CMO of the Year: Abdul Sani

Abdul Sani Abdul Murad, Group Chief Marketing Office of RHB Banking Group, bagged the highly lusted after Marketer of the Year Award at the Malaysian CMO Awards 2022.

This seems (almost) expected after we watched him win the Gold award for ‘Best Marketer in Influencer Marketing’ for the fourth consecutive time at the last Malaysian CMO Awards 2021.



Along side the Marketer of the Year Award, Sani also won the following awards:
– Marketer of the Year in Influencer Marketing
– Marketer of the Year in Sustainable Brand Marketing
– Marketing Trailblazer – Financial Services

Sani’s young vigour effortlessly disguises his 20 over years of hard-won expertise on large global brands like Unilever and HSBC.

Since joining RHB Group in 2017, Sani has been a major factor in the company’s revival and its rise to the position of Malaysia’s No. 1 Challenger Bank.

Sani had the foresight and guts to modify RHB’s brand mission statement, which would eventually lead the entire organisation in attaining its new aim of promoting sustainable progress for everyone, while other brands decided to play it safe by adhering to the ‘don’t repair what’s not broken’ mentality.

After two years of fighting the Covid-19 outbreak, Sani’s vision allowed RHB to play a crucial part in assisting the Malaysian people and companies in not just getting back on their feet and recovering but also in making advances that would ultimately speed up Malaysia’s joint economic development.

With Sani at the helm, RHB achieved an unprecedented level of success in 2021, with pre-tax profits increasing by 25% to RM3.52 billion.

Thanks to Abdul Sani and his team, RHB has been recognised as a leading challenger brand in the digital banking industry on a local, regional, and worldwide scale.

To top it all off, RHB’s marketing department was instrumental in the bank’s success by increasing its market share in its key industries.

As a consequence, RHB has won the Putra Brand Award for the past four years in a row in the banking, investing, and insurance categories, something that has never happened before in Malaysia.

Campaign Asia-Pacific and Twitter named Abdul Sani one of the region’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers for 2021, adding to the many accolades he’s already garnered.

True to his profession, Abdul Sani began his career with Unilever, one of the greatest consumer products businesses in the world, where he worked his way up through the ranks to Senior Marketing Manager.

Sani worked for Unilever for eleven years, during which time the company’s Laundry division became profitable, and its hair and deodorant products became market leaders.

In 2008, Abdul Sani took the position of chief marketer at HSBC, where he was instrumental in creating HSBC Amanah, the first foreign-owned Islamic bank in Malaysia.

He has also played a key role in HSBC’s success in Malaysia by helping to develop digital as a new acquisition channel that has greatly boosted the bank’s sales income and helped to make HSBC the most profitable foreign bank in the country.

During a quick chat, Abdul Sani told MARKETING Magazine, “ Pinch me, I must be dreaming.

It is with great emotion that after being a recipient of the Malaysian CMO Award for 5 years in a row, the day finally came when I was humbly honored to receive the top accolade award for being Malaysia’s CMO of the year.

Marketing is a team sport; hence this success is not mine alone.

It belongs to all my fellow RHBian colleagues and agency partners who have stuck to their guns in delivering our brand purpose by going the extra mile to create a positive impact on the community we serve.

They do so persistently, diligently, and consistently.”

MARKETING magazine would like to thank all sponsors and supporters of the Malaysian CMO Conference & Awards.




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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

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Submissions Deadline
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APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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