Wasiyyah Shoppe Berhad CEO and founder Ariffin Sabrin has dedicated a good 20 years of his life helping the Muslim community in their Syariah inheritance planning and execution. Having vast experiences in the financial sector, he saw an opportunity in the infant market then and risked everything to make it happen.
His decision to let go of his previous job role in RHB unit trust was further enhanced when he met a guy preaching about Islamic law of inheritance who happened to be a professor in Islamic Inheritance and later became the Chairman of Wasiyyah Shoppe’s Syariah Panel, Ustaz Hj Ridzuan Awang. Inspired by him and acknowledging the market potential, Ariffin established Wasiyyah Shoppe on the 20th May 2004.
Wasiyyah Shoppe: The game changer
Wasiyyah Shoppe’s main objective is to assist and facilitate the Muslim in their inheritance planning and execution. When they first started in 2004, there was almost no competition at all and the market for Islamic estate planning was almost non-existence.
“Nobody heard or understand what is hibah and inheritance issues. So, we were the pioneer to venture in the market segment,” he says. Although it was very hard to convince the public then, he didn’t give up and persistently pursuit his passion in educating and helping the Muslim to comprehend the subject.
Currently based in Kota Damansara, Wasiyyah Shoppe holds the position as the market leader in tailor-made Islamic estate planning and execution in Malaysia. They have 35 types of services ranging from inheritance and trust management up to Islamic estate planning and execution. “Our strength and niche primarily lie in our ability to customize almost any requirements from our clients. We diagnose the client’s needs individually and propose the best solutions to them. We are not document-focus rather we are more solution-focus.”
Breaking the stigma
According to a statistic given by the previous Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Datuk Hamim Samuri, in 2017 RM 60bil worth of assets was not being successfully transmitted to the next beneficiaries. There is a common stigma in the community for not discussing assets when somebody passed away until a certain period of time.
“This stigma has prolonged and it has caused the estates being frozen. So we aim to help the Muslim community to plan their assets during their lifetime so we can cut this issue to the core.” As a pioneer in Syariah estate planning, Wasiyyah Shoppe wants to show to the Muslim community that Syariah estate planning instruments are equally effective as compared to civil estate planning instruments.
Community first, profit second
For Ariffin, the main objective of Wasiyyah Shoppe’s business is not purely to maximize it’s profit although it’s a private entity. Wasiyyah Shoppe existence is primarily to assist Muslims in their inheritance needs. Through extensive academic research carried out by qualified academicians, Wasiyyah Shoppe has successfully explored and developed many innovative but Syariah compliance instruments that fulfil the market needs.
Wasiyyah Shoppe started as an entrepreneurial organisation. Ariffin used his business acumen creatively and aggressively to built Wasiyyah Shoppe to where it is currently.
I always believe that being an entrepreneur is not about enriching yourself. It’s about enriching your community.
“At this stage, entrepreneurs normally reward themselves handsomely after all the hard work laboured for so many years. But for me, that has never been my objective. For me, it is a fard-alkifayah. I decided that Wasiyyah Shoppe must transform itself into a full corporate governance body and run by professionals to ensure sustainability and prolonged services to our clients, thus I’m letting go my personal interest and prioritise the client’s interest.”
Ariffin added that Wasiyyah Shoppe at policy level, is fully governed by a professional seven members board of directors consisting of experience corporate figures, lawyer and accountant while at Syariah compliance level, a seven members Syariah Panel consisting of academicians and ex-judge will ensure that all products and services are developed and executed strictly according to Syariah principles.
After 15 years in the industry, Wasiyyah Shoppe noted that there is an increase of public awareness especially after the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 being introduced. “After the act was enacted, we see a lot of interest because there are provisions detailing on hibah takaful. Although the act touches only on takaful but it has created an interest on hibah generally.”
Arifin explained that due to the ability of the company to innovate to fulfil the growing complicated needs of the market, their customer base has been expanding at a meteoric rate.
Setting up for success
Wasiyyah Shoppe currently has close to 2,000 professionally trained and active consultants nationwide promoting its services using the online platform. Ariffin noted that lately, the interest among financial planners towards Wasiyyah Shoppe’s business has also grown tremendously thus contributing to the increase in its consultants’ numbers.
Wasiyyah Shoppe has close to 65,000 customers nationwide and they have solved more than 400 estate and hibah cases.
The ultimate satisfaction in doing this business is not about how much money you made, but how many people you have helped. I will die a happy man knowing that I have contributed significantly to my community. This is my legacy
He is also happy to share some of the notable awards they have received throughout 15 years in the industry. Last December, they received an award for Best Regional Enterprise in London and has been nominated for the World Confederation of Business Award in San Francisco this October.
The future of Wasiyyah Shoppe
Talking about the future, Arifin is very optimistic. While many companies have suffered due to economic challenges, Wasiyyah Shoppe has been experiencing double-digit growth over the last 3 years. He believes that with good corporate governance, sound business strategies and excellent support from all stakeholders, Wasiyyah Shoppe will continue to grow leaps and bounds in the future.