Exclusive Interview: Post Brexit UK can tap the $5 trillion global halal consumer market to become the global hub & gateway to Ethical & Shariah Finance: Dr. Tausif Malik

During the COVID 19 pandemic Indian American Dr. Tausif Malik launched World’s Halal Angels Network to tap the $5 trillion global halal consumer market. We came to know about their strategy for the United Kingdom post-Brexit, so we approached Dr. Tausif Malik, founder Halal Angels Network to know more about it.

Asianlite.com: Please give your brief background to our readers ?
Dr. Tausif Malik: I was born and raised in Pune studied at Bishops School, Crescent School, Poona College (B.Com & M.Com), Institute of Management Education (IME)(PGDBM), Pune & Argosy University-Chicago, USA Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) thesis Online Purchase and Impact of Word of Mouth (WOM).

As a child I spent most of my time at my maternal grandparents’ house my maternal grandfather Shaikh Ebrahim who was self-made successful businessman, so most of my business traits I learned from him and my maternal Uncle Shaikh Ishaque was a scholar and businessman and I learned from him my Islamic education and how to respect humanity.

I did various odd jobs in my teenage years as I have been a hustler but finally, I was advised by late teacher Prof Saadi Hassan to embark my career in the advertising industry and this really worked in my favor.

My first successful venture was when he created the recruitment advertising branding format for IT companies in the year 1994; which has become an industry standard. My mentor my manager Iftekhar Pathan, my MD Mrs Vijaylaxmi Menon, and the team supported me in venturing in this space, where no one had had ever tapped this market.

In the year 1998, I co-founded Crossover Technologies an internet technology company with my late Prof Saadi Hassan and India’s no #1 Pop Star Lucky Ali, and were the first company to demonstrate cable modem technology for internet access to ETH (Education to Home). In 2000 I exited from Crossover Technologies and went for a holiday in Dubai but ended up in GCC region for over 4 years. I was highly influenced by legendary advertising guru Aslam Shems, who in 1990’s was the first digital evangelist in India and did pioneering & pathbreaking work.

In GCC region I worked SIMPA Marketing Research, Oman’s no 1 research company, and established Oman’s 1st PR Company SIMPA PR and Press Club of Oman. This achievement was recognized by the Government of Oman and was invited to co-author a book “Doing Business with Oman” co-published by UK Government.

Later, I worked with independent advertising powerhouse Al Hudhud Advertising and learned a lot from the founders late Bassam Hassouna, late Micheal Hilton & Dr. Naser Zumor.

Then I decided to come back to India in 2004, then one day I received a call from Dr. Godbole then the Director Symbiosis Institute of Business Management to teach international branding case studies and this lead to a teaching gig at prestigious institutes Suryadatta Group of Institutions, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, Balaji Management Institutions, Pune & Indira Group of Institutions.

Founder, Halal Angels Network

Asianlite.com: What was the idea behind launching the World’s First Halal Angels Network amid COVID 19?
Dr. Tausif Malik:The idea behind establishing the World’s First Halal Angels Network was to promote Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Startups to tap the $5 trillion, Halal consumer market and would grow to USD 9.71 trillion by 2025. It was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to help investors, businesses, entrepreneurs & startups overcome these challenging times.

The Halal consumer has been identified for two decades, but since the last decade; many have attempted to tap this market through establishing Halal certifications, Expos, Financial Services, Manufacturing, etc. But in a focussed approach no one attempted to tap the Startup Industry. There are two ways of funding a startup either through the Venture Capital route or through Angels Network. In the Venture Capital method investors pool in a Venture fund and the Fund Managers invest in the startups. In Angels Network, the Angels directly or as a group or individuals invest in a startup.

We felt the best way is to create a platform where Angels and Startups interact, in that way we are not taking investors money in our fund and investing, this helps in reducing bias and responsibility. By mistake, if we make the wrong decision in investing other people’s money in a startup, it would affect our credibility in this world and bad record on Judgement day.

Asianlite.com: Since your launch you have partnered with various fintech majors including UK’s Delio, Tanzania’s SSC Capital, Halal Board India & Halal Laboratories in India and Educational Partners UK?
Dr. Tausif Malik: Based on our vision and strategy we choose partners such as UK’s Delio, Tanzania’s SSC Capital, Halal Board India, and Halal Laboratories in India.

For Delio, we quickly saw the opportunity to streamline the investment process in this market, and in Delio we have found an innovative tech partner to help us achieve this goal. Delio’s proven private markets technology will enable us to make these opportunities available on a digital platform, helping angels across the world to connect and support businesses that will not only benefit the economy but that are sustainable and socially responsible.”

We partnered with Halal Laboratories in India because of our experience in past working with Dr. Nejam Rehan, we felt that Halal Board India & Halal Laboratories was the right partner to evaluate projects for being Halal & Shari’ah compliant.”
Dr. Nejam Rehan promoted Halal Board India & Halal Laboratories offers a unique combination of Islamic, business & scientific experience & expertise to evaluate projects.
About our partnership with Tanzania’s SSC Capital, according to Brookings Institute “More than 80 percent of Africa’s population growth over the next few decades will occur in cities, making it the fastest-urbanizing region in the world. In total, we expect annual spending by African consumers and businesses to reach $6.66 trillion by 2030, up from $4 trillion in 2015.
Hence, we felt the need to tap this untapped market as traditionally North America, Europe & Asia are always in the news regarding startups and investments.

But the most important part of the strategy was to follow Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) teachings as he said to the first Muslims to do Hijarat to Ethiopia (Abyssinia), where they would “find a king there who does not wrong anyone.” It was the first hijra (migration) in Islam history. Hence, Masha Allah, we embarked on our journey based on this, and trust me the response has been the most overwhelming, we would be signing up different organizations in pan African region.

As education & knowledge plays an important part in successful decision making, therefore we partnered with Educational Partnerships UK to provide certificate courses in entrepreneurship, skill development, Islamic finance. Education Partnerships UK is an innovative company working with British Awarding Organisations, Colleges and Universities to provide British qualifications and accreditation for our national and international clients. Also, we have worked with Saeeda Ahmed, Founding Director, and have a great experience with them.

Asianlite.com:The most important question, we heard about your strategy for the United Kingdom post Brexit can you enlighten us?
Dr. Tausif Malik: Post Brexit financial institutions are relocating to various cities across Europe such as Frankfurt, Dublin & Paris, according to Northwestern University Medill Report “London’s emergence as an economic powerhouse has profound implications for the country’s economy post-Brexit. Financial services accounted for 15% of London’s economic output in 2017 and 6.9% of the United Kingdom’s economic output in 2018, according to a 2019 report by the House of Commons Library”.

This would have overall implications on the economy, jobs, tax revenues, real estate and would have a domino effect. But sometimes challenges throw in new opportunities as, London, UK has been the financial capital of the world, and over the years it has developed an entire financial ecosystem to leverage and maintain its numero uno position.

Hence, post-Brexit UK can reposition as the global hub & gateway to Ethical & Shariah Finance to the world and leverage its ecosystem.

Based on our research, we feel that the UK can be the global hub & gateway to Ethical & Shariah Finance, due to the following reasons:
1.British Common Business Law is used worldwide
2.English as the primary language
3.UK the financial hub and capital
4.Use this opportunity to counter the exodus of financial companies to different countries
5.UK home to highly qualified Muslim professionals in Finance, Law, Technology, Research, Academia, Entrepreneurs, and Investors, their network can be leveraged to promote Uk can be the global hub & gateway to Shariah Finance to the world.
6.Uk long historical relationship with the Middle East & Muslim Countries.
7.Sovereign Funds of the Middle East & Muslim Countries can be encouraged to establish their offices.
8.The wealthy businessman, investors, and entrepreneurs have been investing in the Uk in real estate and businesses they can be leveraged to promote the UK can be the global hub & gateway to Shariah Finance to the world.
9.Halal is ethical and ethical finance is estimated to be 30 Billion USD
10.Based on research and earnings Return on Investment on Shariah Finance has been higher if debt to equity ration …if the debt is negligible then returns are high example Apple
11.Startup ecosystem is growing fast besides investment in the banking and traditional investment, the Startup ecosystem can be tapped with a focussed approach.

Asianlite.com: How can Halal Angels Network help UK reposition as the global hub & gateway to Ethical & Shariah Finance to the world and leverage its ecosystem any suggestions to the British Government?

Dr. Tausif Malik: We have researching about the Ethical & Shariah Finance market for few years and there is a tremendous potential as it has been never tapped or streamline. Post Covid everyone needs to rethink strategy and tap new markets and this is an ideal time.

Halal Angels Network can work with British policy makers and draft a white paper regarding this to draft a strategy. Anyways we would be organizing in 2021 series of Halal & Ethical Finance Summit in 6 Global locations (San Francisco, London, Astana, Dubai, Jakarta & Nigeria) it would be invite only to private investors, VC’s, PE firms, Sovereign funds. Hence we would work different strategic partners and solicit support from the City & Federal governments to welcome and host these investors.

Therefore through your newspaper we would like to solicit support from the City of London to co-host our Halal & Ethical Finance Summit.
The government through this event can outreach and communicate with the global audience and inform about their initiate of being the global hub & gateway to Ethical & Shariah Finance. Provide incentives, support and information to organizations to establish businesses in the country. In-fact through your newspaper we would like to solicit strategic partnership with Universities to collaborate on academic research and offer their innovation centers for Startups in the Ethical & Halal space.

Asianlite.com: Any upcoming events or cohorts? Can you brief us about the areas of investment, the market potential audience, and opportunities?
Dr. Tausif Malik: We have identified sectors such as Future technologies (Blockchain, Fintech AI, etc), Modest Fashion & Cosmetics, Retail, Pharmaceuticals, Food Cafe & Restaurants, Processed Food & Tourism for investments. As shariah compliant investments play an important hence Fintech & Blockchain would be the investment focus.

According to Reuters, the Halal consumer market is valued at $5 trillion, and would grow to USD 9.71 trillion by 2025. Economic development of leading Islamic countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Iran is expected to boost the global halal products market reach over the coming years (Reuters, 2019). Comprising halal food, travel, cosmetics, modest fashion and Islamic finance, demand for goods and services that align with Islamic principles is on the rise, but just $745 million in disclosed private equity investment was invested in the Islamic economy over three years, far less than the $595 billion in private equity and venture capital investments that occurred globally in 2017 according to the report published by Wamda.

Muslim communities are as technology savvy as any other, especially their younger members who form part of the global rise of ‘millennials’ and their forward-thinking, can-do mindset. With the breaking down of borders through digital platforms, it is easier than ever for Islam-centric entrepreneurs to access the global Muslim population of 1.7 billion people (Gulf Business).

Asianlite.com: Any upcoming events or cohorts? How can India benefit from Halal manufacturing opportunity?
Dr. Tausif Malik: India is the biggest manufacturer of Halal consumer goods and has huge market opportunities in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. 15% of Indian population is Muslims and they can participate by their contribution of $1 trillion in the Government of India’s vision of $5 trillion economy by 2024.

Asianlite.com: Any upcoming events or cohorts?
Dr. Tausif Malik: Yes, post COVID 19, Insha’ Allah in 2021, we are planning to host Halal & Ethical Investment Summit in 7 global cities and shortly we would be launching ‘The Khadija RA Initiative’, the World’s largest Cohort, Incubation & Acceleration program for 1001 Female Entrepreneurs.

Republished with permission from Asianlite.com

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