Please share a brief profile on your service portfolio.
After a stint in the region’s banking sector, I founded the AJMS Group with a vision to provide boutique consulting services and technology solutions to financial services clients related to risk management and compliance. Over the past eight years since its inception, the Group has evolved to be one of the leading consulting providers in the region, differentiated by our ability to deliver results and tie the performance of the organisation to the objectives and business outcomes most valued by our clients.
The Group currently has 19 different companies under its umbrella, with presence in eight countries viz. the UAE, UK, KSA, India, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Jordan. We provide services related to strategy, tax, IFRS, AML/compliance, ESG, cybersecurity and corporate training, along with our own tech products related to RegTech, FinTech and InsurTech, cutting across multiple sectors.
The Super Brands Awards that have been conferred on the Group continuously for the past three years stand testimony to its customer focus, growth, performance, and stature. Apart from that, there are a number of global and regional awards and accolades that reaffirm our strength and the belief of 30+ partners and 300+ employees across the Group.
What are the challenges you perceive in your field of business and how are you planning to meet them?
I find it striking that technological disruption is beginning to dominate the way we do things in life. New types of economies-sans-frontiers are erupting, that are changing the meaning of global citizenship. Consulting firms of today, such as AJMS, must not only get themselves up to speed with these changing norms but ride the wave and steer the society through to avoid becoming irrelevant in the new paradigm. The very foundations of our business model are built on embracing the future, no matter how imaginatively insane it may sound at the outset.
State three things that you could offer to help incentivise your team in their quest for excellence.
The all-time-biggest motivators of the workforce have always been rewards, recognition and respect.
Let’s first talk about reward: Allow me to say that what others call remuneration or compensation; I like to think of as reward – and this really guides me on what to pay, how to pay and how much to pay. It changes the whole perspective of looking at how I’d like to invest in my staff cost.
Now comes recognition: I have no hesitation in saying that one of my stronger traits is that I am generous in acknowledging even the smallest acts of selflessness and loyalty when no one is looking over your shoulders. I like to hire character rather than only skill. I can always develop the skill of my teammates. It is the character that grows from the cradle.
Last but not least, respect is as important as the life blood of the organisation. No organisation can survive, sustain, and progress on the pillars of fear. It is that feeling of being important and respected, no matter what the role of a teammate is, that makes a janitor of NASA say, “I send people to the moon!” I have no doubt in my mind that if a leader does not give that message to each member of the workforce that “you are important to me and I respect you,” sooner or later the team fades away. On the other hand, if a leader constantly relays that message in words and by action, there is no limit to the positive, productive energy that will be created.
How primed is the UAE as a hub for entrepreneurship?
It is becoming distinctively clear as time goes by that the UAE is becoming the top destination of choice for the youth, the entrepreneurs and even the senior citizens of the world. Thought leaders of the world have stressed on an interesting concept of social certainty, which is abundantly high in the UAE. The UAE offers certain economic growth, commitment to global standards of sustainability and regulation, social justice, peace of mind, a moderate cost of subsistence and visionary leadership. How many other countries can boast of similar or better markers of civil stability and social development compared to the UAE?
In the years to come the UAE is likely to be the destination of choice for the world’s business.
How has your organisation contributed towards the growth of the UAE under your leadership?
We have an undying commitment to impart to society what we can serve best, i.e., knowledge, skill and a glimpse into the future. We have been at the forefront of the consulting marketplace in raising mass scale awareness (https://ded.ae/News/en/key_news/5930) of regulatory requirements, financial inclusion of the less apprised/underprivileged, and an investment of our experience into the youth of the UAE. We have the highest level of collaborative partnerships with universities and educational institutions in the UAE.
We are partners in learning with the likes of ICAEW and collaborative partners with ACCA, not to mention having a dedicated institute offering training services on a diverse range of topics.
What is the growth trajectory you have charted for your organisation over the next five years?
We are steadily following a growth trajectory of a country-a-year since the time of our inception: The UAE in 2018, Bahrain 2019, Oman 2020, KSA 2021, India 2022, and Pakistan 2023. It is safe to say that this rate of market penetration is likely to double over the next five years as we have plans to enter Africa, the UK, and Europe using the franchise model, which has historically been used successfully by most of the recent global networks of firms that have surfaced as potential leaders into niche areas of the consulting marketplace.
We are also pleased to share that AJMS Global has entered into a collaboration agreement with Zamara Group Limited to launch their MENA operations together with AJMS Global. We would also like to announce that the Board of Directors of this Joint Venture has been constituted. The JV will commence operations in yonder future and provide holistic actuarial solutions to the MENA marketplace.
As a UAE corporate icon, what is the legacy you wish to leave for your managers and team heads?
I have always maintained that I am an ecosystem creator, who farms together diverse skills in one place to reap the value that did not exist before. This requires a unique vision of the future; an ability to see things differently than others. I would like to be remembered as someone who contributed his two cents to taking mankind into the unchartered future. This is the legacy that I would like to leave for future managers and team heads at AJMSs.