In my two years as the Chief Innovation Officer of DBS, I’ve worked on a number of initiatives meant to drive innovation. It’s been truly amazing but today is extra special.
It gives me great pleasure to share we’ve opened the doors to DBS Asia X today. DAX as we call it over here – is our innovation facility helping us to drive the next phase of transformation at DBS.
Our goal is to shape DBS as a 22,000 strong start-up. That probably sounds ridiculous to many due to our long heritage and legacy systems. After all, we’re a huge organisation with thousands of staff protecting the financial well-being of millions. We’re not known for taking huge risks or making massive pivots.
But we want to inculcate start-up mindsets at here DBS – where everyone is able to think critically, be decisive and become problem solvers and have fun while doing it.
In many ways, DAX is a culmination of all our innovation efforts over the years and we now have a dedicated home to help accelerate our transformation. Frankly, I see it playing an integral role in breaking us out of our traditional banking mindset to think, behave and deliver more like a technology company.
So what is DAX
It’s a 16,000 sq ft size space that’s going to be a hub for DBS’s fast growing innovation projects. We intentionally located the space at one-north to tap into the vibrant research & development cluster and start-up ecosystem. And we’re expecting to do some incredible things here.
For one, it’s our experimental space where we’ll be working on some of our largest projects that will explore the design our services and operations. Customer service and experience is paramount for us and we’re looking for new and engaging ideas that improve those journeys for both our customers and our people.
DAX will also be home to two of our most exciting and well regarded innovation initiatives – HotSpot, our pre-accelerator programme where we engage the start-up community as well as UNI.CORN, the entrepreneur internship programme where we reinvent education by getting student interns to problem solve real business challenges we face.
It’s also the space where we will make ambitious attempts to reach across the aisle and bring in partners from within the ecosystem such as start-ups, VC’s thought leaders and even other established organisations who will be welcome to engage with us at DAX and the unique features we have there. It’ll help us bring that outside-in thinking giving us new perspectives.
In total, we will see more than 5,000 people actively working on projects at DAX throughout each year. And that’s why we’ve designed it to be an agile working space where we have dedicated spaces for collaborations, team meetings, relaxation, concentration and more importantly, inspiration. It’s the dedicated space where we encourage great ideas and it really echoes the tenets that the DBS Innovation Group is all about.
It’s been an incredible journey for me personally here at DBS to get this off the ground and special thanks goes to our CEO Piyush Gupta, Dave Gledhill, Karen Ngui and Paul Cobban for their support in bringing our innovation initiatives to life at DAX.
Special credit also goes to my team. Because of all the fantastic work they’ve done, we’ve been able to grow from strength to strength and I’m ecstatic that we’re continuing to bring in outstanding talent that will help us to accelerate innovation. Most recently, we’re glad to have on board with us Bidyut Dumra, former Head of Innovation Centre at Cathay Pacific Airways and Mark Evans, Co-Founder of non-profit China start-up and tech community Techyizu.
With that said, I look forward to all the wonderful experiments and collaboration we’ll be creating at DAX now that we’ve got the launch out of the way. I truly believe that this will become one of the best innovation spaces in the region. I’m certainly looking forward to all the awesome things that we will be creating here.