“Standing in solidarity to serve the member countries” in the fight against COVID-19, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is raising its innovation efforts to find new solutions jointly. As a leading Trade Solutions Provider, with a responsibility to shore up its activities and protect the member countries and interests of the nations that it provides practical, structural and fiscal support to, ITFC is launching an ideation drive to its staff, using the Exago platform. The General Manager, Trade & Business Development of ITFC, Engineer Nasser Al-Thekair, tells us more.
What is your main goal with this collaborative innovation initiative?
Eng. Nasser Al-Thekair: We at ITFC have always placed innovation at the forefront of our plans and programs. More so now, we believe that innovation is important as ever. With the current pandemic, we must be ready to face the industry’s disruption through innovation and, at the same time, stand by the side of our member countries with solutions that have immediate response. For this reason, living the current crisis and witnessing how our member countries and the world is being impacted, our main goal of this collaborative innovation initiative is to engage our staff to come up with new and innovative ideas to complement our existing action plan of emergency financing and trade development.
How important is it to get everyone involved in this effort?
In ITFC, we are a family. Each member contributes in their own way and domain. We have had them involved in the previous innovation seasons, and they proved that innovation comes within the heart of the institution, from the staff. Now, their ideas are more important than ever; it is the time where we need to prove that we can “walk the talk”. If you think about it, it is a win-win situation: for our staff and for our member countries. We want them to feel the ownership of their ideas, working on them and witnessing directly how they impact people’s lives. As a result, everyone’s participation in the innovation efforts is highly important, encouraged, and supported.
What are you hoping to achieve in terms of participation and of results?
We are hoping to strengthen ITFC’s innovation culture among the staff and to come up with concrete ideas to help our member countries and the world during this difficult time. For concrete results, we are certain that the ideas would definitely tackle the innovation and technological disruptions. In addition to direct solutions that are measurable and of which we can tell our stories through them.
Individuals, communities, businesses and countries – many of us are dealing with the impacts of COVID-19 and the future remains quite uncertain. Any message you would like to send?
There is an African proverb that is always being quoted by our CEO: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
And in ITFC, we believe that together we can go far and serve our member countries in need. This is the only certainty we have during this time of uncertainty. Individuals need to keep serving and feel the responsibility and pride of standing in solidarity to serve the member countries.
In ITFC, we are working with our partners to support businesses, to meet our member countries’ critical needs and sectors. It has always been our goal to advance trade and improve lives.