Raqibul Faiaze Md. Ikramah FCCA
Head of Financial Accounting & Reporting, General Manager
If asked which department is more likely to be the center of a company, whether small or large, the answer would always be the financial department. Indeed, the human resources in the Finance department must be exceptional and top-notch as they directly oversee that company’s ruler and support the growth of a company. In terms of defining the competence level of a Head of Financial Accounting & Reporting of a company, it presumably far exceeds the existing merits in the market.
Regarding the position of a globally recognized telecommunication company like Grameenphone Ltd., the responsible person’s qualities are far beyond the current demand. That can be expected from a brilliant mind who is a Fellow ACCA member and graduated in Business discipline from North South University (NSU) with a Summa Cum Laude, upholding a CGPA of 3.95 out of 4.
Let’s introduce Mr. Raqibul Faiaze Md. Ikramah FCCA, Head of Financial Accounting & Reporting, General Manager of Grameenphone Ltd. He is one of the brilliant minds who has a significant role in Grameenphone. Let’s read about his majestic journey:
The InCAP: Mr. Ikramah, share with us your professional and academic background for our readers.
Raqibul Faiaze Md. Ikramah: Currently, I am working at Grameenphone as Head of Financial Accounting & Reporting, General Manager, and I joined here back in mid-2016 as a Specialist in Financial Reporting. Before that, I worked for KPMG in Bangladesh.
I am a Fellow ACCA member and member of the Member Advisory Committee (MAC) of ACCA Bangladesh for the last 3+ years. I am also an alumnus of NSU.
How has your professional training and qualification helped you to excel in your career?
A difficult question to answer, actually! For gathering specialized technical knowledge, good and extensive professional training along with professional qualifications are very much needed but not mandatory. However, such things are not guaranteed tickets for success. There are many valuable things besides strong technical knowledge which is important for an organization, like leadership traits, communication skills, empathy, patience, passion, dedication, collaboration with others, business understanding, agility, respecting the views of others, etc.
You are working as a Member of the Member Advisory Committee (MAC) of ACCA Bangladesh, too; tell us something regarding your role in this committee.
The role of the Advisory Committee is to advise the Council, the Chief Executive, and the Head of ACCA Bangladesh on some matters related to ACCA and the profession as a whole.
I love the thought leadership drive with the MAC team to build a sustainable future for the profession at large. My major inputs into the MAC remain regarding enhancing collaboration globally as well as locally in the value chain and enhancing the visibility of professional accountants around the world.
What is your most significant achievement as of now? To what extent does your motivation help you to thrive in your career?
All of my failures and struggles have taught me the most important lessons in my professional and personal lives. Such awareness that nothing is permanent makes someone humble in the good times and confident in the bad times.
Regarding motivation, it is always important for anyone to go the extra mile, but the drivers of motivation will differ from person to person. To me, motivation comes from the purpose of doing things and also from the working environment/culture compared to other tangible or monetary facts.
How optimistic are you regarding the economic progress of your country?
I am very optimistic regarding the prospect of continuous economic progress in Bangladesh. Currently, many countries are facing challenges, mainly because of ongoing geopolitical challenges. However, I strongly believe that when such a situation is stabilized, such challenges will not remain there.
Where do you think Bangladesh needs to focus on improving its Finance Industry?
Youth is one of our country’s most valuable assets, and in my opinion, they need to be well-trained in order to export their services more efficiently and effectively. Echoing with this, the focus can be enhanced to prepare skilled resources in specialized areas of accounting and finance apart from preparing them with general knowledge. I strongly believe that in the upcoming days, more cross-border services will be given by the youth of Bangladesh. Improvement is a continuous process, and I am sure there are many other areas where improvement can be brought in, but I tried to focus on one specific area only.
There is a gap in the professional-academic linkage in the Bangladeshi educational system. For example, a large number of students are studying business-related subjects, and yet the universities barely have any ties to the industry/corporate world. What’s your take on that?
Rightly mentioned, and I hope that it will gradually improve. I am observing that slowly such collaboration is increasing, but it needs to be enhanced more for a sustainable ecosystem and the development of the youth with the right skill set that is needed in a dynamic world. A collaboration mindset needs to be there from organizations and academics, and all need to work with the common goal of upskilling the youth. I am proud to work for an organization that prioritizes youth development.
We noticed that some alumnus (including you) of your alma mater, North South University (NSU), are taking some initiatives to promote professional qualifications amongst the students; tell us something regarding such initiatives.
Thanks for asking this question. In my observation, the number of professionally qualified accounting and finance professionals are not there at an optimal level in Bangladesh, which is needed to support faster economic growth. Hence, personally, I believe that such qualifications need to be promoted more to the youth. It is not like that only such qualifications are required for an organization or will ensure accelerated career growth, but for some specific critical roles, resources having such qualifications are very important. Hence, it is our responsibility to inform the youth regarding such need and opportunity.
Some of us who have achieved professional qualifications and are also alumnus of NSU (from different accounting professional bodies), are working with an objective to unite all the Accounting & Finance Professionals under one umbrella. For such, we are running a Facebook-based group named “Accounting & Finance Professionals of NSU” and taking various initiatives to promote the profession amongst the students and alumni of NSU. In addition, I am very proud to see how NSU’s academicians and faculty members are collaborating with us to promote the profession.
What advice would you give to future candidates who are interested in making their career in Accounting and Finance?
Invest in initial years to build up a strong base of knowledge and capture all opportunities to learn different things and, at the same time, gather an understanding of the business. Then, slowly, someone should shift the focus to master leadership traits and add value to business decisions.
Last but not least, candidates should be flexible in learning new skills spontaneously and simultaneously. For instance, as we all know that everything is getting digitized; knowledge of Fintech or coding would give leverage to future candidates to reach their zenith faster.
Tell us about how you maintain your work-life balance and what you do in your free time?
This is the iconic question my wife would love to answer; pun intended. But in all honesty, I value this the most and promote work-life balance among my colleagues as well. This is because it promotes efficiency and effectiveness at work, which are key to achieving extra milestones in personal career growth.
For instance, I usually schedule a gateway or staycation with my family after the heavy workload period so that I can spend some valuable time with my family, especially with my little daughter. The best part is that me and my wife, both love traveling and exploring new places; hence, whenever we get some time, we travel a lot, and the most interesting part is that our infant (becoming a toddler soon) is also accommodating herself with traveling.
In my free time, I love to play golf and participate in social activities with my father. I am also a proud Rotarian and Rotaract too. Apart from that, whenever I get some time, I try to allocate some of my time in youth development activities.
Mr. Ikramah, thousands of youths follow you. Please say something to them.
I don’t believe so, but if you are right, it is indeed overwhelming and entitles me to more responsibility to evolve and contribute to society and the youth in order to construct a better territory. The one vital message I want to convey is that we all have one life, and we should enjoy that amidst all the challenges; having patience and a learning mindset in bad times might change many perspectives. Lastly, don’t forget the power of “We” compared to “I” as “We” can accommodate indefinite numbers compared to “I”.
- Hard Skills: Applicable rules and regulations related to Financial Accounting & Reporting and Taxation, Analytical capability, Risk Management, Authority Matrix, Financial Due Diligence, and Advisory, Project Management, Knowledge of ERP, Process automation, and simplification.
- Soft Skills: Collaboration, Teamwork, Empathy, Leadership, Business understanding, Agile, Communication, Positive attitude, Proactive, Openness towards new technology.
Prayer For The Human Civilization: We all need to think ahead and act accordingly for a sustainable world for the future generation.
The InCAP: Thank you. It was an excellent meeting with you! Your every word is informative.
Raqibul Faiaze Md. Ikramah: My pleasure! I wish The InCAP and its team great success.
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