Pooja Bhaat: The Kenyan woman ‘killing it’ on the global insurance stage

At just 30, Pooja Bhaat was the co-founder and head actuary of the emerging insurance firm, QuantaRisk.

The actuarial scientist is one of the successful young women entrepreneurs we celebrate this week for going beyond the norm. She learned from the best, earning valuable entrepreneurship experienced at the Lloyd’s of London insurance market before coming back to Kenya to establish and run QuantaRisk.

Pooja worked in different areas of insurance including reserving, pricing, reinsurance, and emerging markets at an early age, giving her the confidence to set up an insurance consulting firm with a regional reach.

Her zeal to advance the insurance sector and financial markets in Kenya is rooted in her desire to improve accessibility to new customers, reduce rampant claim fraud and achieve operational efficiencies.

“The local insurance industry has not been as quick to embrace technology as the rest of the financial sector. However, breaking the status quo is inevitable and the companies that do not utilize InsurTech will be unable to remain competitive. It is very exciting to be part of the change and help shape Kenya to be a leading insurance market on the continent,” she told the Business Daily when she was honored in the 2018 Top 40 Under 40 women.

Pooja is a woman of many firsts. She has led the way in breaking barriers at a relatively young age. Pooja is a 2010 graduate in actuarial science and finance from Drake University, US with the highest honours of Summa Cum Laude and a 2011 Master’s degree graduate in Actuarial Management from Cass Business School, UK.

She then sharpened her knowledge in insurance while working with top global actuarial consulting firms, to the extent that she was recognised by the Actuarial Post magazine in the UK in 2015 for her achievements.

At 26, she was awarded a fellowship as a fully qualified actuary from the Institute and Faculties of Actuaries (UK), and in 2015 she was awarded the Stars of the Future (Top 30 under 30) by the Actuarial Post magazine. 

Her other honours and awards include:

  • Top 40 Under 40 Women – Business Daily
  • Top 30 Under 30 (Stars of the Future) – Actuarial Post Magazine UK
  • RSA Technical Award
  • Award for outstanding academic achievement and contribution to Cass Business school – Summa Cum Laude
  • Graduated with highest honours (with a cumulative GPA of 3.93/4.0) – Beta Gamma Sigma
  • Nominated to be a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an internationally recognised honour society. (Top 10% of graduating class) – National Alumni Scholarship Award
  • Awarded to 16 freshmen (from a class of approx. 1000) every year.

From here at Maudhui House, we say, keep on winning Pooja. You truly inspire the ever-resilient Kenyan entrepreneurship spirit in true Kenyan way, ‘umekiuka‘. We’ll keep cheering you on.

Meet Catherine Mahugu, the Kenyan tech queen who’s breaking continental barriers

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