Your one-sentence description of yourself?
Highly motivated and driven individual who likes to drive results. With 110% energy and passion.
Your first leadership opportunity? When? What was it?
When I became a captain of relay team at Karachi Grammar School, back in 1973/74.
Were you ready for it? (H, M, L, no)
Yes. Took on the challenge.
What was your readiness factor? (luck, will, skill, network)
Had a good skill in running.
How did you perform then? On a 1-5 scale?
Your all-time most significant leadership opportunity so far (if different from this)?
Twice. First, when ABN Amro was being sold to RBS in 2007. At that time, keeping the team together was a major objective. Second, when RBS was merged into Faysal Bank in 2010.
Your ideal, future leadership opportunity?
It will be in an absolutely different area: a social cause of financial inclusion, helping the poor through microfinance.
Is it likely to happen in your remaining work years?
InshaAllah. I have completed one career. Now, this will be a second career of giving.
Today in your current role: Where are you on Wali’s Will-Skill Matrix (high, medium, low)?
High will. High skill.
What drives you? (one-word driver)
Passion and enjoyment in what I do.
Candidly speaking, have you been happy about growth numbers in the past decade?
Yes. Although all three banks that I led had different dynamism.
In an uncertain and ambiguous world, how can you make sure that your plans are achievable?
Through commitment and hard work. Understanding the environment and changing strategies along the way.
How easy or difficult is it to manage the Gen Y/Millennials (people born after 1982)?
They are ambitious: Want everything on Day 1. Do not want to work hard and lack passion. Your job is managing expectations.
Your legacy? How do you want to be remembered? In your industry? In your organisation?
I want to be remembered as an institution builder and innovator.
What would you want to see in your leader (i.e. your leader to do)?
Strategic in mindset. Open to new thinking.
Your learning: Where do you turn to for learning – both daily routine, and time-off for courses?
I learn from anybody and everybody. Learning doesn’t stop for me. I also attend international events like Davos conference and leadership development programmes.
Are there sufficient opportunities for C-level learning here in Pakistan or in the region?
Except for corporate governance, not many formal learning opportunities here.
Learning and development of your team – what opportunities are available here? Your rating of these programmes? (1-5 scale)
We have in-house learning programmes. Sometimes, we send our people to external programmes too.
What would you want different about these programmes?
More emphasis on leadership. It’s the crux.
What are three core competencies or skill areas you would want your team to develop for this year? Next three years?
Leadership and people skills. Decision making. Out-of-the-box thinking.
What is your biggest time eater at work?
Lots of human resources and strategy issues. Unnecessary paperwork (because of regulatory/SBP requirements)
Information overload: What is your coping mechanism?
I come from a naval background where we are trained to process a lot of information quickly.
Do you have a stop-to-do list?
No. I go with the flow. Work-life balance is only in theory!
How can we give up control (and do more empowering)?
Delegation is critical! People are entitled to make mistakes. They will learn from mistakes.
What kind of personal or social networks do you use to enhance your presence and the chances for success?
I am president of Rotary Club Metropolitan and am on several task forces. Also, with Bankers Association and OICCI.
Faith? Is faith an inspiration for you?
Yes, it is! It has great values embedded in.
Ever thought that how could the Prophet (saw)’s personality be a guiding factor for you in doing business, making decisions, empowering others? If yes, in what ways?
Yes. Do what is right! The Prophet (saw) always spoke truth, even in most difficult situations. He worked with his team and engaged in consultative decision-making.
CEO derailment? Have you seen colleagues derailing/going down? What was the cause?
Any other cause of CEO derailment in our part of the world?
Insecurity. Arrogance. Mediocrity. Complacency.
Your messages to new generation of leaders: What leads to success?
No short cuts to success. Thus hard work. Also, passion and commitment for your objectives.
Your messages to new generation of leaders: Can you create your own luck? How?
Yes. Through hard work.