WORLD'S LARGEST RE-INSURANCE COMPANIES SETTING UP TAKAFUL COUNTERS
Interview: Capt. Jamil — CEO Takaful Pakistan
June 25 - July 01, 2007
Capt. Jamil Akhtar Khan is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Takaful Pakistan Ltd which is sponsored by prestigious local and overseas institutions.
He started his career as a Deck Cadet in the Merchant Navy having obtained his academic education from Cadet College Hasan Abdal and thereafter graduating and passing out from Pakistan marine Academy with Distinction.
Capt. Jamil progressively rose to the position of Captain after qualifying as master Mariner and commanded various ships of PNSC before stepping in the insurance arena. Serving in senior positions in reputable general insurance companies, both local as well as foreign, he was actively involved in all the key operational aspects like formulating the companies business strategy Plans as well as other sensitive areas of the companies country-wide operations. In this duration he also acquired the highest insurance qualification of ACII (UK) and achieved distinction in the subject 'Marine Insurance & World Trade'.
In May 2004, Capt. Jamil took up a challenging role of setting up the first Takaful Company of Pakistan being the key insurance person designated as 'head of Operations' of the company. He represented the company on various international Takaful forums and contributed positively towards finalization of the legal framework for Takaful in Pakistan that eventually culminated in the form of Takaful Rules-2005.
Talking to Pakistan & Gulf Economist (PAGE) Capt. Jamil disclosed that significance of Takaful (Islamic Insurance) is being realized the world over on the back of its productive and positive role towards human needs and this Shariah compliant solution provider taking its roots in all growing economies. This can be substantiated from the fact that even the largest reinsurance giants like Swiss Re and others have set up a separate counter for dealing with Takaful business.
ENLISTMENT WITH THE BANKS
When asked to comment on first impression of Takaful Pakistan in the business circles of Pakistan, Capt. Jamil said that "We had completed our homework including furnishing office, hiring of staff and other requirement before the license was formally issued by the Security & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). It was our preparedness that on the very first day of getting license we practically entered into practical business by issuing the first policy on the very first day of license, a memorable day for the company.
We are hardly three months old today. We have started our business right in the middle of the year. A lot of work has yet to be accomplished such as enlistment with various banks which is imperative for insurance business. It is the listed insurance company which can provide insurance cover to the L/C opened for example import of textile machinery of accessories through particular banks. This is an area where have to move carefully because many banks have their own relations with the existing insurance companies hence the banks have their own considerations as well. Currently we are in the process of enlistment with the banks, besides that our own branches are also in the pipeline in different parts of the country. We have established our branches in Peshawar while rest of them is in the process.
It was a pleasant surprise when Capt. Jamil during the course of interview said that his company has taken a lead from the success story of Grameen Bank of Bangladesh and desirous of moving into micro-insurance for the 40 percent of the population living below poverty line in Pakistan.
Though apparently looking a humble and a low profile man yet looked impressive and outstanding when he remarked that Pakistan is not a welfare state. No body bothers to redress the sufferings of the poor. There is no provision for respectable living of this segment especially when they encountered with any health problem. Takaful Pakistan intended to launch a program especially this neglected segment of the society with the help of some international donor agencies. And even in case we did not get any support we would go on our own resources to serve people in an Islamic way. No matter we earn profit or not from this section. But it is a huge sector and international agencies also feel their importance and they find it as commercially viable as well. In this respect, have already enlisted about 100 hospitals to go ahead with our idea, he said.
Takaful (Islamic Insurance) is not a new concept elsewhere in the Muslim world; however, it was long awaited in Pakistan as a significant segment of population desires. Actually, the Islamic Banking which has already taken its roots in Pakistan's financial system paved the way for Islamic Insurance (Takaful) for shariah compliance in all its financial dealings.
The concept itself was transformed into reality in the late seventies with the emergence Takaful companies in the Middle East as well as the Far East. Not only are the competitive rating and the prospects of surplus sharing inherent in the Takaful concept attractive, but a large section of the population that rightly considers conventional insurance as 'un-Islamic' and engages in it only when absolutely necessary, (e.g. to comply with statutory or bank's requirement for taking loans, opening L/Cs etc) will feel inclined to take Tactful, when available. It is in this backdrop that Takaful Pakistan Limited has been formed to fulfill the need of the hour and provide and people with protection... the Islamic way, coupled with complete peace of mind and conscience as well.
Capt. Jamil said that Takaful Pakistan was incorporated in June 2006. The company commenced its operations on the very first day of issuance of license by the SECP on March 9 2007 with its registered head office in Karachi. With an initial paid up capital of Rs200 million. The company is sponsored by reputable financial institutions both local and overseas investors.
He said that Takaful Pakistan has the capacity to underwrite risks in all avenues of General Insurance namely, property (Fire & Engineering), Marine, Motor, Liabilities, etc. In addition, the company has the expertise and arrangements with overseas Re-Takaful operators enabling it to offer comprehensive coverage for large infra-structure projects, specialized risks and umbrella/ blanket covers specifically tailored for Islamic banking operations and for large corporate groups.