MANAMA ( Bahrain ): STANDARD Chartered Saadiq Malaysia (Saadiq Malaysia) believes that Malaysia's Islamic finance module is the closest to perfection and, as such, is utilising it to the betterment of its global operations.
"There are best practices everywhere, but we believe that Malaysia right now has the best module, and that's why we are bringing in talent from all over the world to learn this," Wasim Saifi , Saadiq Malaysia's chief executive officer and global head of Islamic banking, told Business Times at the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), here, yesterday.
"Right now, we are in the process of bringing in talent from our global branches to Malaysia in order to allow them to work and learn the Malaysian module so that when they go back in three years or so, they will be able to emulate the module in their countries," he said. Wasim noted that as of now, Saadiq Malaysia has already brought in two talents from Dubai , two from Pakistan , and two more from Bangladesh and Indonesia , respectively, in early next year.
"We're not even looking at the numbers when it comes to bringing in talent into the country," he said, when asked how much investment Saadiq Malaysia was putting into the exercise. "It's really not an issue because at the end of the day, we can have all the technology and the products, but there's no point if we don't have the talent and the expertise to manage them," Wasim said, adding that the exercise, which started this year, will continue till 2015.
He also said that Saadiq Malaysia is looking to aggressively grow its small- to medium- sized enterprise (SME ) segment next year, while also looking to raise its product disbursement via 32 existing Standard Chartered branches. "SME is always an important segment not only to Saadiq, but also the group.
So we do have plans to increase this next year, but I can't reveal how just yet," he said. Wasim earlier participated in the CEO and industry leaders' power debate in "New Strategic Approaches to Revitalise Global Growth" and was a panelist in the "Expanding the Global Reach and Depth of Islamic Finance" session. The conference is now in its 20th year and saw the participation of 1300 delegates from 50 countries.