After reading the article on Piyush Gupta, I have to take back my words on foreign talents running local enterprises. He went in and found a rotten apple that still looked good from the outside. ‘He was aghast that a bank of the standing of DBS lacked the very basic and fundamental processes required of it.’ And DBS head hunted some of the best finance talents across the world to be in such a state. Don’t they have any talents working in the bank to avoid the mess? ‘…a lot of processes and systems which you would expect a large, professional organization like DBS to already have established and ingrained were not in place, said Mr Gupta…’
The bank did not know which customers were profitable, which branch were profitable, and the operations in every country, the platform and processes, were different and many many more things needed to be straightened up. You need to read the full text in the article in today’s ST to appreciate the problems he inherited. Does it mean the bank was sleeping all these years?
Two years on the job, ‘the bank’s management now understands the credit risk and market risk better,(unbelievable)…and also has much more standardized processes across all its markets.’ And he had done more, and the bank is now more confident of the stability of the overall banking operation at this stage.
Thank God that they brought in Gupta in time. Wonder what would be the state of health of the bank if it continues with the status quo. This is a foreign talent that came in to shake everybody up, wake up, wake up. No wonder they could not find a local to fill the top post.
They had a few foreign talents before, and I think all with credentials from the Ivy leagues of American fame. What is different about Gupta is that he needed not be from the American cohorts. He graduated from Delhi University and got a MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Now I understand why the Americans are forming a beeline to India to recruit their banking talents. And our mistake is obvious.
Instead of going to India, we went to America. DBS is fortunate to go to America through Citibank to find its talent from India. It was quite like an accidental discovery of America by Columbus.
Hope the Singapore govt knows where to get their foreign financial talents from to achieve its ambitious plan of turning the island into a premier financial hub. Wall Street talents and those from American Ivy League are no longer in vogue. They actually messed up the American financial system and nearly brought the down the rest of the world with them.