DBS Bank was built on the savings of Singaporeans who continue to form the core of your customer base in terms of numbers.
PMETs from Britain (Anton Casey), Philippines (Ello Ed Mundsel Bello) and Malaysia (Amy Cheong) have been fired by their employers, CrossInvest Asia, TTSH and NTUC respectively, for acts or comments that affect social harmony in Singapore. What each of them has done pales in comparison to what Avijit Das Patnaik has done, ie desecrating the Singapore flag, a national symbol. He has zero respect for the country and its people that gave him a better job than what India can offer.
A week has lapsed but there is no public apology from Avijit Das Patnaik for his thoughtless and irresponsible act. He has no qualms shirking responsibility, leaving DBS Bank to defend him and bear the brunt of the backlash of his misdemeanour. This clearly shows that his interests are not aligned with those of his employer. He has shown that he lacks common courtesy and mutual respect for other countries and cultures, a basic competency expected of employees of MNCs like DBS Bank, especially those with supervisory roles whose actions, behaviour and comments set the standards for those who work with/for him.
As DBS Bank is a company headquartered in Singapore and listed on the local stock exchange, Singaporeans do not expect DBS Bank to make excuses for an employee who has desecrated the Singapore flag. Anyone who does so is insulting Singaporeans and mocking everything that Singapore stands for, including meritocracy which is a guiding principle that enabled foreign nationals such as Piyush Gupta and Avijit Das Patnaik to hold senior positions in our national savings bank. While not expecting appreciation from them, surely it is not too much to expect Avijit Das Patnaik not to trample on things Singaporeans hold dear, such as the Singapore flag and everything it stands for, including mutual respect, tolerance and social harmony.
Singaporeans, if not other shareholders of DBS Bank, will be watching to see whether DBS Bank will continue to shield or sack Avijit Das Patnaik. Ogilvy and Mather recently terminated the services of its Global Chief Creative Officer. The press quoted the O&M Global CEO’s reminder to his staff that no employee is too senior or too valuable not to be held accountable for his actions. Singaporeans expect no less from DBS Bank.