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Noaman Abdul Majid

Noaman Abdul Majid currently works as the country manager for Oman of Pak Oman Investment Company, one of the leading investment and finance companies in Pakistan. His prosperous career has also included spells with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Emirates Global Islamic Bank. He outlines how CIMA’s professional qualification has helped him achieve such success.

Pakistan having very strong local accounting qualifications, why did you choose CIMA?

I primarily decided to go for CIMA alongside my chartered accountancy qualification to further diversify and strengthen myself in the disciplines of financial and business management and international best practices in business planning and strategy.

I was motivated to pursue my professional studies in management accounting as I envisioned myself to be in a more dynamic and challenging role within my organisation. This is made possible by focusing more on business development, strategy and management instead of limiting yourself to a more defined and routine financial reporting function.

My aim was also to have an international qualification which is more widely recognised in global markets and offers divergent career opportunities.

At the time you started CIMA the tuition support was very low in Pakistan. What motivated you to still pursue CIMA?

During all my professional and academic studies, I have always preferred self study over tuition support and group studies and it has indeed worked well for me. Since CIMA literature on all subjects was readily available, I never had to worry about tuition support for any subject.

I would advise students that once they have decided to pursue their professional studies based on their aptitude and career prospects, they should be ready to face the ensuing challenges and not let the availability of tuition support be a deal breaker.
How did you find the curriculum? Did you find it relevant and was it difficult to get through?

CIMA’s curriculum is progressive, pragmatic and extensive, as it is being constantly updated to include latest research in the realm of financial strategy, business management and management accounting. The whole curriculum has been structured in a very rational and cohesive manner and is not difficult to get through if approached in a methodical manner.

What benefits have you gained from CIMA and how has it influenced your career?

CIMA is a ‘thought provoking’ qualification. It has significantly enhanced my understanding of strategic financial and business management issues and helped me develop my decision making and managerial skills. This has in turn boosted my career progress into managerial positions as I have been able to demonstrate a better grasp of strategic matters.

Being an investment advisory and management professional, I have been able to service my clients in a more customised and precise manner. This is due to having profound understanding of their business models, corporate and financial structures and their business requirements.

What would you wish to share with the employers of Pakistan in terms of CIMA’s relevance to business?

I have observed that CIMA, until now, has been a less appreciated qualification in the corporate world of Pakistan. However, CIMA professionals can play a very important role in both evolving and mature organisations that are aiming to develop their systems and processes in line with international standards.

Organisations today face a host of internal and external challenges as they operate in a very dynamic and competitive market atmosphere. There are constant threats and opportunities in their marketing, finance, human resources and other organisational functions that need to be evaluated and addressed on an ongoing basis, in order to survive and thrive in an efficient manner. CIMA professionals can be immensely useful in developing and managing an organisational framework across various business functions that will enable an organisation to achieve these objectives.

In your view, what is the CIMA difference compared to other foreign professional qualifications?

CIMA focuses more on the managerial application of our professional studies in finance, business management and other related disciplines. The CIMA curriculum has been developed to impart technical education in a manner that can help finance professionals in discharging their responsibilities in a more holistic and insightful manner. This is a contrast to other professional accounting qualifications, which have greater emphasis on furnishing technical aspects of their graduates.

What would be your message to the youth of Pakistan?

We are living in very dynamic and tumultuous times, both globally and within Pakistan. This demands that we articulate our priorities very carefully, after extensive deliberations and consultations.

I would advise our youth that before embarking on any professional career, they carry out an in-depth and realistic analysis of their aptitude, skills and resources so that they can not only complete their studies in a timely manner but also be an accomplished individual in their professional and personal lives. It is also important to have a macro view of their business function and the overall organisational objectives, which will propel them further in their professional careers.

I am hugely disappointed to see that our young people do not have any meaningful reading habits. They are largely focused on their textbooks and avoid reading international journals and books to update themselves on the latest research and developments in modern economics, finance and geopolitics, all of which are closely intertwined together. It severely restricts their understanding of developments taking place in international markets, which have become even more pronounced and frequent in the wake of the recent global financial crisis.

Young Pakistanis need to be more forthcoming, innovative and vigilant in developing their professional careers, as a very tough path lies ahead of them.

About Noaman

Noaman is currently the country manager for Oman of Pak Oman Investment Company, one of the leading investment and finance companies in Pakistan. He has advised investor groups in the Middle East and Pakistan on subjects including setting up new financial institutions, foreign investments, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and business restructuring, and gaining access to international markets.

A chartered management accountant (in the UK) and chartered accountant (in Pakistan), Noaman has also gained a Master’s in economics from the University of Karachi. He is currently based in Oman and in his spare time enjoys swimming and reading literature, current affairs and history.