Q: Please introduce yourself in detail with achievement, educational and banking background?
By the Grace of Almighty ALLAH, I have done my MBA from Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab Lahore. I am also Diplomaed Member of Institute of Bankers in Pakistan (DAIBP) and Fellow Member of Institute of Corporate Secretaries in Pakistan, Karachi (FCIS). I started my banking career in March 1988 by joining State Bank of Pakistan as Inspecting Officer. I was promoted to Grade I in the year 1993. In SBP, I had been inspecting all the commercial banks in the jurisdiction of Punjab & NWFP. In July 1994, I left SBP due to my family pressure that I SHOULD NOT WORK IN AN INTEREST BEARING BANKING SYSTEM. So I resigned from SBP and joined Albaraka Islamic Bank as Assistant Vice President in Credit & Marketing Deptt. I was also member of Regional Credit Committee approving financing facilities up-to US $ 300,000. In Albaraka Bank I worked in Credit & Marketing, Trade Finance, and Operations & also dealt with Treasury. In the year 2003, when Bank Alfalah planned to start Islamic Banking, I was assigned the responsibility to set – up the Systems & Operations of the newly Islamic Banking Division. It was a great challenge for me because of two basic reasons i.e I never been working for Systems & Ops in any bank and other was that Islamic Banking was in its infancy stage & no developed systems were available. Products range was to be developed. Alhamdo Lillah, I was successful in launching Islamic Banking of Bank Alfalah Limited in December 2003.
After successful running of 15 Islamic Banking branches of Bank Alfalah, I was offered to head an Islamic Banking Division of Prime Commercial Bank Limited (now ABN AMRO BANK) in September 2005. Alhamdo Lillah in short span of just 3 months time, I got approval of setting up of Islamic Banking Division & launched first Islamic Banking Branch in early January 2006. In March 2007, GULF AFRICAN BANK LIMITED planned to start an Islamic Banking in Africa especially in Kenya. They offered me to head their International Operations & Strategic Planning Division to set – up the Islamic Banking Systems, arrange the training of Kenyan Staff and launch the Islamic Banking in Kenya. AlamduAllah , we have got license from central bank of Kenya and now in the process to expand our operations.
Q: You have a diversified Islamic banking background in Pakistan. You have been worked with SBP, Albaraka Islamic Bank, Bank Alfalah Islamic Banking and Prime Bank in Pakistan. How do you feel now being the work outside from the Pakistani Market? Please elaborate your experiences in this regard.
Due to my diversified exposure in central bank as well as Islamic commercial banks in Pakistan, I feel proud being first Pakistani selected by GULF Group to this senior position in Kenya (Africa). From this selection it is obvious that Pakistani Islamic bankers are fully capable to handle the setting up & to launch successfully the operations of Islamic Banking in any country in the world because Pakistan is the land of expertise & opportunities in Islamic Banking.
Having exposure in Islamic Banking for more than 13 years, and successful launching of TWO Islamic Banking Divisions in Pakistan, I feel comfortable to handle this assignment very easily. It added an International Exposure to my credit. Kenyan market has no expertise in Islamic Banking and I have to start from scratch in country where every thing has to be done by myself. This is a great challenge & I am fully ready to handle this project (INSHA’ALLAH).
Q: What is the recent environment in African Countries regarding the development of Islamic Banking industry?
At present two banks have started Islamic Banking Window operations, but there is no full fledge Islamic Bank in Kenya. The product range is negligible and there is a lot of potential for Shai’ah Compliant Products in the country.
The Bank will contribute to the development of Kenya and improving its economy in several areas: