Posted on November 04, 2014

Commercial Bank CEO Abdulla Saleh Al Raisi and Chief Human Capital Officer Ms. Sharoq Ibrahim Al Malki have delivered a presentation to students, faculty and staff as part of the Dean’s Lecture Series at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Titled “Innovation in Banking”, Mr Al Raisi and Ms. Al Malki provided the audience with insights on how a wide variety of innovations are shaping the Qatari banking industry today, together with their predictions for the future.

The Dean’s Lecture Series at Carnegie Mellon Qatar is a forum that brings together prominent industry leaders, government officials and business community to give talks and share their expertise on topical issues to faculty, staff, students and members of the wider community. Ilker Baybars, Dean of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar said: “Connecting our community with industry is an integral part of our commitment to develop capacity through the transfer knowledge in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. We are delighted to invite industry leaders such as Mr. Abdullah Saleh Al Raisi to engage with our campus. His lecture builds on the MoU Carnegie Mellon signed with Commercial Bank of Qatar last year to enhance collaboration in the fields of education, scientific research and community development. We hope his valuable insights and expertise in the field of finance and banking will inspire future innovations. The theme of innovation is integral to Carnegie Mellon’s vision. Our university’s academic programs are characterised by the focus on creating and implementing solutions, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation, which help students gain knowledge in technology and development of leadership,” added Baybars.

Mr Al Raisi began by stating that one of Commercial Bank’s goals is to be recognised as the leading bank in Qatar for innovation and quality of service, and innovation forms a large part of the Bank’s strategy to attract new and retain existing customers, as well as differentiate itself from competitors. Mr Al Raisi drew upon a number of “firsts” Commercial Bank brought to the Qatari market as examples of the Bank’s heritage of innovation over its near 40 year history. These include introducing the first ATMs in 1990, being the first Qatari bank to list on the London Stock Exchange in 2006 and launching the first Qatari mobile banking app in 2009.

Commercial Bank CEO delivers 2 [].jpgHarnessing technology was a key theme of the presentation, as Mr Al Raisi remarked it was a powerful driving force of innovation in society today and making a big impact across the banking industry. Mr Al Raisi said: “We are in a new digital era where many of our customers are visiting branches less and increasingly experiencing Commercial Bank via Internet Banking and Mobile Banking. With remote online banking becoming more and more important to our customers, we must harness changing technology platforms to deliver benefits for our customers.”

Mr Al Raisi stated that successful innovation must be based on the application of better ideas or methods that meet new or existing market needs. Mr Al Raisi said: “Commercial Bank places a huge emphasis on the way we listen to, interact and communicate with our customers, as the customer experience is an important area of innovation for us. Through using a rigorous scientific survey every quarter, we ask our customers what they like and dislike about our services and then use this feedback for innovation and improvement.”

Mr. Al Raisi continued the presentation by examining other areas of innovation in banking such as the trend towards specialization and customization of products and services, looking to new markets, and banks being good corporate citizens. He concluded by stating that a critical factor in Commercial Bank’s future success is ensuring customers’ changing needs are met. The way Commercial Bank has chosen to meet these needs, both now and in the past, is through innovation.

Speaking for part of the presentation, Commercial Bank Chief Human Capital Officer, Ms. Sharoq Ibrahim Al Malki stressed that the most important driver of innovation is people. Ms. Al Malki said: “People are the heart of Commercial Bank’s business, and innovation in the way we hire, manage and train our staff is every bit as important as using new technologies. This investment is not just for the benefit of our staff but ultimately our customers too. If you want to best serve customers then you must first serve those who serve the customers.”