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Tell us about yourself

Shubhanjali Gupta is a Senior Specialist at Willis in the Global Solutions Consulting Group (GSCG), based in Mumbai. She joined Willis following her 2011 graduation from the Cass Business School in London, where she earned her Master of Science in actuarial management. Before that, she graduated from Sri Venkateswara College in 2009, specializing in statistics (BSc).

Following her graduation, Shubhanjali eventually joined Willis Group as an actuarial trainee. She underwent six weeks of rigorous training in London, after which she moved to Mumbai, where Willis maintains a large regional operations and support center.

Please tell us about your work

I  Forecast Loss Reserves using Stochastic, Triangle based and Triangle free methods, price insurance premiums and quantify risk.

Shubhanjali says that, because she was an actuarial student, she expected she might work for an insurer or reinsurer. But then the opportunity at Willis came her way. “I looked at the profile, and it sounded very interesting,” she says. “My interviewer told me his usual day is packed with numbers, statistical theories and their application, and meetings explaining those numbers to brokers and clients. This was exactly how I wanted my day to look. So that is how I walked into the world of insurance brokerage.”

Her first impression of Willis was that of “a very warm and welcoming place,” where she felt comfortable working with her team from the very first day. She tells of her initial interview, and how obviously nervous she was. In response, her interviewer invited her for a chat over coffee, where they covered the same ground they would have in the formal interview. “That put me at ease,” Shubhanjali says. “We talked numbers for an hour. Yes, welcoming is the right word!”

Numbers do play a huge role in Shubhanjali’s function at Willis, but she enjoys the challenge. Like so many others with an analytical mind, her greatest challenge is converting the numbers into words. She acknowledges how critical it is to accurately communicate results to Willis clients, because the actuarial team’s output enables client risk managers to make important, informed decisions about risk and its mitigation. “It is often easy to misinterpret the numbers if the client is not familiar with our analysis,” she says. To solve the problem, she is careful to review results from the client’s point of view, looking diligently for anything that might be easily misunderstood.

Advice to students?

To anyone who is contemplating joining Willis or pursuing a career in insurance, Shubhanjali says, “The work we do is unique,” and because the company is good at what it does, clients return year after year. “Willis is challenging, inspiring and motivates you to think outside the box,” she states. “We work with a wide array of companies and products, which help you build a good understanding of the insurance markets in general. I believe this also helps you better understand which future direction to take in this complex world of general insurance.