Halal & Shari'ah compliance - A process or a value..
A lot has been written and will continue to be written about the business Words by opportunities within the Muslim community – which today stands Joy Abdullah close to 1.6 billion, making 23 per cent of the global population. ‘Halal & SHARI’AH Compliance’ A Process? T his consumer system presented by the segment has commercial enterprises. shown an ever-increasing A great deal of consumer attractiveness and industry research to businesses, especially has been done, by through the Halal and highly experienced and Islamic Finance sectors. E’S EFFORT professional organisations, With the industry’s global covering specific areas of annual summit coming information that’s extremely up in Kuala Lumpur in helpful in business planning. ON April, businesses will be Yet, on the ground, activities pied BY able to see firsthand the by Halal and Islamic opportunities available. Finance organisations still co The big question for demonstrate a high extent NG business working in and of “head-in-the-clouds” BE looking to get a foothold style of business approach. THE DEEN IS in the Halal and Shari’ah- In essence, this disregard related industry is: Do of the consumer element you understand who within these industries will your customers are be at their own peril. and what they want? The consumer world This invariably ties in has changed and even with a discussion I had more-so the Muslim with a friend in the Islamic or a Value? consumer world, which Finance industry: ‘Is Halal illustrates a new kind of and Shari’ah a process or consumer, who many are they value concepts?’ have called the ‘futurist’. Whilst the (current) This ‘futurist’ is acutely issue of convergence (of aware of what he or she the Islamic Finance and wants and how you as a Halal industries) and its business must engage him potential or even explosive or her. Do not think you growth and emergence UE of new product and AL service segments (fashion, V The consumer - A cosmetics, hospitality) are L FORM being thrashed out, the key issues of the day are: world has changed and INA • Consumer intelligence even more-so IG (i.e. insight for business OR growth planning); the Muslim I TS • Comprehension (i.e. consumer world, IN understanding of the two THE DEEN terms Halal and Shari’ah which illustrates by the consumer); and a new kind of • Knowledge of (what) the latent emotional need consumer, who (of the consumer) means many have called with regards to a value the ‘futurist’. The Halal Journal | World Halal Forum 2012 Special Edition | 40 www.halaljournal.comFeature.indd 40 3/26/12 4:53:13 PM
can fob the ‘futurist’ off with a few buzz words or empty rhetoric. As part of the ever- winning formula that works cross-borders and builds the business year-on-year. Recently the Swiss View understanding is what brings the consumer closer to the product or services. And this is what growing and maturing global Muslim community banking group, Bank Sarasin, released a If we take the the Halal and Shari’ah- compliant industries (as the mainstay for both Wealth Management view point that need to do better in. Halal and Islamic Finance) Report on the increased Muslims want Going back to my the ‘futurist’ has shown a value of converting a to see a Halal point, this cannot be done paradigm shift in attitude, perception and behaviour. conventional business into a Shari’ah-compliant and Islamic through a ‘head-in-the- clouds’ attitude – in other It is time we actually entity. The report, which Finance industry words, throwing pieces in listen and take on board was initiated through attractive to both the air to see where they what this consumer base a consumer question, Muslims and land will not bring about – of Halal and Islamic found there was little Consumer intelligence, Finance products and information out there for non-Muslims, Comprehension and services – is saying. This people and from a business then one has to Knowledge of the Halal would help in identifying perspective, Shari’ah- look at how that and Shari’ah industries. what the value benefits (of Halal and Shari’ah) compliance boost business by 18 to 25 per cent. industry is being Is this business Utopia? The simple answer is No. are and how commercial If this isn’t enough, it is publicised and This is just effortless businesses can use this vital to note that the Muslim how it is viewed. and logical planning, knowledge to develop numbers in India and which comes from being their business strategies. China are larger than the consumer-centric. It The starting point is population of some other utilises the knowledge for the two sectors to get countries. An estimated gained from understanding consumer-centric and combined population of N the consumer and in undertake market education 180 million – how can this delivering value benefits and research analysis on the demographic be ignored or to the community (or the two basic terms – Halal and worse still not engaged? W E environment in which Shari’ah compliant. Then Businesses cannot the business operates). they must establish the afford to overlook the S The question to ask t value benefits of the two. Muslim segment, but on is: would businesses, in in issing the po Halal and Shari’ah the contrary engage this both Halal and the Islamic compliance is seen to segment through accurate, Finance industry, actually be ‘must-have’ supports identifiable and clever re-build a better business (for the product or marketing. If we take the model and approach service) and not, in view point that Muslims from doing this? ry m itself a differentiator. want to see a Halal and To answer it, ust With this in mind, we Islamic Finance industry organisations would need ind must develop business attractive to both Muslims to undergo a cultural An strategies that enable the and non-Muslims, then shift in terms of the community (in which one has to look at how way business is done the business transacts) to that industry is being today. A shift away from grow. Without the planned publicised and how stakeholder profitability to growth of the community it is viewed. community value creation no commercial business Let’s take a consumer, based on the ethical can survive for long in who loves pizza. A values embodied within today’s climate of the mainstream company like Shari’ah and to focus on discerning and connected Dominoes has gone out of being consumer-centric consumer. Take the strategy its way to engage consumers in order to be sustainably to the masses, through through digital marketing, competitive over time. social media, and drum apps and creating a strong up high awareness of product desire by involving the commercial purpose the consumer in feeling About the Author: Joy Abdullah is a strategic management professional, specialising in cross-industry strategic planning. of the businesses and and believing he or she Currently he is Head of Marketing and Communication clearly show how it aids is a part of the process at INCEIF- The Global Islamic Finance University. the community. Add to that makes Dominoes *The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not the mix a strong quality good at what it does. necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to INCEIF. control on products (and This concept of creating **Opinions expressed by contributing writers do not services) and you have a a connection and knowledge necessarily reflect the views of The Halal Journal. www.halaljournal.com The Halal Journal | World Halal Forum 2012 Special Edition | 41Feature.indd 41 3/26/12 4:53:18 PM