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Interviews

JAVED MUSLIM, CEO – PAK QATAR GENERAL TAKAFUL LIMITED

A detail-oriented, result centric, hardworking professional with a successful track record spanning over 28 years earning top management experience working for Fortune 500 companies in the US (KPMG) and Pakistan (AON) with extensive exposure in Audit, Rubber Manufacturing, Insurance/ Brokerage/ Takaful with a flair & passion for Teaching, Mr. Javed is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has completed Certificate in Insurance ‘Cert CII’ from Chartered Insurance Institute, London, UK. In 2015, he joined Pak Qatar General Takaful Limited as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Javed was last associated with Aon Risk Solutions as General Manager/Country Sales Leader. He has also held various positions as visiting faculty at top educational institutes including Greenwich University, Hamdard and IBA, Karachi.

BM: Briefly explain the readers about TAKAFUL?

JM: In Islam the Arabic term of takaful is denoted in place of insurance that means assuring each other. The root of the word takaful is kafala which means to look after each other or mutual guarantee or protection. Takaful is based on the principle that the pool of donations is created and is used to support each other. It is a mutual agreement by a large number of donors to protect those who are in great risk.

BM: What provoked you to join and lead Takaful Company? OR Any specific reason(s) for joining Takaful Company?

JM: Takaful has emerged as an alternative solution to present insurance dilemma. The success of Takaful business lies in its very nature of being Shariah compliant. This system is based on eternal Shariah laws where no one gets undue advantage at the cost of others. Rather, it is a fair and transparent system free from exploitation and injustice. Recent growth of Takaful across the world clearly indicates its promising future for Pakistan. These aforementioned facets of Takaful motivated me to join Takaful, the foremost being that it is Shariah compliant form of risk coverage.

Pak Qatar 2BM: What is the current penetration of Takaful in Pakistan?

JM: As is the case with conventional insurance, Takaful penetration is very limited when we consider the overall population of Pakistan. With the majority of the population of our country residing in rural areas, it is essential to increase penetration on that front to increase the overall awareness of Takaful and the benefits it can offer. Furthermore, our partnerships/collaborations with Islamic banks has allowed us to serve customers in different parts of the country by way of these intermediaries, the different services being offered to the clients of banks has allowed the penetration to increase in Takaful In Pakistan.

BM: Are your Takaful products competitive with the traditional insurance products?

JM: Takaful products and services are very similar with regards to the modus operandi of insurance. Hence, this allows us to work with clients and also compete for potential clients on the same page as conventional insurers. Although, as a new company, we may not have strong treaties that other larges conventional insurers may be able to display but for our size and being relatively new players in the market we have very strong treaties in relative terms.

BM: What are the challenges being faced by the Takaful industry in Pakistan?

JM: Low penetration on account of being relatively new in the market and lack of awareness regarding Takaful are one of the numerous challenges we face today. Although, the lack of awareness problem may be tackled by the entrance of conventional insurers as their considerable reach all over Pakistan may help to educate the public more about Takaful and as the overall penetration will continue to increase the industry may see considerable growth.

BM: There is confusion amongst the masses between Islamic Insurance and Takaful just like Islamic Banking. How would you help the people get rid of this confusion?

JM: This confusion signifies the challenges that Takaful faces in the market, Islamic Insurance is essentially the same as Takaful. In order to help people get rid of this confusion I would suggest that these two terms can be used interchangeably as Takaful is the substitute of conventional Insurance and is sometimes referred to as Islamic Insurance as well.

BM: Your views on Shariah boards?

JM: Shariah boards are the center of gravity for any organization that wants to adhere to Islamic principles in their business practices. They have to essentially endorse all the activities that are conducted by the Takaful firm which include investing activities, as well as general operations of the firm. We cannot witness several organizations and large business conglomerates beyond the Islamic Finance sector that are not realizing the importance of setting up a Shariah board for supervision and advisory. The Shariah board is as important as any other specialized division of an organization such as operations, HR, marketing or finance.

BM: Do you think that the Regulator (SECP) is helping your industry?

JM: Regulators play a central role in development of any industry. We witnessed the growth of Islamic Banking in Pakistan and SBP played a leading role for the Islamic Banking industry. The role provided an edge to nurturing Islamic Banks and SBP acted as a counselor. We think SECP requires more resources and attention from the government to be more receptive and help nurture the Takaful industry.

BM: Do you believe that the Takaful system progressed according to your expectations in recent years?

JM: If we compare different entrants in the entire non-life insurance industry since 2007, I think the entire industry had a setback let along Takaful. This was due to the economic and political turmoil in Pakistan. In addition to this the insurance industry witnessed a major setback due to terrorism incidents, floods, earthquakes and general disturbance in law and order. Takaful industry will definitely boom once these macroeconomic indicators become vigorous.

BM: Where do you see Pak-Qatar Takaful in next 5 years?

JM: Pak Qatar Takaful is the leading Takaful operator in Pakistan and we foresee to be among the top 5 insurance groups in Pakistan within the next five years. As the pioneer Takaful operator we seek to play the role of a mentor for the industry and continue to lead the way in this important industry.

BM: What message do you want to convey to those who are still far away from the thought of Islamic insurance?

JM: I would like to say that opt for Takaful by choice so you may seek the benefit of your intentions, as later on you have to do so as Takaful will be the only feasible option of risk coverage as conventional insurance and conventional banking will be done away with in favor of Takaful and Islamic banking, respectively.

BM: Are you engaging with the young business students and future business managers to educate them about the Islamic modes of financing and Takaful?

JM: Yes we carry out regular orientation sessions in trade associations, chambers and education institutions regarding awareness of Takaful. This provides us an edge over our competitors.

“WE SHOULD BE PLANNING TO LOOK FURTHER AND SPREAD THE

AWARENESS OF INSURANCE POLICIES IN THE RURAL AREAS OF PAKISTAN SINCE IT IS WHERE THE MAJORITY

POPULATION OF PAKISTAN RESIDES.”

“PAK QATAR IS PROUD OF THE

LAURELS THAT IT HAS ACHIEVED AND WE INTEND TO DO EVEN BETTER IN ACHIEVING THE HEIGHTS IN THE TIMES AHEAD.”

 

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