Saturday, January 10

Risk Manager role with Afghanistan International Bank

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 way too low for what is a hardship posting, 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 very 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.

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