Source: Islamic Finance news | 26-Oct-2011 | Volume 8 Issue 42
by Daud Vicary Abdullah
This last month has been one of travel for me. Initially with a trip to Australia, followed by a round the world trip with stops in Hong Kong, Canada, UK and Turkey, before returning home to Malaysia.
Finally, a brief overnight trip to Singapore, where I had the opportunity to speak on the topic of “Strength through experience – the impact of people, places and events on my professional journey.”
Based on that theme, I would like to reflect on my most recent travels in the context of Islamic finance. I have long been a believer in trying to “speak to people’s listening.” I may not have always been successful, but the intention is always there.
There is a considerable difference in addressing an audience that sees Islamic finance as something new that they would like to learn more about, from an audience that has reasonable industry experience and is looking for the next step in product development.
Therefore, I have always tried to adjust the delivery of the message to ensure that it gets through.
The state of play for the Islamic finance in markets such as Canada and Turkey is very different to that of Malaysia. So it would be unwise to assume that audiences in the aforementioned countries understand the complexities of what has been established in Malaysia.
They may have the experience of it in a conventional sense, however, but, in general, I believe that you need to reach out for a common point of understanding and build from there. The dangers of not doing so are obvious.
The same applies in the field of education. For example, the relevance of a detailed professional qualification may be of utmost importance in a jurisdiction where there is considerable sophistication in Islamic finance and an associated job market.
However, in a country where the journey is just beginning, it is difficult to see the relevance of such dedication and there would certainly not be any readymade jobs to walk into.
Therefore, the content and delivery of educational programs needs to be adjusted to reflect the gap.
I am not saying that we should have different standards, but rather that we have different points of entry, adhering to the same professional standards, that would allow beginners in an environment that is just starting its journey in Islamic finance and be able to grow.
For me, the journey is now starting to get really interesting as the dots start to join on a global basis.
As usual, there is much to do and not a moment to lose.