Meet Puja Rana – SVP, Underwriting Services Manager
What is your backstory? Tell us about your path to Sompo International.
In college, I set out to pursue a career in medicine but soon decided to change my major to math and risk management. After a short stint in the actuarial world, I found myself working as an Underwriting Associate at Chubb, where I worked in a department led by Michael Chang. I moved through various roles and departments for 10 years at Chubb and eventually took a few years off when I had children. I guess you can say the rest is history as I find myself working in a department led by Mr. Chang again!
Give us three words to describe Sompo International.
Innovative, Contemporary, Supportive
What is a trend you feel is impacting the industry and more specifically, your role at the moment?
Currently, there is a lot of focus on automation to create more efficient processes. Five years ago when Sompo Global Risk Solutions (GRS) first started writing business, we had virtually no infrastructure to support our multi-line approach. At one point, we were processing each line of business on different writing companies or fronting companies, two different systems in house as well as two different vendors, and what felt like 800 different manual quote letters! I’m thrilled that Sompo is investing in resources that build a common underwriting platform. For me, being a part of the Guidewire projects for GRS has been a tremendous learning experience and I’m excited to keep navigating the roadmap until all our products are supported within that same platform.
What advice do you have for prospective Sompo International candidates?
The culture at Sompo International makes it a special place to work. The insurance industry can tend to have an old-school and stuffy feel, but Sompo has done a great job of dismissing this conception. The company truly embraces diversity and inclusivity and stands up for important social issues. Sompo is also on a rapid growth trajectory and with this growth comes a lot of blood, sweat and tears! My advice would be to embrace change, think outside of the box and be prepared to wear more hats than you’ve ever owned!
Think back to your college graduation day. What is one thing you would tell yourself then?
I would tell myself to be your own advocate. You will meet people along the way who will have your back and help you succeed, but at the end of the day you create your destiny. Stand up for yourself, ask for what you deserve, be visible to everyone that matters, and make sure you do it all with professionalism and integrity.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
I would be working for a non-profit and trying to “save the world”. There are so many global issues that are important to me, from climate change to inadequate schools; from women’s equality to the lack of clean water, and the list goes on. I recently listened to an NPR podcast on Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist and oceanographer, who has done incredible work in restoring ocean plant and animal life. She has set records for the amount of time spent underwater and for the depths she’s gone. People like her are such an inspiration to me.
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.
Although currently enamored by Sylvia Earle and devising plans with my 8-year-old on how she and I can also save the oceans, I am terrified of deep water and don’t know how to swim!