Interview: Dr. Syed Arif Hussain, chief executive officer Takaful Pakistan Ltd
Dr. Syed Arif Hussain MBBS, MBA (Marketing) who is the Chief Executive Officer of Takaful Pakistan Ltd believes that the education and the insurance are the key players behind all the developed economies, which indicates how much it is important for building the national economy in Pakistan.
Talking to PAGE Dr Syed Arif said that Takaful Pakistan has a rich legacy of developing Shariah compliant Takaful in Pakistan rather the credit for introducing Takaful goes to Takaful Pakistan.
PAGE: Would you like to share the efforts of Takaful Pakistan for taking initiative of introducing Takaful in Pakistan.
Dr. Arif: Takaful Pakistan was given the license in 2007 and in the same year it started expanding its business rapidly by opening at least 14 branches across the country from Karachi to Gilgit. However, due to some unavoidable circumstance the branch network was reduced to major cities like Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar only.
PAGE: Since Peshawar is generally believed to be a traditional society having a visible leaning towards religion, what is the market response from that city?
Dr. Arif: It is true but one should not ignore the ground reality that Peshawaris exposed to acts of terror more frequently as compared to other cities. Either insurance or Takaful needs a re-insurance back up as well, however, due to hostile nature of the city and due to attacks by extremists, the international reinsurers avoid to take risk here, which causing problems in getting business in that city and what ever we are providing Takaful cover in that city we are doing on our own retention capacity or at our own risks, however, taking a huge risk is beyond the capacity of any Takaful company.
PAGE: Since the Islamic finance or Takaful industry has registered a robust growth and a quantum jump in Islamic finance which is reported from 5 percent to 20 percent of the total financial sector, what the market response for Takaful Pakistan?
Dr. Arif: Takaful Pakistan is actively engaged in general Takaful while a number of products are in the pipeline which I believe would help in taking lead in the market. However, since we cannot provide insurance to the conventional banking sector, a major chunk of our economy remains out of Shariah compliant insurance.
PAGE: Have you chalked out your plans for expansion of your operations in collaboration with any Islamic bank?
Dr. Arif: Yes, we are in the process for building up such a collaboration with an Islamic bank in near future which hopefully helps expanding our general Takaful business.
PAGE: What is your future plans to expand business?
Dr. Arif: We are taking an initiative to provide livestock Takaful as no Takaful company is providing Takaful coverage to livestock, which is likely to be a big leap in Takaful business. Besides livestock we are also considering to introduce crop Takaful as well.
PAGE: How Takaful or insurance sector can help in improving the living standard especially for the low income group as they are deprived of any health, education cover in Pakistan?
Dr. Arif: It is my earnest desire to provide insurance cover for the man living on day to day earnings. The underprivileged segment of the society deserve Takaful cover especially health cover, which is extremely important for the common man in Pakistan. Besides that Takaful Pakistan is also working to provide insurance cover to renowned personalities in every walk of life with a sense to attract potential customers towards Takaful Pakistan. We are planning to open more branches in Karachi and other major cities of the country very soon.
PAGE: What are the factors behind your plan for expansion of your business at this point of time?
Dr. Arif: Actually, now our sponsors are of view that this is a time to go for an aggressive marketing because Islamic finance is also growing on the other hand.
PAGE: Would you like to name your sponsors?
Dr. Arif: Our main sponsors are including HBFC, Bank Al Baraka, Arif Habib, Sitara Group of Industries, besides that two other international companies are also our sponsors.
Dr. Arif is a young and motivated person, bringing to Takaful Pakistan Limited his expertise in management, resource development, marketing and execution of business strategies. His professional experience is spread over 16 years at progressive senior level positions and has the experience of underwriting, reinsurance, claims management and marketing with the State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan. He has been proactively involved in the operations of a family Takaful Company, Dawood Family Takaful Limited since its inception. His expertise includes Life, Health and project related Insurances/Takaful schemes. He has extensive experience in restructuring, insurance operations and automation. He holds M.B.B.S. and Masters degree in Business Administration. He has also attended a number of Insurance/Takaful and management related workshops and conferences conducted locally and internationally. Although, working in non-life General Takaful Company will be his first-ever experience in Takaful Pakistan Limited, however, his commitment and passion to perform in a challenging role would surely contribute positively in the progress and prosperity of the Company.
Takaful Pakistan offers a wide range of Shariah compliant standard risk-coverage products. Also, Takaful Pakistan has the expertise to develop and tailor Shariah compliant risk coverage solutions to meet specific business or personal requirements.
Paid up Capital: Rs300 million.
Standard range of the risk coverage products of Takaful Pakistan are:
Marine Cargo, Marine Inland Transit , Marine Hull, Marine Advance Consequential Loss, Marine cum Erection, Marine Liability Stevedores, Liability, Containers, All Risks, Contents Discrepancy Liability Terminal Operators, Liability
Fire & Property Takaful
Fire and Allied Perils, Householders, Comprehensive, Shop-owners, Comprehensive, Fire Consequential Loss
Machinery Breakdown, Boiler And Pressure Vessels, Electronic Equipment, Contractors, All Risks
Erection All Risks, Computer All Risks, Contractors, Plant and Machinery, Consequential Loss Following Machinery Breakdown/Industrial All Risks, Fidelity Guarantee, Burglary, All Risks Contents
Plate Glass, Third Party Liability, Product Liability, Workmen Compensation
In-patient Treatment, Maternity, Out-patient Treatment