Rehbar Financial Services is a Bangalore-based company that provides businesses with funding through ethical (non-interest-based) modes like operating leases and project finance.
Rehbar Financial Services celebrated its 10th Anniversary in great flair on 18 November 2023, attended by a galaxy of professionals, medical doctors, thought-leaders, educationists, socially conscious citizens, and financial consultants representing the cream of society. Delegates, speakers and experts in alternative finance came from Chennai, Mumbai, Vaniyambadi and different parts of the Bengaluru.
Rehbar’s chairman, Mr. Sherif Kottapurath and CFO Zaid Razvi gave a brief overview of Rehbar’s journey. Mr. P.C. Mustafa, founder and CEO of ID Fresh Foods motivated the audience with incidents from his own experience. He explained how Rehbar played a pivotal role in providing operating leases for a large part of his fleet of over 250 delivery vehicles and thousand fridges kept in retail outlets for his company’s products. He talked about the importance of values in business and congratulated Rehbar on its growth and on the 10-year milestone.
Dr. Ebaad Momin, a PhD in Islamic finance and director on the Rehbar board gave a presentation on “Investing in line with one’s value system”. He detailed the way Rehbar works and how it plans to bring down operating costs and make it more attractive for businesses and investors.
The event also had 2-panel discussions with imminent panel members. The first discussion on Institution Building was moderated by another Rehbar director, Mr Ali Shariff, a graduate of the London School of Economics. The panel comprised some of the well-known names in the field of ethical funding and alternative investments. Dr. Shariq Nisar, Director of Rizvi Institute of Management Sciences, presented a brief history of the growth of institutions in this field, claiming that the first recorded institution is nearly a hundred years old. Mr. H Abdul Raqeeb from Chennai spoke about his adventures in this realm and how he tried to lobby the authorities to legislate in favour of incorporating interest-free banking in the country. CA Mohamed Yunus, CFO of White House, one of Chennai’s largest textile manufacturers expressed optimism when asked if more and more socially conscious people are demonstrating inclination to adopt ethical means of investment.
This panel discussion was followed by another lively discussion on the topic of investing for Women. The two panellists, Madam Tazaiyun Oomer and Madam Nikhat Fathima are well-known activists engaged in uplifting the economic conditions of women in Bengaluru and Chennai respectively. Both of them have also been investors in Rehbar for a long time. The panel was moderated by Madam Ayesha Masood, Managing Trustee of the highly acclaimed Oasis International School of Bengaluru.
This event was an opportune moment to honour the people who have striven so hard to lay the foundations of interest-free finance in India. Chief among them was Mr. M.H. Khatkhatay, an alumnus of IIT Mumbai who helped design products and frame policies which were to be eventually utilized by organizations attempting interest-free finance across the country. Rehbar acknowledged the deep debt it owes to Mr. Khatkhatay in this regard.
Dr. Taha Mateen, a well-known activist of Bengaluru, paid glowing tributes to Rehbar for being among the institutions that have paved the way for the upliftment of people and called upon the audience to strengthen their hands. He bemoaned the general attitude of the community to hold on to their wealth in the form of precious metals and land, which he termed as counter-productive for the betterment of society, as opposed to investing in economic activity which would bring in all-round prosperity.