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7 Questions with Muzaffer Hamid
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7 Questions with Muzaffer Hamid
Name: Muzaffer Hamid
Current title: Chief Executive Officer
Current organisation: Tasheel Finance
A seasoned banker, business founder and results-oriented professional with over two decades of experience and deep expertise in financial services, especially in Retail and SME banking. Proven record of accomplishment across an entire range of Retail and Corporate banking products, processes and geographies including China, India, Ukraine, Asia Pacific and CEEMEA countries. Demonstrated strong people management skills and adaptability to work in very diverse environment and displayed steep learning curve Active part of the management team that has turned around business and delivered predictable, sustained and consistent growth trajectory of double digit growth
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
As a start - up organization which has grown tremendously in size over the years, one of the most challenging parts is to retain the mindset and nimbleness of a start up. Often organizations fail to keep this on their radar and deprive them of the same spirit in which they were created. In order to be successful the CEO has to set the tone at the top which drives the culture in the company and shapes it to include a challenger approach to innovation and change.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It is an interesting story as it started driving through the streets of Dubai and stopping at a traffic light just outside of Citibank on Bank street, my father asked me what i wanted to become and i remember looking at a very oddly shaped building and saying i want to become a banker. Then I went on to do my college education in Banking & Finance from the European University of Cyprus in Nicosia. Post returning back to Dubai, i joined the same oddly shaped building i.e. Citibank in their Corporate Bank operations. Since then I have worked myself across most areas of banking and Finance including taking a break to get my MBA degree in Technology Management from the University of Sheffield in the UK. with just under 25 years of experience i feel this industry still surprises me every day.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I like to think of myself as a Non-stop person! i have a downtime of 4-5 hours daily and other than that i am constantly engaged with different parts of the organization. I believe organizations are a living and breathing organism which needs constant attention across all parts so you have to process information fast and be able to send instructions quickly. A typical office day starts with a 15 min huddle the old fashioned way through a virtual room which sets the theme of the day, week and month.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
One of the most important lessons I learnt early on is that as a leader, one is responsible for the livelihood for not only your staff but their families, extensions, neighborhoods, cities etc. A true Leader must be a visionary and see beyond the horizon and preempt to a high degree of probability what is in store and how to react to it.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith is a classic first published in 1776. The book summarizes the economic theories that drive prosperity and wealth in the capitalist structure. As the book suggests, the market is guided by an ' invisible' hand which is working solving the common problems faced. I feel in the organizations, there is force that binds people together to work towards a common good.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
This requires to be programmed as a system that attracts young talent at an age where they are bustling with energy and inquisitiveness. Every Large successful company needs to have a structured program of attracting this talent and spreading them in cohorts across the company where they then with every passing year turn out to be leaders across the organization.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
When I first came to Saudi Arabia and was doing our Head office, then the contractors and admin staff told me to have reasonable barriers between desks as it is culturally right to do so. In fact, we then decided to have an open office with no barriers and glass walls. This in my mind is what brought people closer together and communication channels were opened...