Finance & Banking

DR. JAMSHAID ANWAR CHATTHA ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL, TECHNICAL AND RESEARCH, ISLAMIC FINANCIAL SERVICES BOARD (IFSB)

WHAT WAS YOUR EARLIEST AMBITION?
From my early childhood I was good at maths and
finance, but like others in that young age did not have
a clear ambition. I wanted to work for an intelligence
agency, and maybe a chef. My uncle wanted me
to be a scientist as he was working for one of the
largest science and technology institutions in the
country. However, when at college, I decided to be
a banker and a regulator of banking and financial
services.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST?
Amidst my extreme business I try not to forget to
have fun and relax. Lazy Sunday with no emails
to read, while watching a live cricket match, is
a real treat. Next to this is having a sound sleep.
Passion and commitment are important pillars of my
enjoyment in office life, and I enjoy helping people
even if that may involve burdening myself with extra
work.

WHY ARE YOU INTO ISLAMIC BANKING AND FINANCE?
I chose Islamic finance for life. Out of my 12+
years of career, I have only worked six months for a
conventional bank. All my career and post-graduate
education has been in the field of Islamic banking
and finance. I believe, being a strong advocate of
Islamic finance regulatory framework, I have a role
to play in the development and promotion of a
robust Islamic financial ecosystem globally.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
To be successful in the professional world, you need
some free time. I spend my spare time with my kids
and take charge of the kitchen to cook my favourite
Chicken Biryani. And being a millennial, I do spend
time on social media to stay connected with friends
and family.

WHICH MOVIE IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE? [IF YOU WATCH MOVIES]
Sirf Tum (lit. Only You) is romantic Bollywood love
story between an ordinary young man with a big
heart, and an attractive, middle class girl, who
didn’t even meet before falling in love. I loved the
unimaginable and unconditional mutual affection
with quality of songs.

WHO HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST MENTOR?
The first Secretary-General of the IFSB, and my
boss, Prof. Dato’ Riffat Ahmed Abdul Karim. He is
not only who provided me technical mentoring on
Islamic finance but also he showed a great amount
of kind-heartedness and fatherly touch in terms of
intellectual growth and leadership. To be honest, I
won’t be where I am today, or where I inspire to be,
had he not believed in me by providing opportunity
to serve the Islamic finance services industry.

WHERE ARE YOU THE HAPPIEST?
When I am around the people who love and care
about me, and give me honest feedback (positive
and negative), and probably with some great and
inspiring like-minded people such as Nizamuddin
Arshad from whom I learned a lot.

IF YOUR 15 YEARS OLD SEES YOU TODAY WHAT WOULD HE SAY?
I think he would say and appreciate that I made
the right decision not to pursue studying chemistry
and biology on the recommendation of my uncle,
which I did not like at all, and instead focused on
mathematics and finance.

IN A FEW SENTENCES DESCRIBE YOUR 65 YEARS OLD.
Big “if”. If I am alive by that time, I will prefer playing
golf and watching non-stop cricket matches in that
age but I will also be actively contributing to the
academia by sharing the knowledge and industry
experience with the next generation.

ANY DISAPPOINTMENT IN LIFE?
Blessed with everything so far but life without
disappointment would be boring, and we have to
deal with it.

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