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    Spotlight on global, local Islamic finance industry landscape

    Lyna Mohammad

    Brunei Darussalam was rank 12th in the top Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) Markets in 2020, where to date the operating Islamic finance institutions are Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei (TAIB), Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD), Insurans Islam TAIB General Takaful, Bank Usahawan, BIBD At-Tamwil, Takaful Brunei, Standard Chartered, BIBD Securities and SBI (B) Sdn Bhd.

    Supporting industries in Islamic finance meanwhile are Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (Regulator); Ministry of Religious Affairs (other government agencies); Yusof Halim & Partners; Zico Law (legal firms); International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (Islamic finance institution) and amanie (Syariah advisory consultants).

    These were among the points shared by Learning and Development Department (LDD) Manager Rubby Sandra binti Mohamed in her presentation on Leadership in Finance: Potential Career for Islamic Finance Graduates held at the University Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) last Monday.

    Rubby presented topics on global and local Islamic finance industry landscape, Brunei Darussalam’s financial ecosystem and career opportunities in Islamic finance.

    Career opportunities in Islamic finance according to her are Islamic finance and accounting, Syariah audit, treasury, financial economics, Syariah risk management, investment, securities asset management, change analyst, digital marketing, data system analyst and cybersecurity analyst.

    Bicara Ilmuan, a talk organised by UNISSA, also saw a presentation by another invited speaker, Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Economics and Finance (FEKIm) Dr Razali bin Mat Zin, who discussed ‘Managing People in 21st Century Organisations: Some Issues and Challenges.’

    “The real job of a leader in an organisation is not about being-in-charge, but taking good care of those who are being charged upon them, hence leaders should have empathy,” highlighted the professor.

    ABOVE & BELOW: Photos show Learning and Development Department Manager Rubby Sandra binti Mohamed and Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Economics and Finance (FEKIm) Dr Razali bin Mat Zin speaking at the event. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMMAD

    Empathy is being concerned about human beings and it is a skill that can be nurtured. From a holistic perspective, leadership is not just about the people’s outputs or productivity, but to see them in the lenses of humanism, he added.

    “Some major qualities of an empathetic leader is to treat people with love and affection.”

    Professor Dr Razali shared examples of major qualities of an empathetic leader, one of which is practicing the style of leadership using the parenting principles.

    He cited Next Jump Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Charlie Kim as saying, “If you get a job at Next Jump, you cannot get fired for performance issues; in fact, if you have performance issues, Next Jump will coach you and give support so that you can improve yourself to a point you can be better than me.”

    Another example was that of Berry Wehmiller Company CEO Bob Chapman who asked every employee – from clerks to CEOs – to take four weeks of unpaid leave anytime they wanted, and need not have to take four weeks consecutively, when the company was hit by a severe financial recession in 2008.

    Wehmiller had said it was better that they all suffer a little together, than any of them having to suffer a lot.

    “When people feel safe and protected by leadership, the initial reaction is trust and cooperation,” Professor Dr Razali said.

    He also shared the case of former President of India Dr AP Kalam, who in 1979 accompanied his immediate boss Professor Satish Dhawan to India’s first satellite launching programme. It turned out to be a failure but on the same day, Professor Dhawan held a press conference and said, “We’ll come back next year to the same, as a team.”

    The following year, the team’s second attempt was a success. The lesson learnt, according to Dr Kalam, was “When failure occurred, the leader of the organisation owned it, when success come, the leader give it to the team.”

    In attendance at the talk were UNISSA Rector Dr Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal, UNISSA senior officials and undergraduates as well as officials from Brunei Institute of Leadership and Islamic Finance (BILIF).

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