A Close Bond Built From an Insatiable Appetite

"DBS understands that our Singapore business expansion isn't just about our food; it's about financing our appetite for overseas expansion." - Mr Ang


Singaporeans would be familiar with the name JUMBO, one of Singapore’s leading F&B establishments, best known for its chilli and black pepper crabs. Its humble beginnings started in 1987 when it operated from a single seafood restaurant at the East Coast Seafood Centre. The restaurant soon gained a loyal following and garnered a reputation for serving the freshest seafood. From its flagship restaurant frequented by locals in the early days, business grew to multiple outlets and various brands. JUMBO expanded overseas to China with franchises all over Asia, satisfying the palettes of not only Singaporeans but tourists and foreigners alike. It is now listed on the Catalist of the Singapore Exchange as JUMBO Group Limited.

Like all SMEs looking to grow its footprint, JUMBO faced several issues and challenges. DBS took a proactive approach to understand their position and offered customised solutions to help them improve their processes and build capabilities to grow the business.

With DBS receiving the outstanding accolade of the ‘World’s Best Digital Bank’, it is only right that the bank looked to proposing digital savvy solutions for its customers. An example that helps streamlined the Group’s manual processes is the migration of physical cheque issuances to GIRO payments via IDEAL mobile. 

JUMBO used to issue up to several hundred cheques per month to pay their suppliers. The time spent getting the authorised signatories and the human errors encountered made the entire process a cumbersome and time-consuming one. DBS jumped at the opportunity to introduce JUMBO the benefits of using GIRO payments via IDEAL mobile to replace physical cheque issuances. The seamless process allowed signatories to easily approve transactions via the DBS IDEAL app while on the move, anytime and anywhere. With the migration in mid-2017, JUMBO managed to channel their time to focus on other areas of the business. And this is only moving 80% of their cheque payments to GIRO!

This positive outcome helped deepen DBS’ relationship with JUMBO. The bond between Group CEO and Executive Director Mr Ang Kiam Meng, CFO Mr Tay Peng Huat and the DBS Management team was further strengthened as all belonged to the same dialect group. Conversations were conducted in their native Teochew language, making the interactions more casual, intimate and joyful. Given the trust and friendship built over time, it is no wonder JUMBO reached out to the bank whenever they needed solutions to improve their business operational processes.

With the issue of manpower a perennial headache for SMEs, DBS recently recommended to JUMBO mobile payment methods to facilitate payment acceptance via a mobile phone app. Customers are at liberty to order and pay via the app, cutting down their waiting time for a service staff to take orders and to make payments at the cashier. This partnership is in the pipeline and will be launched soon.

Aside to helping JUMBO solve its operational issues in Singapore, DBS is also a close partner in its overseas ventures. Plans are under way to help JUMBO expand into one of its new overseas market under a joint venture. Despite its foreign bank status (outside of Singapore), the strong relationship built with JUMBO has given DBS SME Banking an upper hand in closing the deal.

Executive Director Mr Ang Kiam Meng

As Mr Ang has aptly put it, "DBS understands that our Singapore business expansion isn’t just about our food; it’s about financing our appetite for overseas expansion."

And indeed, regardless operational or business-related processes, DBS SME Banking is well-placed to help JUMBO focus on what is important to them to fill that insatiable appetite.

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