1. In what year did you matriculate from Al Falaah College?
2. What steered you towards this field of study?
I have always had a interest in the banking and IT fields so I opted for Information systems and finance in university
3. Can you please expand on your most recent achievements?
My achievements are based on the support of the team that I work with. We have Alhamdulliah managed to triple our book size in under a year as well as change the perception and operational way that Islamic Banking is done in the region. This has resulted in efficiencies in doing business as well as getting closer to our clients
4. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the fact that we are in a position to assist the community with an alternartive form of banking. I also enjoy the strategic element as well as the fact that I can deal with clients in different segments of our business. So whether its facilitating the opening of a Islamic Youth account or closing a R300m Islamic Commercial Property deal the happiness on the face of the client is the same.
5. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Over the years I have played many roles at both a regional and Head office level but I still see myself in the Islamic Banking industry.
6. When you are not working, what do you find yourself doing?
As a Islamic Banker there is rarely a time where you are not working as the weekends are the time where most work gets done however when we do get a break its all about spending quality time with my wife and kids.
7. What would you attribute your success to?
Our Creators grace, my parents, flexibility, team player and the passion to grow this industry
8. If one is interested in this field of study/job, what would they need to do and what advice would you give them?
Obtain a qualification and learn about banking in general and Islamic banking. This will give you a good starting point but above all that be honourable, adapt to change and be passionate in your work
9. If you could choose all over again would you choose the same path again?
I most definitely would.
10. How did Al Falaah College contribute to your life and choices?
As an Islamic school it gave me a set of values and built my character in accordance with Islam. This set of values most definitely contributed to the fact that I wanted to work in an Islamic environment which pushed me to joining the Islamic banking industry. During my time at this institution, we moved twice and the name changed from Ahmedia to LIC to eventually Al Falaah. This taught me that the only constant is change and in this day and age if you cannot be flexible and adapt you will be left behind.
11. What is it that keeps you awake at night?
The fact that more awareness needs to be created about Riba and as a community I feel that we have become very desensitized regarding our dealings and Riba
12. What type of legacy would you like to leave behind?
Someone that has made a positive impact on society through awareness of Islamic Banking and the ills of Riba.
Ismail Vahed - Regional Head, ABSA Islamic Banking