After almost 20 years of living abroad, Mr. Mohd Hasnol Mohd Yunus joined the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) as the Director of Corporate Services in 2017.
Before joining ISRA, he was heading the Malaysian operations of MyBazar−a Dubai based e-commerce start-up. As Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Vice President (VP) of Marketing, he was responsible for various strategic partnerships with leading organizations such as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Multimedia University (MMU) and Karangkraf Media Group. He previously spent almost 16 years with Etisalat, the largest telecommunications company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Middle East. His last position there was Broadband Manager for the Home segment with a portfolio worth AED1.5 billion annually. At ISRA, he leads a diverse team of Finance, Governance, Human Resource (HR) and Administration, ICT, Marketing, Publications, Talent Development and Events. He holds a BSc. in Business Administration with a major in Marketing from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA and an Associate Diploma in Accounting from MARA Community College, Malaysia.
With the conversion of the quarterly-publication of ISRA Islamic Finance Space (IIFS) into a monthly online portal under the I-FIKR platform as I-FIKR Digest, mainly to cater to high-tech and fast-paced Islamic banking and finance environment, we are pleased to have the key person in managing this transition as our inaugural interviewee. The following are the thoughts and views of the Director of ISRA Corporate Services, Mr. Mohd Hasnol Mohd Yunus on his first year with ISRA and his interactions with the Islamic finance industry.
I have just completed my first year with ISRA around mid-January. I still consider myself a newbie in ISRA. The way I see it, ISRA has achieved quite a lot under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin, the Management team with the great support of the ISRA team. I am here to add a bit more mainly in the areas of Marketing and Business Operations. Some of the added value that I can think of is in the areas of how we promote ourselves when it comes to the events and our existing products such as I-FIKR. Last year, we saw our events published at dedicated websites with more prominent marketing and promotional activities done through the digital platforms. These initiatives have made it easy for us to connect with the intended group of people and have attracted more engagements resulting in higher participation.
Elaborating a bit more on I-FIKR, it has already been positioned in the industry as a genuine one-stop portal for the Islamic Finance industry. However, to further improve the services provided, it is going through a major revamp. We are integrating various dynamic contents and features that suit the stakeholders of the industry–be it students, lecturers, professionals, regulators and scholars alike. These changes hopefully can provide our users a platform where they can explore, engage amongst themselves and expand their knowledge base and professional work. All at a click of their browser!
I am reminded of this famous quote: “The Only Thing that is Constant is Change”. While IIFS has shown tremendous potential throughout the years, we feel that the same content with a bit of change in its overall offerings can bring a bit more value to the industry.
A monthly edition (albeit digital) will allow more content and current issues to be deliberated (as opposed to every four months). As it will be available to our I-FIKR subscribers, this will act as an added channel for us to contribute to developing the industry through the engaging content available in the new I-FIKR Digest.
As I am still new in the industry, I can only offer my views based on my limited interactions. Quality talent will be those who understand the basics of the industry and yet able to improvise to the needs and wants of the market dynamics. Tech savvy, highly adaptable and fast learners, are some of the skills most companies seek when it comes to hiring in the Islamic banking and finance industry.
The industry is still in its nascent stage. At the same time, disruptive elements continue to shape and reshape many industries including Islamic banking and finance. This is where players such as ISRA can play a role in supporting the industry in preparing the human capital needed in the market. The industry can replicate industry placements, innovative and interactive ways of learning and mentorship programs that are being introduced and implemented in ISRA in preparing able, competent and diversified human resources for the industry.