The Digital Banker hosted its 2nd annual Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards on 26th September 2019 where DBS’ Piyush Gupta was named CEO of the Year.
Certainly, no ordinary accolade, given the prodigious competition amongst the 2019 shortlist. The DBS CEO was selected as the victor amongst HSBC Singapore’s Tony Cripps, CITI Global Consumer Banking’s Stephen Bird, JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and Emirates NDB’s Suvo Sarkar.
A pound for pound champion, DBS was historically synonymous with the development of modern Singapore and Singapore alone. Today, however, paints a very different story where global leaders across some of the world’s largest Financial Service organisations have to pay the seminal bank its dues.
A pound for pound champion, DBS was historically synonymous with the development of modern Singapore.
Piyush has been credited with leading the banking group to become a leading Asian financial services group and winning numerous ‘Best Bank in the World’ titles amongst global competitors from Tier 1 organisations.
The Digital Banker’s judging panel and co-judges from PWC, KPMG, Forrester, Fuji Xerox & Denim Consulting undertook a granular assessment process to select the 2019 CEO of the Year. Candidates were judged for Financial Performance, Tenure, Digital Transformation, Product & Service Innovation, FinTech Collaboration, Risk Management and Customer-Centricity.
Piyush Gupta: A Leader with a Clear Focus and Vision
Piyush is widely known to have refocused DBS’ strategy towards an Asia-centric commercial bank to capitalise on the region’s surging megatrends. He is a strong advocate of digital banking, and believes that the industry’s digital strategy is paramount to its success. In an interview with Forbes Asia, he stated that a digital strategy is “actually going to make the difference between the banks that will survive and the banks that will not survive.”
At the opening of Sibos 2015, Piyush called on his peers to embrace the “new world order of technology”, a world where innovations such as cloud computing and peer-to-peer services are forcing banks to rethink their businesses and infrastructures. He commented, “People
talk about disruption, but the word to think of is transformation, which implies the incumbent can make a change. The reality is that all of us have an opportunity to lead the transformation, to make a real change in the customer experience. There is no one in a better position to do this than we are.” At various forums and conferences, he has spoken about organisations building a “university” of talent – a clear testament to his mission in embracing technology, driving the digital agenda and refocusing strategy to put the customer at the forefront of everything the bank does.
Career History & External Appointments
Piyush has been Chief Executive Officer and Director of DBS Group since 2009.
Prior to joining DBS, Piyush had a 27-year career at Citigroup, where his last position was Chief Executive Officer for South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute of International Finance, Washington and Chairman of Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics Advisory Board. In addition, he is a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals, Singapore’s Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data, and McKinsey Advisory Council. He also sits on the boards of Enterprise Singapore, Singapore’s National Research Foundation, and the Singapore’s Council for Board Diversity. Piyush is a term trustee of the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA).
CEO of the Year – Judges’ Comments from the Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2019
“It is no small feat to place a domestic bank on a global pedestal. DBS is now a respected banking brand and an example to follow, despite the various little issues that we (as local customers of DBS) like to complain about. Still, there are a lot of things that DBS has done under Piyush’s leadership that clearly set him apart, as a progressive leader who also happens to be an industry veteran of 30+ years. He has the charisma, knowledge, humility, and an openness
to learn and absorb new things and then breathe inspiration to masses of employees. Plus, he is a ‘darling’ of regulators and shareholders. He knows how to represent an organisation and how to add weight – transforming a local bank like DBS into a credible member of the industry amongst the world’s elite”.
“He has the charisma, knowledge, humility, and an openness to learn and absorb new things and then breathe inspiration to masses of employees. Plus, he is a ‘darling’ of regulators and shareholders.”
“Dare to fail, dare to try new things’, seems to be an assimilated motto that has cascaded down the chain of command – one advocated by Piyush and widely embraced by all DBS employees. Through Piyush’s stewardship, DBS continues to be a market leader in innovative ideas and solutions for its customers. He has continued to drive the digital agenda through his vision and customer centric mindset which has been a catalyst for the bank’s remarkable success across numerous facets. Leading by example and creating a sincere organisational culture of belonging and innovation, is exceptionally hard to achieve – something Piyush seems to have hammered home through sheer dedication”.