DBS Bank India (DBS India), part of Asia’s leading financial services group DBS Group Holdings, announced today that it received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to convert its existing India franchise to a locally incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) in India.
Through WOS, DBS will leverage its overall strengths and resources, along with its experience in India, to build a scalable business through a multi-channel strategy. This will include a combination of digital and physical formats to allow the bank to cater to the requirements of convenience and presence by its target customer segments. DBS will be able to bring its product innovation and technology-led delivery model from across Asia to serve retail, small and medium enterprise (SME) and large corporates across a larger footprint.
Underlining its commitment to India, and as part of its ongoing journey to shape the future of banking, DBS also inaugurated its new India headquarters at the iconic Express Towers in Nariman Point, Mumbai, today.
Spread across 100,000 square feet over five floors in Express Towers, the agile set-up, with activity-based workspaces and social zones, is designed to facilitate greater interaction and ideation among employees, so that they can reimagine the customer journey and turn banking into a joyful experience. The new office is unique for a bank as it features open, collaborative workspaces that reflects DBS’ push to embed a start-up culture within the bank.
This latest investment follows a number of strategic initiatives that DBS rolled out in India over the past few years. In April 2016, it launched digibank, India’s first mobile-only bank, and has acquired around 1.5 million customers to date. In October 2016, the bank integrated its e-banking solution with India’s leading enterprise resource planning software, saving SME and corporate customers considerable time and effort. The innovative connected banking experience has enabled thousands of SME customers to seamlessly and conveniently make goods and services tax payments directly within the ERP platform. To strengthen its technological capabilities in the region, as well as support its digital banking strategy, DBS also established DBS Asia Hub 2, its largest technology hub outside Singapore, in Hyderabad last year.
WOS, an enabler for DBS India to expand operations
DBS was the first Singapore bank to set up a representative office in India in 1994, upgrading it to a formal bank branch in 1995. DBS is currently the largest Singapore bank in India and the country’s fifth-largest foreign bank by assets.
DBS India will look to deepen its relationship with large corporates by offering financing solutions across their entire value chain. While the bank will continue to actively leverage its Asia-wide connectivity to drive profitable growth through cross-border banking solutions, WOS will enable the bank to offer competitive transaction banking and supply chain solutions through specialised offerings that span both cash management and trade finance.
Said DBS India CEO Surojit Shome: “DBS is pleased to receive RBI’s in-principle approval to convert its India franchise to a wholly-owned subsidiary. The approval enables us to accelerate our growth plans, significantly expand our operations and build a wider footprint. As a WOS, DBS India will be able to better serve its customers, particularly SMEs, in support of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.”
Said DBS Group CEO Piyush Gupta: “DBS has been present in India for over 20 years. Over this time, we have grown to become the fifth-largest foreign bank in India. As we look into the future, I believe India’s consumption boom, investment and export drive, as well as positive policy action, will further fuel its growth, making it one of the biggest stories in Asia by 2030. With this local incorporation, DBS will be able to build greater scale in India, enabling us to better participate in India’s rise.”