DBS: Transforming the culture of an Asian bank

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In January 2010, the new DBS chief executive officer, Piyush Gupta, was tasked to realise the bank’s vision to be the ‘Asian bank of choice for the new Asia’. The global financial crisis of 2008 had created an opportunity for DBS to fill the void left by the Western banks that were suffering from its aftermath. Gupta, a former Citibank executive, had to reconcile the harmonious yet passive local culture at DBS with the more competitive yet proactive culture he was accustomed to - without causing an outcry from the other stakeholders.

Students will learn how to discuss corporate branding using the Vision-Culture-Image framework. They would get an opportunity to understand how to build internal alignment, appreciate cross-cultural dimensions and inspire organisations. More specifically, students will identify potential transformation bottlenecks presented in the case. They will then evaluate the DBS transformation strategy presented in an in-class hand out by using the Vision-Culture-Image framework to assess how effective the strategy was at addressing such bottlenecks.

The case is useful for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses that study communication and organisational change.


Organisational change, corporate culture, culture change, cultural transformation, cross-cultural communication, leadership, mind map, strategic vision, organisational culture, stakeholder image, V-C-I Framework, corporate reputation, corporate branding, Hofstede cultural dimensions, internal alignment, The Golden Circle


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business and Corporate Communications | Human Resources Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Corporate Communication

Data Source

Field Research



Geographic Coverage


Temporal Coverage


Education Level

Executive Education; Postgraduate; Undergraduate


Singapore Management University

Case ID



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