Pooja Bhatt: Shaping the insurance landscape in East Africa

Pooja Bhatt, Co-founder, QuantaRIsk

The economic landscape in Eastern Africa is changing significantly, and with the use of technology, businesses can increase revenues while mitigating costs.

In view of this, I co-founded QuantaRisk alongside my business partner, Jai Pandit, in May 2018. QuantaRisk is an insurance consulting firm that helps businesses actualize their mandates by harnessing the power of analytics and technology.

Our experience in international and local markets gives us a unique insight into the present and future insurance landscape in East Africa.

I earned my Fellowship as a fully qualified actuary from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (UK) in 2014. This came after I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science and Finance at Drake University in the USA. I later moved to London, England to study a Master of Science degree in Actuarial Management at Cass Business School.

In 2018, I was featured in the Business Daily Top 40 Under 40 Women survey. In 2015, I was awarded the Stars of the Future (Top 30 under 30) by the Actuarial Post magazine in the U.K.

While growing up I had a lot of interests including mathematics and biology. I was fascinated by actuaries and how they use statistics to predict and quantify risk events such as natural disasters that may occur in the future.

At a young age, I would see my father dressed in suits and carrying a briefcase and I thought that was powerful.Women tend to thrive in the business world when they have support from loved ones. It is because ofsuch unwavering support from my parents, that I would later establish QuantaRisk.

At college, I did a double major in actuarial science and finance which was intense. I had to be focused and be disciplined as I had to juggle studies with extracurricular activities. While at it I was fortunate to do internships at Ernst & Young and Allianz Life Insurance which shaped my career in a major way.

I moved to London in 2011 to start a fulltime career at Willis Towers Watson, a global actuarial consulting firm and in 2013, I moved in-house to XL Catlin, a major player in the Lloyds insurance market. I worked across various teams including group reserving, emerging markets reinsurance and insurance pricing functions.

Working in a consultancy exposed me to a lot of invaluable experiences.  I later learned they were critical in business and life, key among them being communication skills. You need excellent communication skills because everything is built on relationships. If you can’t put your point across even if you have the best idea no one will understand you.

Why choose us?

We understand that in many organizations, there is a strong need for bridging the gap between technical information and commercial decisions. It is common when using new and innovative technology with complex back-ends. We appreciate the commercial pressures of running a business and we help businesses harness the power of technology to gather relevant data, and combine it with advanced analytical methods to increase efficiencies.

Analytics is a powerful tool to predict a consumer’s behavior. This will then inform how a business develop, package and price a product.

Innovation

Time is ripe for the insurance sector to adapt to technology. The banking sector has largely benefited from technological innovations which insurance sector needs to benchmark with.

In the insurance industry, we are still operating in the brick and mortar ways with intermediaries who end up affecting the quality of data as it changes hands from one to the next.

We are set to disrupt this with an introduction of a product that will revolutionize the market. We are in the process of partnering with a company that uses artificial intelligence to help curb fraud and mitigate risks in motor insurance.  For instance, in case of an accident, an individual will be able to record what happened with his voice, take videos and photos and send it to insurers for analysis. Ultimately, this will lower the cost of insurance and time taken to settle a claim.

Going forward, we aim to market our brand and create more awareness about our solutions.

We are working in partnerships with industry players, tech startups and other likeminded brands to actualize this.

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