REVIEW

Risk Manager Role With Afghanistan International Bank

January 08, 2009
Dr Bhaskar Dasgupta

Sometime in the dim and distant past, I had registered myself with an India based job site. This was when my father was ill, and I was considering moving back to India. Anyway, I had forgotten all about it, till today when this email landed in my inbox.

Post Title: Risk Manager
Organization: Afghanistan International Bank
Location: Kabul - Afghanistan
Duration: Permanent
No. of Post: 1
Sex: Any
Nationality Any
Salary: 4000 US $ p.m.+ accommodation + travel+ other benefits.
Background: Afghanistan International Bank (AIB), a commercial bank incorporated in Afghanistan and managed according to international best practices is looking for an experienced Risk Manager for its Head Office in Kabul.
Job Summary: Overall Job Purpose:
Due to rapid expansions of its business and operations the banking is looking for a Risk Manager. The position allows the successful candidate to be part of the senior management team of the bank and play a major role in its continued development.
The successful candidate will be expected to build a risk monitoring systems complying with Basel II requirements thus additional experience in market and operational risk management will be a distinct advantage.
Priority will be placed on credit management and the successful candidate will have had experience in:
1. • Credit Policies & Procedures
a. Credit policy, review and development
b. Acquisition or development of decision support tools for commercial and retail credit
c. Risk rating framework review
d. Underwriting standards development
2. • Risk Asset Review
a. Review of individual credit risk ratings
b. Credit quality assessments
3. • Portfolio Management Unit
a. Profitability and risk analysis
b. Pricing policy
c. Develop predictive dynamic monitoring
Qualification • Master degree
• Minimum 10 years experience directly related to risk management where at least 5 years in senior risk management capacity.
• Fully functional in monitoring of documentation, portfolios & exposure limits of the bank.
• Excellent analytical, creativity and problem solving skills.
• Posses good presentation and organizational skills.
Interested candidates can send their CVs with recent photo to this address:

Few thoughts crossed my mind.

  1. The package is a bit low for what is a hardship posting for international bankers, so I am curious to know why would they have selected that compensation level.
  2. Its an interesting job all right, but very ambitious. Candidates for this role with the required background and experience will be relatively few globally.
  3. But it is good to read that they are aggressive, and I wish them luck with their hiring.
  4. I researched the bank on the net and I was not really that comfortable to see that the address of the bank related to some house. Here is the address: House no. 1608 Behind Amani High School Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul. Reminded me of the addresses I would see in the tiny lanes old Bhopal. 
  5. One of the unsung success stories in Afghanistan is the steady development of the banking system. Considering that the Mullah's had effectively eviscerated the banking system, in a matter of 5 months, they have passed a series of banking laws, have presence of many international and local incorporated banks, got some good governmental backing from the Ministry of Finance.
  6. Here is an interesting Afghan review report for the IMF. Gives you hope, no? and no, I am not suffering from the curse of low expectations. Give the country a break, it is starting from near zero.

I further quote some numbers on how Afghanistan has progressed since 2001 from this speech. (even though the verbiage could be a bit optimistic and is after all, coming from a US State Department Employee, the figures, even if adjusted, are noteworthy).

Reconstruction and development work remains on track in most of the country and the Afghan economy continues to grow at impressive rates, with licit Gross Domestic Product more than doubling since 2002. Thanks in large part to our colleagues in the U.S. Government, the lives of millions of Afghans have improved considerably: In 2001, just 8 percent of Afghans had access to some form of healthcare; now, more than 80 percent of the population has access to medical care. Almost 11,000 medical professionals have been trained. More than 680 hospitals and clinics have been built and outfitted. For the first time in 10 years, the grain harvest was sufficient to meet consumption needs inside Afghanistan. In 2001, 900,000 children – mostly boys – were enrolled in school; now, there are more than 5 million and more than 1.5 million of these (34%) are girls and young women. Since 2001, there has been a 22 percent decline in mortality rates for infants and children under 5 years of age – we are saving 85,000 more young lives every year. Two years ago only 35 percent of children were being inoculated against the polio virus. Now more than 70 percent of the population – including 7 million children – are inoculated. In 2001, there was a dysfunctional banking system. Now, Afghanistan has a functioning Central Bank with more than 30 regional branches and an internationally-traded currency. There are now 3 mobile telephone companies serving over 3.5 million subscribers – this is almost 11 percent of the population. In 2001, there were 50 kilometers of paved roadway in the country, now there are more than 4000 kilometers of paved roads.

The main thing which struck me was the sheer banality and normality of this advertisement. A very small thing, but something which gave confidence to me that Afghanistan is improving little by little, despite all the gruesome news coming out of Afghanistan and all the efforts by the Taliban to drag that benighted country back into the medieval ages. Sometimes, its good to see the good side of the story as well. I can only wish the country the best of luck and here's hoping that the Taliban are defeated. And if it keeps on hiring professionals of the type in the advertisement, it can only get better.

PS: then I read something like this and feel very depressed.

Dr. Bhaskar Dasgupta works in the city of London in various capacities in the financial sector. He has worked and travelled widely around the world. The articles in here relate to his current studies and are strictly his opinion and do not reflect the position of his past or current employer(s). If you do want to blame somebody, then blame my sister and editor, she is responsible for everything, the ideas, the writing, the quotes, the drive, the israeli-palestinian crisis, global warming, the ozone layer depletion and the argentinian debt crisis.
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#1
Guido
January 8, 2009
11:13 AM

BD,

Takes "risk management" to a whole new level.

Refreshing to see some positive press on Afghanistan.

Ciao, Guido

#2
Slime_id
January 8, 2009
11:25 AM

Afganistan would be a good tourist stop once all this stupid nonsense ends. My message to the risk banker is to promote
a) Taliban tourism
b) Pakistan wild border sight seeing
c) Opium fields tour

Ever since Najibullah was executed by The Talibans, Afganistan has seens flips and flops. The strategic position of Afganistan has been exploited by powers near and far.

Why can't wild tourism be part of this. How wonderful when the Talibs show us how to fire rockets into Pakistan for some dollars.

#3
Amitabh Mitra
URL
January 8, 2009
12:45 PM

Great to see u Bhaskar
I was offered a place in UNICEF Kabul
Incidently, Najib's wife lives in Delhi.

#4
BD
URL
January 9, 2009
11:26 PM

#1, yes, indeed, Guido, I am afraid, in these days of 24 hour news of blood and gore, far too easy to forget the small victories we see to repair that poor country. And its the Afghans themselves who are doing this... good stuff

#5
BD
URL
January 9, 2009
11:27 PM

#2 Thank you for your comment, Slime_id. That was useful.

#6
BD
URL
January 9, 2009
11:28 PM

#3, Hi Amitabh, nice to see you again. Well, you should write about that offer in Kabul, should be interesting :)

and yes, India has a long history of being with the Afghans, after all, it was ours once (j/k)... :)

#7
blokesablogin
January 10, 2009
05:41 AM

Yup- right there BD- India was one continuum from the Khyber Pass, our friend Chanakya taught in the University of Taxila and had to contend with invasions at the "borders" in those days. Anyways, sad what fundamentalism of any kind can do to the human experience. May wisdom dawn in dark places of ignorance.

#8
commonsense
January 10, 2009
01:04 PM

Yep, and I was the elected Prime Minister of ancient India!

#9
BD
URL
January 10, 2009
01:40 PM

Not mary poppins, Commonsense? :)

But to go back to the history of the geography bit, large bits of Afghanistan were controlled from India, from the Buddhist days to the Mughal Empire to the Brits and guess what? now we even have troops in there...

#10
Amitabh Mitra
URL
January 10, 2009
02:38 PM

Thanks Bhaskar.
My friend Dr. Sharad Sapra is the UNICEF representative in Kabul.
We had a great association with Najib and his brother during those days but unfortunately couldnt bring them out at the right time due to RAW / Foreign Affairs failure. The family of Najib was evacuated at the last moment. Najib kept on waiting for the plane that never arrived.
They were hung from the electric poles at the stadium.

#11
commonsense
January 10, 2009
03:35 PM

bd:

""Not mary poppins, Commonsense? :)"

She was my deputy :)

#12
BD
URL
January 11, 2009
02:04 AM

Amitabh, #10, my understanding was that Najibullah did not want to leave Afghanistan, he was still hoping to win over the taliban or (and this is a bit more far fetched) that he will again get supported by the spetnatz. Not sure what to make of it, but he did have several chances to escape.

But then again, he could have made a difference if he had survived.

#13
Amitabh Mitra
URL
January 11, 2009
05:10 AM

For sure, fluent in Hindi and Urdu along with other languages, Najib commanded great respect in India and elsewhere.

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