This international perspective on business reports focuses on Dubai Islamic Bank. Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) was established in 1975. Its vision is “To be the most progressive Islamic Financial Institution in the World” with the mission statement “To maintain and improve our position as the world’s leading Islamic bank through unsurpassed customer service, innovation, growth, and consistent employee engagement” (Dubai Islamic Bank, n.d, p. 1).
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The Bank offers Islamic Financial Services, including online banking services. Some of these products and services are:
- Personal Banking;
- Johara Ladies;
- Wealth Management;
- Business Banking;
- Corporate Banking;
Over the years, the bank has grown, and it now has branches spread across various locations globally.
- Pakistan, Sudan, Jordan, Bosnia, and Turkey.
- Planned branches – other parts of the Far East, Middle East, East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent (World Finance, n.d).
Dubai Islamic Bank also boasts of another successful subsidiary referred to as Deyaar for real estate development. Deyaar is now found in “Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States with impending forays into Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and India” (Dubai Islamic Bank, n.d, p. 1).
Dubai Islamic Bank Main Financial Data during the Last Three Fiscal Years.
Why DIB Engaged in International Investment
For the Bank, the international investment offers opportunities for growth and expansion. Globally, the Islamic finance industry is worth about $3 trillion (World Finance, n.d). Besides, Islamic finance is fast gaining global acceptance (World Finance, n.d).
Further, Dubai Islamic Bank is keen to capitalize on its four-decade-strong position in the industry. The Bank is seen as a school of Islamic banking and finance and innovator and a modern face of the industry (World Finance, n.d).
How DIB gained Competitive Advantage Using Porter Five Competitive Forces
In the banking industry, labor, IT, and deposit supplies have the power drive costs of operations, but DIT is well-capitalized to manage such threats. Thus, supplier power is limited and as a result, the Bank can gain a competitive edge over its peers (Porter, 1998).
Customers of DIB may find it expensive to switch to other financial institutions. DIB handles a significant number of customers and, thus, buyer power is reduced given the nature of Islamic banking and Sharia requirements.
The Bank has positioned itself as the leading Islamic financial institution, an alternative to conventional banks and loan sharks. It is imperative to recognize that competitors are increasing, and they offer equally attractive products and services. In this regard, Islamic banking is not unique to DIB. Hence, other Islamic banks have emerged to compete with DIB.
Threat of Substitution
Customers can opt not to use banking services – keep cash at home. This traditional form of keeping money is still real while other customers may use conventional banks and informal financial institutions. While the threat of substitutes is real to any bank, customers view DIB as a school of Islamic banking and finance (World Finance, n.d).
The threat of New Entry
Time and cost of entry are expensive for potential new entrants in the banking industry. Besides, Islamic banking requires specialized knowledge. Despite all these, new technologies make it easier for ‘fintech’ to enter the industry by avoiding stiff regulations and massive capital required (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2015). In the near future, fintech firms will present new threats to established institutions, including DIB.
Why DIB should Perform Analysis of External Environmental Factors for Entry in a Foreign Market
International operations significantly differ with practices in the domestic markets. Thus, the Bank should assess various operational parameters to determine its competitive edge.
DIB should perform external environment analysis to determine any market leader in Islamic banking, identify the presence of a pacesetter, innovator, and sharia-compliant bank. In addition, Islamic banking is relatively new in the global market and, thus, DIB should note years of experience in the industry against DIB’s 40 years. This process will also assist the company to determine capital requirements.
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DIB should assess the growth of sharia-compliant banking and the global capital of the Islamic economy in specific countries while evaluating the robustness of emerging economies. In addition, the Bank can collect information on the rising number of middle-class seeking banking services and investment opportunities.
Some factors related to socioeconomic issues, such as “tourism, hospitality, transportation, trade and infrastructure, fashion and clothing, cosmetics and personal care, pharmaceuticals, and media and recreation” (World Finance, n.d, p. 1) have improved uptake of banking services. The presence of these indicators shows favorable economic conditions for foreign investment. Besides, the Bank should also evaluate the relevance of these factors to establish a major socio-economic hub and determine saving and investment practices in the country.
DIB should research if the 2008 financial crisis affected Islamic financial banking in respective countries. It should also gather data on increased private and public investments and focus on innovation in the sector, for example, the use of technologies and the development of new services and products.
DIB should assess the development of the necessary legal and regulatory framework across all financial sectors from banking, capital markets, and insurance to support Islamic banking in the targeted countries. Besides, it will also collect facts on legal complications in company registration processes and determine the extent of corruption across various levels of government – the judiciary and other law enforcement agencies.
Modern banking is run technologies, and DIB should determine its position on technology and innovation for marketing positioning. It should also evaluate the disruptive effects of fintech in such countries and understand user or customer perception of technology (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2015).
DIB should determine if the country is physically located as a financial hub in the region (as the case of Dubai) for competitive advantage and assess if the geographical position support business
It should also assess the political stability of an attractive investment destination. Generally, relatively stable countries are favored for investment. At the same time, DIB should evaluate any emerging threats of terrorism and avoid the so-called ‘soft target’ locations.
The bank should ensure that there is a sufficient supply of qualified human capital and gather facts on labor costs, costs of recruitment, and training. It is also imperative to understand if demographic shifts in the labor markets, such as younger and old employees, would affect operations. The Bank will also conduct analyses to identify the relevance of labor regulations and actions of trade unions and associations.
Sociocultural factors will assist the DIB to determine if products will meet sociocultural factors of potential customers, including cultural sensitivity to money, promotions, religion, and language differences. Hence, DIB should focus on countries with a significant number of Muslims
International business practices differ from domestic practices, but Islamic banking practices appear to be universal. Nevertheless, country-specific factors are critical areas for consideration. Islamic banking is growing rapidly, especially in emerging economies. It presents an opportunity for growth and expansion for DIB. DIB has significant industry expertise and capital to support foreign investments.
These factors and others give DIB a competitive edge over the competition. As such, it should only focus on external environments that support its spread in the following countries: the Middle East, Asia, and East Africa. In addition, the Bank should ensure that most external environmental factors are favorable to foreign market entry and, therefore, legal, labor, economic, competitiveness, political, sociocultural, and others are important for consideration.
- DIB should continue to strengthen the balance sheet, enhance capitalization, ensure robust liquidity and improving asset quality to support the expansion.
- DIB should exploit robust platforms such as capital advantage to take advantage of the greatly improved and positive market conditions and trends globally.
- Enter with an individually tailored strategy for each country.
- The bank should utilize its leadership position to advance Islamic financial banking globally.
- External environment conditions remain critical points of consideration for DIB.
- Consider supportive cultures and economies.
- Regulatory and legal frameworks are critical points of assessment for the bank.
- The bank needs qualified human capital to run successful Islamic financial services.
- Customize products to meet the needs of the local customers – innovation is the center of banking.
- Utilize the latest technology and enhanced customer service in foreign markets.
Dubai Islamic Bank. (2015). Consolidated Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 December 2015. Web.
Dubai Islamic Bank. (2016). Consolidated Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31 December 2015. Web.
Dubai Islamic Bank. (n.d). About DIB. Web.
Porter, M. E. (1998). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors. New York: Free Press.
The Economist Intelligence Unit. (2015). The Disruption of Banking. Web.
World Finance. (n.d). Dubai Islamic Bank eyes Strong Global Presence. Web.