The IAIR Awards 2014, 4th Annual edition function was held at Palace Downtown, Dubai on 20th November 2014. Doha Bank won the “BEST BANK IN QATAR”. Dr. R. Seetharaman, CEO of Doha Bank won the “MAN OF THE YEAR “awards at IAIR Awards 2014.Dr. R. Seetharaman received the BEST BANK IN QATAR” & “MAN OF THE YEAR “awards from Mr. Guido Giommi, President IAIR Group.
At the Ceremony, Dr. R. Seetharaman said “As a forward-thinking and socially responsible citizen, Doha Bank has embraced sustainable business practices to satisfy its customers and promote solid environmental stewardship. Doha Bank has brought many initiatives on sustainable development.The “BEST BANK IN QATAR” award is a recognition for Doha Bank in its contribution to sustainable development.Doha Bank has maintained a consistent track record on its financial performance in the last one decade as part of its sustainable development philosophy. The Bank has maintained a strong growth trajectory, including total asset growth, loan growth, and deposit growth year-on-year. Doha Bank has also achieved one of the best returns on average equity and return on average assets among the banks in the Middle East region over the last decade.I have believed in a knowledge sharing society and continue to engage in various knowledge sharing sessions. The “MAN OF THE YEAR “award is an acknowledgment of my efforts in contributing towards knowledge sharing initiatives in areas such as economics, governance and sustainable development.”
In relation to Global economy Dr. R. Seetharaman said “The IMF forecasts global growth to average 3.3 percent in 2014 and to rise to 3.8 percent in 2015. In USA conditions remain in place for a stronger pickup in the recovery.US economy growth is expected to be 2.2 percent for 2014 and 3.1 percent for 2015. Concerns of recovery remain in Europe and Japan and respective Central Banks are pursuing their easing measures. In China growth is expected at 7.4 percent in 2014 and 7.1 percent in 2015, as the economy transitions to a more sustainable path.India is expected to grow at 5.6 percent in 2014 and 6.4 percent in 2015.In recent meeting G20 has committed to achieve a 2.1 percent increase in global growth over the next five years.”
On Sustainable development Dr. R. Seetharaman said “Sustainable development involves contribution towards economic growth, social development and environment. The Sustainable development mission should aim for Poverty eradication, environmental sustainability, sustainable consumption and production. Some of the key challenges in sustainable development include climate change, energy security and increase in natural and man-made disasters. At the G20 meeting in Nov 2014 US made a commitment of $3bn towards Green climate fund and Japan pledged it would contribute $1.5bn to the climate fund.”
In relation to initiatives of Doha Bank on sustainable development Dr. R. Seetharaman said “Doha Bank advocates and practices Green Banking, which is one of the core business philosophies that would support the sustainability into the future. Doha Bank has worked on “ECO-Schools Programme” which works with educational institutions to build awareness of key environmental issues. It has launched Green Credit Card. Green Accounts are Doha Bank’s answer to a proactive approach on eco-friendly banking towards its drive for a cleaner and greener environment by promoting the concept of “Paperless Banking “. Internet Banking, SMS Banking, Phone Banking, E- Remittances and Bills Payments through online also encourage eco- friendly banking.Doha Bank also conducted Green Quiz and seminars on Global warming and climatic changes to spread environmental awareness in various countries. Doha Bank has hosted Green fun run and support tree planting activity to generate awareness of environmental preservation and protecting the natural environment. Doha Bank has also provided funding for district cooling facilities.”
On Board role on sustainable development, Dr. R. Seetharaman said “The Board should recognise the importance of staff, customers, communities and the risks associated with the limitations of natural resources. An understanding of these issues on the business model, long term success and ability to deliver on strategy are critical. Board diversity, which includes not only gender diversity, becomes really important in ensuring the Board is fit to drive change towards sustainable business model. Solving problems requires working across functions and this can happen if the senior team has collaborative leadership styles.”
On Investment trends in GCC, Dr. R. Seetharaman said “With MSCI upgrade of Qatar and UAE and opening up of Saudi market in future we can witness surge in cross border inflows and inflows from the globe into the region. The fall in oil price may have created some drop in GCC markets recently. However the diversification is happening in many parts of GCC which will contribute to the growth story.”