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Inaugural Information Session Global SME Finance Awards 2024

24 April 2024
8 : 00
9 : 00
Inaugural Information Session Global SME Finance Awards 2024



The SME Finance Forum organizes the Global SME Finance Awards (The Awards) as a core part of its mission to create a unique platform for peer connections, knowledge dissemination, and innovations in SME Finance. The Forum’s extensive 240+ global network, crowds in financial institutions, fintech companies, development banks, policymakers, and industry experts from across the globe, fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and partnership building on a global scale. Hence, the Global SME Finance Awards has evolved into a pinnacle of global recognition for those making a real impact in the SME finance landscape.  

Since its launch in 2018, The Awards recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements of financial service providers in delivering exceptional products and services to scale SME finance in their respective markets. It provides an opportunity for institutions to highlight and share good practices, impact, knowledge, and be recognized amongst the global peer group of world leaders in SME finance and services.  
We are rolling out a series of Information Sessions during the 2024 Awards Season to share with Financial Service Providers (FSPs) and Industry Stakeholders the role and importance of The Awards in showcasing remarkable achievements and impact in the industry. The sessions also aim to provide information on the application process, respective awards categories, and related information on the awards. Speakers include industry leaders and practitioners from the Forum’s global network, as well as past applicants and winners. 

This inaugural information session will focus on the entire Awards Program, its role, importance, and value to Financial Service Providers (FSPs). Winners and applicants from prior years will also discuss their innovations, impacts, and application experience. The session will include a moderated Q&A to address specific questions from entrants. 



  • Share the role and importance of the Global SME Finance Awards in facilitating impact and spurring innovations in SME Finance 

  • Entrants Incentives and Benefits 

  • Provide information on respective Award Categories, Application Process and Judging Criteria 

  • Highlight What’s New in the 2024 Season 

  • Share experiences and highlight innovations and achievements of Past Winners/ Applicants 

  • Address specific questions from existing and prospective entrants. 


Speakers/ Discussants:

Rajeev Chalisgaonkar - Executive Vice President, Head of Business Banking & NeoBiz/ Moderator.

Leadership roles in Digital transformation, Corporate Banking, SME Banking, and Cash Management. Geographic experience across Central Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. Hands-on P&L management of large SME banking businesses, digital transformation of SME lending, client onboarding and other core banking processes. Development of new lending models based on alternative data. Extensive experience in forging partnerships with large data-driven partners for business expansion, and in working with Fintechs to transform traditional businesses. Acknowledged as a thought leader in the SME Banking and SME Fintech industry.

Syed Abdul Momen - DMD & Head of SME, BRAC Bank /Discussant  

Syed Abdul Momen took on the role of Head of SME Banking at BRAC Bank on July 13, 2017. With over 13 years of experience in banking, he has held various leadership positions, including overseeing technology infrastructure restructuring and leading the expansion of SME business in Afghanistan. His expertise also extends to managing large small business portfolios. Momen began his career at ANZ Grindlays Bank in 1999 and holds a degree in Computer Communications from Middlesex University, UK.


Hosted by 

Qamar Saleem - Head, SME Finance Forum/ Host 

Prior to this role, Qamar was the Manager Financial Institutions Group Advisory Services for Asia and Pacific driving leading a large team across 20 countries aimed at providing integrated investment/advisory client solutions across mainly MSME, Gender, Climate, Digital, Housing, Trade, and Supply Chain Finance. Qamar has been with IFC since 2012 and served in his previous roles as global technical lead for SME and Supply Chain Finance as well as regional SME Banking lead for EMENA.  Qamar has 30+ years of global financial services experience having worked across 60+ countries internationally managing large business lines while leading multi-cultural and cross-functional teams. He is a recognized thought leader, featured speaker, and an industry mentor in SME Finance. Prior to joining IFC, Qamar was associated with international organizations like HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank as well as large regional banks while serving in several emerging markets where he also led SME Banking and Commercial Banking Divisions.  Qamar holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and carries several certifications in the areas of Strategy, Climate Finance, Digital Banking, Business Transformation, Social Impact, MSME Banking, Team Leadership, Supply Chain Finance, Credit, Risk, Trade, Sales Effectiveness, Transaction Banking and Project Implementation. 

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