around beyond five years. And here I am, about to retire this December, after spending more than two decades with the organisation,” says 57-year-old Jayaram, who started off with a pay of less than ₹1 lakh per annum and today draws a little over ₹2 crore annually as the joint managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank.