Now a few words about your future business plans. How does your vision of business and entrepreneurship treat Islamic banking and finance?
I always like to challenge the status quo, especially when things don’t look right and we all know the financial environment has had more than its fair share of problems. We would like to contribute and help put things in order, if possible. Modern Islamic financial system is still nascent and is going through a major awareness stage. Lack of education on how Islamic products work is one of the main challenges; which is where we are positioning to approach the market with a practical education solution.
We would like to be flying the creative flag in the next decades to come, and always looking for partners who share our flair.
You must have travelled to a number of countries. Which Muslim-majority country has really impressed you and why?
[Laughing] One must remain in good books of one’s wife. But when I name Bangladesh it is not just pleasing my wife who comes from Bangladesh. I have been extremely impressed by the country, as it has gone through a complete overhaul and deep financial technology revolution. Their mobile internet subscribers are over 60 million, and over 100 million mobile users make Bangladesh a perfect incubator and growth hub for FinTech start-ups. The world’s second largest mobile money provider company is from Bangladesh. There is a huge opportunity and potential to develop other FinTech sectors in Bangladesh. The current government is also encouraging the digital revolution in the country and their policies and budget are ICT friendly. When Bangladesh overcomes the lack of consumer trust issue in technology we will see more key players in FinTech sector emerging from Bangladesh.
Please share with the readers a typical day of Mir Faisal Talpur. How it starts and what are must on the to-do list on a daily basis.
Day starts with my Fajr prayers. Although I wake up at 4.30 am, I come to work at around 10:30 am. Late for most of the world! Time between 5 am till I get to work is my self-development time, as I pray, meditate, focus and plan my life and business. I utilise this time for creative and innovative ideas and plan how to execute them. I reflect on my current projects and make future strategies.
I am probably the most relaxed CEO. I believe things happen when they are meant to happen and pushing and stressing does not help. I hardly have a daily strict to-do list. I am a firm believer in focusing on the end goal we are trying to achieve, the destination we need to get to, and my aim daily is to make sure that I and my team across 3 countries are moving towards that goal. We aim to synchronise our work as much as possible where including myself other people in the company have clarity on what they are doing and work efficiently. When I’m at office, 80% of my time goes towards working on the business while the remaining 20% I work in the business. I have reduced key-man dependency, introducedsmart delegation and automated our business. My daily aim for my team is simple: Move forward with clarity of purpose, make sure to be creative in what you do and improve upon yourself daily. Most days I leave work by 6.30 pm. Although my wife and I work together we make sure the day ends with spending quality time with each other, occasionally with friends and family.
What would be your message to the global Islamic financial services community, particularly the youth?
The youth who have chosen Islamic financial services as their career path or are willing to venture into this sector as entrepreneurs should keep a positive, yet keen eye on the market. Interestingly, in my opinion, despite a sluggish start this sector will see considerable growth in the sect decade and enjoy a prolonged success after that. In favourable global economic conditions, it may even experience a period of hyper exponential growth.
ISLAMIC FINANCE REVIEW ~ www.isfire.net