The Business Year

Ahmed Saad Deputy CEO, Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB)

UAE - Economy

Ahmed Saad

Deputy CEO, Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB)

Bio

Ahmed Saad Ibrahim has served as Deputy CEO since early 2011, having been at SIB since 1998. He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Cairo University. He is also a certified public accountant. Prior to joining SIB, he worked with Qatar National Bank and Commercial International Bank, Egypt (formerly Chase National Bank). He has over 36 years’ experience in the banking industry.

“SIB was ready and operational to serve its customers at all times during the pandemic.”
SIB’s digital transformation strategy has proven to be a resounding success, with innovative digital banking services and technologies to provide customers with world-class banking services.

What main challenges did SIB have to navigate during pandemic period?

With its commitment to achieving responsible and sustainable growth through a clear strategic roadmap, SIB succeeded in overcoming COVID-19 during 2020. The strategic roadmap aims to build new capabilities and ensure sustainable growth amid a rapidly changing environment, while benefiting from the objectives of the National Agenda for UAE Vision 2021 of creating a competitive knowledge economy and pursuing digital acceleration. Internally, all resources were harnessed and all support was provided to ensure that the pace of work continued smoothly without interruption, with safe alternate premises in place for over 200 of our staff, and the latest and secure remote access and meeting tools provided for employees during the work-from-home period. Such initiatives ensured that SIB was ready and operational to serve its customers at all times during the pandemic. Financially the bank continued to diversify its financing facilities portfolio across diverse economic sectors in accordance with its prudent credit policy that takes into consideration the effects of prevailing market volatility and instability in global and regional capital markets on banking operations. Even though the rapidly evolving threat of COVID-19 has impacted the business and investor community worldwide, SIB has managed to retain its customer base by providing them with upfront solutions as well as transaction banking services (TBS), such that the business activities of his customers continue without difficulty.

How are you utilizing digital innovations to improve your services?

SIB launched a digital transformation strategy that has proven to be a resounding success story. The strategy falls in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and in line with the government efforts aimed at promoting creativity in all sectors. The overall strategy included developing SIB’s smart channels, adopting updated systems, and launching initiatives aimed at enhancing the use of technology and improving the overall banking experience for customers. The digital transformation strategy has proven to be extremely effective, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequential rapid transformation of digital transactions. SIB is paving the way for providing innovative digital banking services and has implemented many ambitious initiatives. The bank has embarked on a comprehensive transformation by making use of digital technologies to meet the needs of customers and providing world-class banking services. Smart technology is key to providing easier, faster, and more transparent banking services, in line with market needs. SIB launched several smart banking services, either through its website or through its smart application, which enabled customers to complete their transactions remotely without the need to physically visit a branch. Among these services is the “digital setup,” where a customer can access a large number of services and complete all his transactions from home or the office in a few very simple steps.

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