Mr. Bradley Emerson- CIMA Regional Director Middle East, South Asia & North Africa has been working with CIMA for the past 7 years. He was a banker by profession with a masters degree in business administration. He speaks on various topics like personal branding etc., writes management related articles and also teaches in his spare time. Mr. Emerson talks about the qualification of CIMA and its significance in today’s world.
CIMA was founded in 1919 by Lord Leverhulme who thought of educating different kinds of accounting professionals not the typical ones who merely recorded and helped in paying taxes. He wanted to train individuals who could actually help with the business. CIMA came to Pakistan in 1999 but did not succeed to progress but in 2009, CIMA came back again. With a large number of graduates every year, the Pakistan market has a huge potential but the right kind of opportunity has yet to be unleashed. We have three offices in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. CIMA started with 200 students a year and now more than 2500 students register yearly with CIMA.
We upgrade our curriculum after every 5 years with thorough research. When we change our syllabus we think for our future, if you are in the third year of your qualification you will still be in vogue in the market even after you graduate. We try to design a futuristic curriculum. CIMA cannot be passed by memorizing, the student has to be able to apply and test his or her learning skills in the market. This is what makes CIMA different and this is what companies are looking for. The students are trained in such a way that whatever task their companies will give them , they will figure out a way to get it done with the help of their learned skills . The companies which are interested in hiring the graduate will check his or her application knowledge to see if he or she can transfer the knowledge into action and add value to the business.
NARIC recognises CIMA as an equivalent of MBA. The curriculum has been sent to HEC and the work for recognition is in progress but having said that there are also a number of universities which are our partners. We have entered into an era when the world is a single global platform and there are no boundaries in access to knowledge. One of the greatest mistakes which is made in the South Asian regions is fencing. The youth should not be fenced with opportunities lying globally. We need to be open minded and flexible and allow the knowledge to flow in our countries .
We also offer a diploma certificate in Islamic banking which will give the students skills in Shari’ah compliance and the complexities of the contracts that underpin this compliance. Interestingly enough, the largest market in Islamic banking is Ireland and in Europe there is a battle going on between Germany, Ireland and France to become the biggest Islamic Hub. It is no longer a religious thing but more a concept of non -interest banking.
We try to employ the best teachers available in terms of qualification and experience. Our teachers have a reasonable educational background and an in-depth knowledge of the subject which they are teaching. We make sure that the trainers are qualified enough to teach CIMA. The trainers send us their profiles and we evaluate them. Even after the evaluation , we further train them. There is also a learning support system and in the near future we will also give certification to the trainers in their subject.
Taking an overall global picture, this part of the world has a huge population under 16, and this is where talent begins. There is no denial when it comes to the potential in this county. It is not that the youth does not have the opportunities but their skills do not match these opportunities. This region has an amazing university system but still there is a global need to educate people who can actually fit the purpose to compete with the global challenges.
Unfortunately, proper awareness is not being created in Pakistan. Professionals understand the absence of management work but are lacking management accounting. The seminars which we conduct is based on knowledge sharing and we want to run series of talk initiative programs to help the business sector to become efficient. We study various case studies from the region where businesses have transformed their finance functions. We would also like to run serious of programs as well bringing speakers from Columbo to share their case studies. If your business operations are efficient then you will be able to grow. Your price is determined by the world outside so make your decisions strong to bring change in the business community.
I would also like to say that the future is the outcome of the choices which you make in the present. Make a sensible choice to become what you want to be in the world. Education will shape your mind and future. The world has a shortage of talent not graduates. We have to consciously and purposefully make our graduates professionally qualified. Academic education widens your thinking whereas a professional education checks your applied knowledge. A professional qualification is a reality check with wider apprehension and competency for academic knowledge. Competent graduates is what Pakistan needs at the moment. It is our responsibility to transform capabilities into global abilities.