Connecting people, cross-fertilising ideas

Amir Sadiq Al Habib, Senior Relationship Manager, Private Banking & Wealth Management, Ahlibank proved his mettle in connecting people and cross-fertilising ideas to generate insightful strategies and policy initiatives
Amir Al Habib is a firm believer in the power of communication in bringing people and ideas together and making systems work better. Throughout his career, he worked to prove that through connecting people and ideas and synergising different divisions and departments, one can bring out the best form them.
While he was pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in software technology at Coventry University, Amir worked simultaneously at an IT company. The course was about aligning technology with business and bridging the gap of communication between different divisions and departments in a company such as finance, accounting, human resource, system architects etc. This brought to him an opportunity to explore the ways of integrating business with technology. “The business team and programmers spoke different languages. What I was able to do was to design system architecture to align technology with business strategy and bring the IT team and other business divisions together. I focussed on making programmers understand the business needs, thereby developing technology as an enabler of business,” says Amir.
Having worked seven years in IT sector, Amir left the job to run an advertising agency for a few years. This was followed by a short stint as project manager at a Danish company which handled smart home systems of residential villas at Shangri La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa.  Then he joined the corporate communication department of Ahlibank where he was later promoted as the head of the department.
As a communication professional, Amir believes in the potential of his job in brining different and seemingly contradictory ideas together into a common platform where they are cross-fertilized to generate more insightful strategies and policy initiatives. He is adept at speaking his mind and loves to talk to people, “I always speak what I think. And I carefully listen to other people, to understand what they have to say. It gives me access to their views and put them together to bring the best result out of them. A good leader always loves to talk to people individually, understand the strength and potential of each team member and make them talk together. Managing effective teams is a matter of achieving synergy between the individual members. And this is one of the areas I have been able to show my mettle.”
He says Ahli Bank is a place where work is synonymous with fun. “We have an incredible team here. Although we hail from different backgrounds, with different skillsets and different ways of thinking, the leadership of the bank is capable of tapping our potential and bringing us together to work as a team. Our former CEO AbdulAziz Al Balushi was also an exemplary leader who made us think loudly and helped us build on our skills.  He was a very inspiring leader and had a lasting impact on each one of us.  He always helped the youngsters to find themselves and grow. Even after leaving the bank, he continues to be in touch with us in his personal capacity whenever we need his counsel. There are other senior management people who continue to extend their support and guidance to help us grow and excel.”
Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company and Apple’s Steve Jobs are among the leading personalities who inspired Amir to think differently and take up new challenges in life and profession. “Ford’s autobiography was one of the best books I read soon after my school education and it had a profound impact on me,” he recalls. “His path-breaking innovation of assembly line for the mass production of automobiles was inspired by meat-packing plants in Chicago and Cincinnati, where cows and hogs were slaughtered, dressed, and packed using overhead trolleys that took the meat from worker to worker. It taught me that innovation was not always about inventing new things. We can bring innovation by employing existing tools and methodologies in different ways and in totally different contexts, making them adapt to our new requirements and industry demands.”
He calls on young Omanis to do what they love to do, focus on their goals and work tirelessly to achieve their targets. “Aim high, learn how to master your craft, work hard for that and let anything not deviate you from your path. Aim for what you love to do and chase your goal consistently. Money will come later. Money will chase you, if you chase your goals.”
He adds, “If you pursue your goals with passion, you can keep on conquering new heights in your professional life, no matter whatever field or sector you belong to.  Today most of the best bankers are engineers and many of our CEOs are engineers, and several CEOs in oil and gas sector come from a financial background. If you love what you do, then be consistent in what you are doing. Try to improve your knowledge and skillsets in that area, and it will transform your career in ways that are unimagined.”
He opines that NTI BizPro Awards has been an effective platform for young executives to assess themselves. “Even if you don’t become one of the three winners, the rigorous evaluation process will be immensely helpful for you to better understand yourself and improve your professional prospects. It will show your strength and weakness which sometimes you might fail to identify on your own.”
Amir who is currently doing his Master’s in Business Administration, is an amateur horse rider and loves biking and kiteboarding. He accords top priority to time management so that his professional and personal pursuits are not mixed up.
“You’re the best to decide how to manage your time. I believe that if you get up early in the morning and leave for work, and do your job as per your schedule, you can complete everything on time. If you miss one of these, you are bound to miss everything.”
He also believes that apart from punctuality dividing one’s working hours and family time with a different activity like running or any other physical exercise is equally important to freshen up. That helps you to keep the intricacies of job away from home and vice versa.  He compares it to tasting ginger marinated in vinegar at intervals while eating Sushi to fresh up your mouth and prepare it for different tastes.

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