DBS chief executive Piyush Gupta made a star appearance at the Singapore Coffee Festival yesterday.
In the ST Reading Room, where Straits Times journalists hosted conversations with festival-goers at askST sessions all afternoon, Mr Gupta and senior correspondent Goh Eng Yeow from The Straits Times Business desk drew the biggest and liveliest crowd.
Over 100 people gathered to hear Mr Gupta's insights on investment, the state of the world economy and how people can take steps to make their first million dollars.
He also advised participants to start saving early and plan for the future by buying a bigger flat than they may need for now, as their needs may grow later.
Mr Joseph Chin, 28, who listened to the talk and spoke with Mr Gupta briefly afterwards, said he enjoyed the insights.
"I liked that it was informal, more like a round-table discussion than a summit or a conference.
"It's rare to have a candid discussion with a CEO, especially the CEO of one of the strongest companies listed on the Singapore Exchange," said Mr Chin, who works in the food-and-beverage sector.
Mr Goh, who hosted the chat, said it was wonderful that the DBS boss dispensed "gems of wisdom on life, work and money".
He noted that, for instance, on the importance of having a good life partner,Mr Gupta revealed that his wife was his greatest supporter when he had to start all over again in his banking career many years ago, after his dot.com venture failed to take off.
Mr Goh said: "Whether the issue is about investments or relationships, he speaks from the heart."