State Bank of India: Breaking entry barriers and building an identity in Singapore

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In October 2008, State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest state-owned bank, makes its foray into Singapore’s consumer banking market. A year into operations, Anil Kishora, chief executive officer of SBI, Singapore, is charged to double the remittance earnings in the next 12 months, an onerous task for a young branch that is just finding its feet in a new market. Yet Kishora’s team manages to successfully meet the target — remittance volume rose by 96% in ten months.

Despite these successes, Kishora is aware of the challenges that lay ahead. Remittances have been a quick win and have yielded the necessary cash flow for the new division. But will the growth from remittance earnings be sustainable over the longer term? How can SBI establish a strong presence and build an identity in Singapore’s mature and fiercely competitive market, beyond the remittance story?

Through this case students will learn how a bank from an emerging market prepares to enter a well-developed and highly competitive retail-banking sector, discussing strategic questions of developing unique value propositions and defining target markets. Students will also discuss ways in which SBI can expand its presence and build a brand identity in Singapore. The case is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on economics of globalisation, international business, and brand strategy.


Market entry, brand identity, value proposition, product offering, pricing, entrance strategy, growth strategy, target market, consumer banking, international business, financial services, banking, India, Singapore


Finance | International Business | Marketing | Strategic Management Policy

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Data Source

Field Research



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Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

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