In 2013, years after taking the top job at Singapore-based bank DBS, Piyush Gupta had an epiphany. Seeing the looming threat from upcoming fintech players, he decided that DBS had to stop thinking like a bank and start thinking like a tech company.
Gupta’s strategy has been a huge success. Last year, DBS was named the world’s best bank by Euromoney, while the Harvard Business Review named DBS in its list of business transformations of the decade, alongside tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Alibaba.
While tech is Gupta’s inspiration, he is still firmly a banker at heart. His financial career began when he joined Citibank India at the age of 22. Postings in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia followed, before joining DBS in 2009. A decade later, DBS last year posted record annual profits and is now the largest bank in Southeast Asia by total assets.