Standard Chartered launches Islamic Banking in Kenya
Standard Chartered Bank today marked yet another milestone in its endeavours to offer cutting edge banking services to its customers by launching its Islamic banking offering under the brand name of Saadiq.
With this launch Kenya becomes the first market for Standard Chartered’s African footprint for Islamic banking.
“Saadiq” - which means Truthful in Arabic - represents Standard Chartered’s Islamic banking proposition offered across the world to Muslim and non-Muslim clients.
Afaq Khan, Chief Executive Officer for Islamic Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, said:“If the Islamic market starts growing in Africa at the level it is growing globally today, it will become a significant part of the financial system in Africa as well.”
Global figures indicate that the Islamic finance market is growing with investments now worth over $1trillion.
Locally, the Islamic banking industry has grown in under five years to account for two percent of the total banking business in Kenya.
“This shows Kenya’s huge potential and opportunity. As a major international bank with a long-standing heritage and a global network, Standard Chartered is ideally placed for a prominent role in this ever-expanding market,” added Khan.
Raheel Ahmed, Regional Head of Consumer Banking for Middle East, Pakistan and Africa, Standard Chartered bank, said: “As the service gap between Islamic and conventional banking narrows and as the Islamic Banking range of products and solutions develops and gets more sophisticated, Islamic Banking is increasingly appealing to non-Muslim clients too as a non-interest, profit sharing alternative to conventional banking products.
“Our entry into Kenya is a stepping stone for our strategy to expand our Islamic Banking offering across the African Continent presents a high growth opportunity for Islamic Banking products.
“We chose Kenya as a response to the increased demand from the Bank’s customers there for Shariah-compliant Banking services.”
Saadiq, was launched in early 2007 to create a distinct identity and to reiterate the Bank’s commitment to provide innovative banking solutions based on Islamic values.
Since then, Saadiq has won more than 150 internationally-recognised industry awards, including Best International Islamic Bank, Best Structured Products House (Euromoney) for 2012 and 2013, Best Islamic Finance House (EMEA) and Best Islamic Private Bank (IFN), in recognition of the market leadership position of the business.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.