Harvard Business School Publishes Case Study on DBS’ Digital Transformation

Harvard Business School Publishes Case Study on DBS’ Digital Transformation

by February 6, 2023

Harvard Business School (HBS) has published a case study focused on DBS Bank‘s digital transformation journey which was put together over a span of 15 months.

The DBS case study is being taught in HBS’ Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme and its executive education courses by Professor Ranjay Gulati, Paul R. Lawrence MBA Class of 1942 Professor of Business Administration.

Available at Harvard Business Publishing’s repository, the case study is a result of a series of interviews between Gulati and DBS’ leadership team.

Other institutions which have written case studies on DBS include INSEAD, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), IESE, Singapore Management University and Nanyang Technological University.

Professor Ranjay Gulati

Professor Ranjay Gulati

Gulati said,

“Through my numerous conversations with the bank’s executives, what came across very strongly were the digital and purpose-focused elements of the transformation and how these permeated every level of the organisation.


The willingness from the leadership to resource the change enabled a building up of the workforce’s innovation ‘muscles’ to create a startup culture – quite a feat for an organisation of 33,000 people.”

Piyush Gupta CEO DBS

Piyush Gupta

Piyush Gupta, CEO of DBS said,

“Behaving like a startup meant shifting the bank’s mindset from that of a mature multinational to one that is more nimble, more agile; one which is constantly learning, experimenting and innovating on the fly.


To effect this change at scale, we had to teach our people how to use the tools of innovation and provide them with opportunities to apply these tools in an environment where it is safe to take risks.”

Gupta was also interviewed on an episode of Gulati’s newest podcast series “Deep Purpose” in December 2022.

The conversation complements the case study and sums up the development stages of the bank, digital transformation, building a technology company, being customer-centric and Gupta’s leadership style.