Governance

Board & Management

BOARD

Chairperson

Mr. Ghalib Nishtar

President

Khushhali Bank

Profile

Ghalib Nishtar is the founding president of Khushhalibank, Pakistan’s largest microfinance bank. He is regarded as the pioneer microfinance banker of Pakistan’s burgeoning microfinance industry, and has been a critical force in demonstrating the success of microfinance in Pakistan with Khushhalibank as a leading benchmark. He was part of the process initiated by the Government of Pakistan to reform the financial sector under the Microfinance Sector Development Program in 2000. Under his leadership Khushhalibank has emerged as Pakistan’s premier microfinance Institution with a nationwide outreach; Pakistan now ranks amongst the top three countries on the Economist intelligence Unit’s Global index on business environment for microfinance and has attracted FDI in microfinance bank’s established in Pakistan over the past decade.

Recent accomplishments include successful steering of the divestment process of Khushhalibank as a consequence of which the bank was able to attract investment from leading domestic and global investors demonstrating the strength of the Institution. With the new set of Investors on board the bank is undergoing an ambitious transformation program to be able to serve the expanded microenterprise segment of the market in Pakistan. 

Ghalib Nishtar has over 30 years of prior management experience commencing with Bank of America in 82’ and concluding with the National Bank of Pakistan, the country’s largest commercial bank as its Senior Executive Vice President.

He serves on many Boards and Steering Committees; has represented the Bank at Summits, Conference and meetings at National and International forums and contributes regularly towards print media on issues of financial Inclusion for the poor.

He holds a Masters degree in Information Technology from the Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad and is the recipient Sitara-i-Imtiaz, one of Pakistan’s highest presidential civil awards.

Vice Chairperson

Ms. Sadaffe Abid

Founder

Circle

Profile

Sadaffe Abid is founder @CIRCLE, a social enterprise that aims to build and develop the entrepreneurial and leadership capacity of women in Pakistan and regionally. CIRCLE has an innovative tech initiative teaching coding skills to young women from under served communities. Prior to this, she managed Kashf Foundation as CEO and COO, one of Forbes Top 50 microfinance institutions which she helped grow from a pilot in two rooms to serve 300,000 women clients in Pakistan. 

Sadaffe is INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence. She is on the board of Indus Earth and has served on the board of Harvard UAE Club. She completed her Masters at the Harvard Kennedy School, Advanced Management Program at INSEAD and her B.A. at Mount Holyoke College. She is a recipient of the Mount Holyoke Alumni Achievement Award.

Directors

Syed Nadeem Hussain

President

Planet N

Profile

Nadeem Hussain, Founder and Coach of his latest venture Planet N, aims to catalyze the next wave of tech entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Planet N Group of Companies focuses on Financial Inclusion and facilitation of entrepreneurship in Pakistan through technology and has added 24 companies to its portfolio across e-commerce, fintech, edutech, mobile television, retail and renewable energy. With plans to invest in more rising stars within these verticals, Planet N provides a platform for prime growth to start-ups through collaboration and shared services.

However, his vision does not end there. Mr. Nadeem continues to promote the causes of financial inclusion by unbundling conventional banking and digitizing all 6 verticals to financially include the 80% of the unbanked population.

Mr. Hussain champions the causes of financial empowerment, access to healthcare, environmental sustainability, affordable housing and provision of alternate energy to all Pakistanis. He has spent the last 10 years focusing on these areas through his leadership of Tameer Micro Finance Bank and has unparalleled and invaluable experience to contribute to establishing a one of its kind financial solution to the financially excluded.

Nadeem Hussain is best known as the ex-President and CEO of Tameer Micro Finance Bank, Pakistan’s first private sector microfinance bank and world leader in branchless banking. Mr. Hussain's model bank has impacted over a million people by extending credit and mobile banking to the poor and the unbanked Pakistan, and has introduced the first health insurance program in rural areas to protect poor households from falling below the poverty line. Mr. Hussain later forged a partnership with an international telecom to provide mobile banking solutions to a large segment of the unbanked Pakistani population called EasyPaisa. This initiative has become Pakistan’s largest mobile transaction channel and has been recognized by the World Bank as one of the top three branchless banking solutions in the world.

Prior to pursuing his passion of making a difference, he worked in international banking for over almost 3 decades with Citigroup in seven different countries and major financial centers of the world. Mr. Hussain’s illustrious banking career included working in corporate banking, consumer banking, risk management, insurance, transaction banking and treasury. He served as General Manager and Head of Consumer Banking for Citibank, Pakistan. Under his guidance, Citibank Pakistan pioneered the concept of consumer banking, with the introduction of credit cards, auto mobile financing and residential mortgage financing. Nadeem effectively turned the bank around after it went into loss due to the freezing of foreign currency accounts in 1998.

Apart from his professional endeavors, Mr. Hussain has also served on the advisory board of Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and Institute of Capital Markets (ICM). He is the Chairperson of the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN), Mentor & Advisor to Hult Prize Pakistan, TECH Pakistan, and also on the Board of PlanX. Mr. Nadeem fulfills his Trustee responsibilities for the Indus Foundation and the Jinnah Institute and is an active member of the State Bank’s and SECP consultative groups on various initiatives including Microfinance and insurance. He is also leading the effort to implement Universal Standards of Social Performance Management (USSPM) across all PMN member banks and institutes

Nadeem Hussain is globally recognized for his dedication and service to financial inclusion. He chaired the United Nation’s MDG Session on Financial Inclusion in New York in September 2010, and is a frequent speaker at international forums on branchless banking and Microfinance. He was invited to speak at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Johns Hopkins University in 2012 where Tameer Bank was showcased as Asia’s solution to financial empowerment. He has also been awarded the prestigious Global leader award in 2011 by C5 in Geneva.

Dr. Rashid Bajwa

Chief Executive Officer

National Rural Support Program
Profile

Dr. Rashid Bajwa is Chief Executive Officer of National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) since 1996. Under his leadership, NRSP transformed part of its portfolio into the NRSP Microfinance Bank Ltd.

Dr. Bajwa is also associated with other Provincial Rural Support Programs and is a member of the BOD of many RSPs.  He is an advisor to the RSPN. He is also serving as an independent Director of Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited since August 26, 2010. He has professional experience of Microfinance and development specialist.

Dr. Bajwa is an Ex-Member of Civil Service of Pakistan (DMG) from 1986 to 1993 and has worked in different positions and levels of the Government. Dr. Bajwa has a degree in Medicine from KEMC (MBBS) and USA (MD) and a Master in Public Health from Nuffield School of Heath, University of Leeds, UK where he received a distinction and commendation by HM the Queen.

Mr. Amir Khan

President

First Microfinance Bank

Profile

Amir Masood Khan is a seasoned banker having diversified experience of over 22 years in consumer and commercial banking. He joined The First MicroFinanceBank Ltd Pakistan in March 2012 as the Chief Executive Officer/President. Prior to this assignment, he has worked at senior level positions with the Standard Chartered Bank, ABN Amro Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland; and as the CEO of Mobilink Microfinance Bank (then Waseela), where he was instrumental to set up the Bank. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi.

Ms. Roshaneh Zafar

Managing Director

Kashf Foundation

Profile

Ms. Roshaneh Zafar is the founder and managing director of Kashf Foundation, Pakistan’s first specialised Microfinance institution targeting women micro-entrepreneurs through a host of financial and non-financial services. Ms. Zafar worked with the World Bank in Islamabad in the Water and Sanitation department for several years prior to setting up the Foundation. Ms. Zafar was one of the first Ashoka Fellows in Pakistan and has been a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur since 2004. Ms. Zafar has also been awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, one of Pakistan s highest civilian awards, by the President of Pakistan for her work in the field of development and women's empowerment and was also awarded the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2007 and the Vital Voices award for Economic Empowerment in 2010.  Ms. Zafar sits on the board of several institutions including the Finca Microfinance Bank, the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, the Punjab Social Protection Board and Kaarvaan Crafts. She is also serving as a member of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Austerity and Federal Government restructuring, and writes regularly for the Express tribune and the Dawn. Ms. Zafar is a graduate of the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, USA and also holds a Masters degree in Development Economics from Yale University, USA

Mr. Faisal Ejaz Khan

CIO

Ajlan & Bros Holding Group

Profile

Mr. Faisal Ejaz Khan brings with him rich experience of Financial Services Industry. He has held responsibilities in Private Banking, Corporate Banking and Banking Operations during his past roles in Emirates Bank International PJSC, SME Bank Limited and MCB Bank Limited in various capacities.

He has an MBA with a specialization in ‘Change Management and Technology’ and also holds an M. Phil. in ‘Management and Information Technology’ from France.

Faisal was with Oracle Corporation based in Karachi as Regional Business Manager, Financial Services Industry for seven countries in South Asia. In Oracle he was responsible for solution sales of Oracle technology and applications for Corporate Performance Management, Risk Management/ BASEL II and Customer Relationship Management.

He has had a focus on deployment of Sungard’s Core Banking Application in MCB Bank Ltd. He achieved a milestone of 1100 plus branches on the new system across Pakistan and completed the roll out of Sungard’s Application in MCB Sri Lanka Operations and Sungard’s Islamic Core Banking System in MCB Islamic Banking Branches in Pakistan.

He is a highly seasoned business leader with a strong track record of strategic thinking, hands-on execution and building strong teams who collaborate to improve the customer experience.

Dr. Amjad Saqib

Executive Director

Akhuwat

Profile

Dr. Muhammad Amjad Saqib is a social entrepreneur, volunteer and development professional. He joined civil service of Pakistan (DMG) in 1985. He obtained Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, in public administration from the American University, Washington D.C., USA. He resigned from civil service in 2003. Since then, besides rendering philanthropic and social services, he has been providing consultancy services to International Organization. His areas of expertise include poverty alleviation, microfinance, social mobilization and education management. He is author of four books.

 Dr. Saqib is founder of Akhuwat, first ever interest free microfinance programme. Keeping in view his volunteer services for poverty alleviation, he has been requested by the Government of the Punjab to lead two of its flagship programmes i.e. Punjab Educational Endowment Fund (PEEF) and Punjab Welfare Trust for the Disabled (PWTD). President of Pakistan bestowed on him “Sitara-a-Imtiaz”, a coveted civil award on 23 March, 2010.

Mr. Kabeer Naqvi

President & CEO

U Microfinance Bank

Profile

Mr. Kabeer Naqvi represents a small percentage of professionals who has risen to the very top of Microfinance Banking industry in Pakistan at a remarkable pace. He has nearly 18 years of work experience to his name and has been with U Bank since Sep 2015.

Mr. Naqvi has extensive work experience in External Audit, Corporate Finance, Internal Audit and Taxation and has served at Ernst & Young Saudi Arabia, TPL Pakistan, House of Habib and Tameer Microfinance Bank. He served as the Chief of Staff & Chief Financial Officer at Tameer Microfinance Bank where his glorious career spanned over 9 years. Mr. Naqvi is a trained accountant and a distinguished member of ACCA – the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Mr. Ghazanfar Azam

President & CEO

Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited

Profile

Ghazanfar Azam is President & CEO of Mobilink Microfinance Bank Limited since its inception from 2012. He has vast experience & exceptional achievements to his credit in retail, commercial, consumer, SME & micro banking segments including launch of two leading greenfield nation-wide microfinance banks in Pakistan i.e. Kashf MF Bank in 2008 (now FINCA) & MOBILINK BANK in 2012.

In a career spanning over 32 years, Ghazanfar worked for HBL, Union Bank, Prime Bank & Bank Alfalah in retail, commercial, consumer & SME Banking segments. In addition, he spent several years as head of training & development at Prime Bank & Bank Alfalah.

In recognition of his contributions to HR development & training in banking industry, he was awarded prestigious Hubert Humphrey Fellowship by the United States Government for the year 2000-01 under Fulbright program. Ghazanfar has also worked with Shore Bank International (Now Enclude), a leading international consulting company in SME and microfinance based out of Washington DC and operating globally, as a senior consultant and Head of a USAID funded SME downscaling project in 2005-7. He has extensive global exposure and have been to Indonesia, Cambodia, Turkey, Romania, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Oman, Bolivia, United States and United Kingdom on work-related trips and assignments.

Mr. Sajjad Ali Shah

CEO

SAFCO Support Foundation

Profile

An enlightened professional, Mr. Syed Sajjad Ali, served different organizations on senior-level management & leadership positions. He has Masters in Financial Management and Public Administration disciplines and has attended different courses on Strategic Leadership and Inclusive Finance from Harvard Business School and Boulder Institute of Microfinance.

He started his career as a Management Trainee and within few years achieved many successes and is currently working in the capacity of Managing Director in a Non-Banking Finance Company- NBMFC. He has more than 18 years of professional experience to his credit with the background of financial services in the private sector. He keeps great ability & skills for business, negotiations & dealing investments with national & international DFIs. He successfully implemented various projects especially in the microfinance industry as specialist of financial inclusion, financial analysis, ratios analysis, risk management, poverty reduction, promoting access to finance, appraisals, implementation and financial literacy. He has also worked and implemented many projects funded by World Bank, IFAD, and Government of Pakistan in capacity of partner organization with the collaboration of PPAF Islamabad.

Mr. Barak Ullah

CEO

Aagahe Pakistan

Profile

With an overall 15 years diversified working experience of social as well as commercial banking sector to his credit, Mr Barak Ullah, having a Master’s degree in Business Administration and started his professional career with a micro finance institution. In April 2013, he got associated with AGAHE as Operation Manager by leaving commercial banking. Following the spinoff of microfinance operations of AGAHE into Non-Bank Microfinance Institution with the name of Agahe Pakistan, Mr Barak took charge as Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for strategic planning, supervision and management of organization. During his tenure as a CEO, Agahe Pakistan has managed a growth rate of over 50 % during last three years.

Mr. Barak has also attended numerous national & international trainings, workshops & seminars in fields of Corporate Governance, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Social Performance, Financial Inclusion, Negotiation Skills, Anti Money Laundering, Banking Operations, and SBP Prudential Regulations. He has completed NPO Management Course from Institute of Business Management Karachi and also attended  Boulder Microfinance training course held in Turin in July 2016. He has also been a speaker at various national conferences and also participated in various national & international conferences.

Mr. Mudassar Aqil

President & CEO

Telenor Microfinance Bank

Profile

He has over 20 years of significant and progressive progressive experience in strategic management, public relations, stakeholder relation and communications, along with a strong record of success in all endeavors. He possesses solid team-building and interpersonal skills; has developed effective teams of business organizations and support staff to better meet client needs. He has a strong network ties with private and public organizations across the country. Experienced in working internationally and in a multi-cultural environment.

Ms. Khursheed Kotwal

CEO Aasman International

Profile

Khursheed Kotwal is a Fellow Chartered Accountant & Fellow Corporate Secretary with almost 30 years of experience. She has a unique & varied experience of multi-national & local corporates in Pakistan as a Business Leader.

After completing CA from PriceWaterHouseCoopers she joined the largest FMCG in Pakistan. She has worked in  Unilever Pakistan Limited for 18 years and the last position held as Corporate Finance Director. Other key positions held were as Chief Auditor, Treasurer & Corporate Controller.

Khursheed serves as an Independent Member of the Audit Committee for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan. She is a Certified Director & a Trainer on Corporate Governance; training Board Members & Executives on Strategic Management. Khursheed serves on the Economic Affairs & Government Relations Committee & Digital Accounting & Auditing Board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

In 2009 she started a Financial & Management Consultancy called Aasman International as Chief Executive Officer.

Khursheed works for several social & charitable causes & also serves as a Trustee of the community group. In addition she also provides voluntary consultancy to NGO’s requiring professional assistance.

Mr. Muhammad Murtaza

CEO

Rural Community Development Programme

Profile

As founder of RCDS and RCDP, Muhammad Murtaza belongs to the hallmark fraternity of eminent people who's wisdom and contribution have firmly helped in shaping, building and strengthening the microfinance industry in span of past two decades. Being an highly active and diversified practitioner, his spectrum of expertise belong to governance, strategic leadership, microenterprises development & businesses innovation. He represents on various boards such as PMN-Pakistan Microfinance Network, PMFN-Punjab Microfinance Network & PVTC- Punjab Vocational Training Council.

Murtaza is a law graduate from University of the Punjab and holds empirical experience of attending a huge array of conferences, seminars, exhibitions, roundtable discussions, trainings, bootcamps and exposure visits to metal and synergize collaborations and partnerships stints. His consultancy & advisory exercises remain ad-hoc to various sector & non-sector firms exhibiting a true dedication for growth under a level playing field for microfinance and it's allied stakeholders industry

Ms. Nilofer Sohail

EFU

AGM & Head Channel Strategy & Execution

Profile

Nilofer Sohail, a management specialist with a rich experience of developing and implementing business models for financial inclusion, and creating value for stakeholders and the entity, is a result oriented professional with 15 years of life insurance and banking experience. She is associated with EFU Life Assurance Ltd since 2013 and is currently working as Assistant General Manager & Head of Channel Strategy & Execution. She is responsible for exploring new market segments and creating alternative distribution models, focusing on financial literacy, insurance savings and protection leading to the larger goal of inclusive insurance. Prior to this she was part of the Wealth Management team of Standard Chartered Bank, Pakistan and managed the unit linked bancassurance business for the bank.

Ms Nilofer, in addition to having a MBA in Finance and MA Economics, also holds a Fellowship of Life Management Institute (USA). She has also attended multiple training courses on Strategy Execution, Mutual Funds, Fintech & Financial Services.

MANAGEMENT

Syed Mohsin Ahmed

Chief Executive Officer

Profile

Syed Mohsin Ahmed has been associated with the Pakistan Microfinance Network since its creation as a legal entity in 2001, initially as the Finance Manager of the entity he was promoted to the position of General Manager in 2006 and is now heading the management team as the Chief Executive Officer. He is involved in putting in place a strong management team along with internal control systems to ensure that PMN continues to perform as a cutting edge entity along with managing business risks for the institution.

As head of the representative body of microfinance providers he has been instrumental in engaging with both domestic and international organizations to influence policy and elucidate the narrative of microfinance and financial inclusion in Pakistan. Mohsin has been instrumental in advocating for development of industry infrastructure to manage risk; including establishment of a MF Credit Bureau, raising awareness around setting up of a Disaster Risk Management Fund, influencing government in creating a steering committee to regulate Non Bank MFIs and actively pursuing establishment of a client grievance redressal mechanism. Understanding the dynamic phase of the industry he is also involved in promoting sector level structures for growth and innovations; including influencing multilateral and bilateral donors for topping up PPAF and SBP guarantee facilities and engaging with the wider financial inclusion eco system to link microfinance with branchless banking, SME and insurance markets through the establishment of a Financial Inclusion lab at the PMN.

With his expertise in leading and effectively running networks, Mohsin has been involved in the setting up of South Asia Microfinance Network (SAMN) with representation from six South Asian countries including India and Bangladesh. He is currently the chairman of SAMN and also sits on global forums like the Advisory Board on Networks set up by the SEEP Network and Vision 2020 task force on credit reporting set up by Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion. He holds a Professional degree as a Cost and Management Accountant and has received trainings on microfinance and leadership from the Boulder MF Training Program and HBS-Accion leadership program

Muhammad Waqas Khan

Chief Financial Officer

Profile

Muhammad Waqas Khan is the CFO & Company Secretary at the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN). Apart from the financial reporting, investment management and budgeting aspects, he also looks after the secretarial matters at the PMN.

He is the lead of Finance & Accounts team. Previously he has a four year experience in assurance and business advisory services from A.F.Ferguson & Co., a member firm of PricewaterHouseCoopers (PwC).

His additional responsibilities include but not limited to coordinating audit functions, liaising with external regulators and advisers in statutory and regulatory matters, administration of the company's pension scheme, insurance and cash and fixed assets management

Fahd Zaman Khan

Fahd Zaman Khan

Manager Operations

Profile

Fahd Zaman Khan is the Operations Manager at the Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN). Apart from training and research, he has additional responsibilities of managing Human Resource, Communications, and other administrative related matters.

His recent experience involves project and team management, sectoral policy development, fielding surveys, and research in education as well as technical and vocational skills development in the development sector. He also has experience of working in the telecommunications sector. He is a master’s degree holder in Economics from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad.

Ali Basharat

Head of Operations

Profile

Ali Basharat is working as Head of Operations at PMN. He oversees the publication of the state of the industry report Pakistan Microfinance Review (PMR) and importantly, he is tasked with promoting investment in the sector by establishing linkages with both local and international investors. In this regard, he interacts closely with the commercial banks, DFIs, Microfinance investments Vehicles (MIVs) and other financial institutes (FIs)

He leads the team responsible for the data collection & dissemination and publishing of quarterly MicroWATCH. Also, he conducts research on emerging issues being faced by the industry. In addition, he advises on placement of surplus funds of PMN.

Ali has attended training on treasury management and risk management in the microfinance industry. He is previously worked in academia and in a leading commercial bank specializing in SME financing. He is a graduate of London School of Economics and currently a CFA Level lll candidate.

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Hina Sabeen Khan

Research Manager

Profile

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