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“Relocation of Office of Institute of Actuaries of India.”
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Gautam Kakar
gautam.kakar@uk.pwc.com

Educational Background
  • I am an Electronics Engineer and MBA in Finance. Qualified as Fellow of IAI in 2004 after becoming a member in 2000.

How did you get in to being an Actuary?

  • Prior to becoming an Actuary, I worked in oil/ gas sector which laid foundation of my skills in financial modelling, economics, finance, accounts, business management and also legal. Since childhood I was passionate for mathematics, after graduation this passion was extended to economics and financial management. With this background, in 1999-2000 I read about Malhotra Committee report on opening of insurance sector for private sector, interacted with few senior actuaries and researched on internet about Actuarial Profession. In June 2003, I decided to leave well paid job in Bharat Petroleum to take plunge in insurance industry in Mumbai.

Your career path so far:

  • I have worked in life, non-life, pensions and banking areas. My work has ranged from pricing, business planning, regulatory reporting, audit to risk management, asset management and business leadership. In future, I look forward to see how I can apply actuarial skills to the wider industry especially energy sector where I started my career.

Some words on pleasure of being an Actuary:

  • I am very proud to be a member of Actuarial Profession. The most exciting aspects about being an Actuary, for me, are the opportunity to look at future and truly globalized nature of our profession.
Educational Background
  • I learnt basics of Statistics at Indian Statistical Institute where I got interested in Finance. My interest in Finance led me to do MBA (Finance) which enabled me to work in Investment area. I got interested in derivatives and decided to pursue doctoral program at IIM, Bangalore.

How did you get in to being an Actuary?

  • On campus I got exposed to actuarial science and got fascinated by the tagline "making financial sense of the future." So along with PhD I started taking actuarial exams. As it was destined, I cleared the actuarial exams earlier than completing PhD thesis.

Your career path so far:

  • Long back, after MBA, I joined Peerless group and was involved in business planning and ALM for the organization. I started in life insurance at Birla Sun Life after clearing 100 series.  Subsequently became a fellow and joined Watson Wyatt in their Life Insurance consulting division. At Watson Wyatt, I successfully developed the coding library for the actuarial software VIPitech along with working on various projects related to financial reporting.  Presently I am  heading the Indian actuarial practice at Ernst & Young, wherein, I have developed quite a few unique solutions combining actuarial strength with other solutions like audit, accounting, IT risk etc. I have been associated with the Institute activities since 2003 in various capacities. Currently I serve as its Honorary Secretary.

Some words on pleasure of being an Actuary:

  • I am proud to be an actuary and it gives me immense pleasure to solve challenging business problems in a scientific manner applying the tools of actuarial science. Being an actuary implies quantifying issues which would be difficult to quantify. This is a great challenge as one needs to capture subtle nuances and to present the results so that non-actuaries can understand.


Peuli Das
peuli.das@gmail.com


Kunj Maheshwari
kunjmaheshwari@gmail.com
Educational Background
  • I majored in Economics and completed MS in Quantitative Economics from Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata. From there, I chose Actuarial Science as a career path and eventually cleared all the exams of IAI in 2007.

How did you get to being an actuary?

  • I grew up listening about actuaries from my father who worked with LIC throughout his career. That’s why, even though it used to be a road seldom taken in those days, I always had an eye towards having a career in this field. Eventually, opportunities presented themselves while I was studying at ISI Kolkata. It was the early 2000’s - the market was opening up to the private players and they were actively recruiting from the campuses. It was with one of them that I started my journey towards an actuarial career. Few years of hard work, perseverance and discipline ultimately led to the Fellowship.

Career Path so far

  • My career started as an actuarial trainee in HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company in Mumbai in 2003. After a year, I migrated to USA and started working with Deutsche bank as a Business Analyst for their investment team, helping them to set up platforms for calculating returns for different asset classes. Meanwhile I still kept alive the motivation and determination to write and clear actuarial exams from New York. It was during my days with Deutsche Bank that I completed my final exam with IAI and decided about switching back to core actuarial again with New York Life Insurance Company. My involvement was mostly with their JV partner Max New York Life doing US GAAP valuation, business planning and actuarial economic valuation.  After almost 7 years I returned back to India in early 2011 and since then have been working with ING Life Insurance in Bangalore heading the valuation team.

Pleasure of being an actuary

  • To me, the pleasure of having a life and career as an actuary is no better described than by the words of the poet Samuel Johnson: “Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified.”

    For an actuary, there are challenges in every step of the way – immense responsibilities, a continuous need to reinvent oneself and prove oneself worthy of a wonderful group of peers and colleagues. But all that pales in comparison to the satisfaction of providing solutions to everyday business problems that are rigorous, rational, practical and effective; solutions that have very real consequences for the business and the industry at large. In today’s world, there are probably not too many other career options that would provide that and I am glad that I chose to be on the right side of the fence.

Educational Background
  • An alumini of The Doon School, I graduated in Economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University.  I sat for my first actuarial exam after joining Towers Watson (then Watson Wyatt) in 2006 and completed my papers "by the time of commonwealth games" in 2010, a milestone I wished to achieve when I had first joined the profession.

How did you get to being an actuary?

  • The first time I had heard of actuarial science was back in school, when a career counselor advised of possible ideas for the future.  The formal aptitude report had then concluded that I should find a career related to "economics, statistics and modelling".  I think subconsciously, the idea got stuck from there though I never actively revisited the possibility of being an actuary until I attended a talk by Watson Wyatt whilst in college on graduate opportunities in the firm.  I applied for a position in my final year and started taking exams once I joined work with Watson.

Career Path so far

  • Having joined Watson Wyatt as a graduate in 2006, I have been involved in various consulting roles and I am still in my first job!  As I have progressed through my career, I have had the opportunity to work not only within the Indian life insurance market, but also in Spain, where I worked for six months, Hong Kong and Singapore.  I am currently working out of Manchester, UK.

Pleasure of being an actuary

  • One of the greatest things about being an actuary is the transferability of our skills across the globe - which reminds me of how fundamentally important the skills of an actuary are since the same principles are applied across the globe.  This also makes me very proud of being an actuary and being part of such a global network of highly qualified individuals, whose work makes so much difference to all peoples well being, yet they carry it out mostly unnoticed (such that most people dont even know what an actuary is!), reminding me of the humility within our profession.


Kamlesh Gupta
kamlesh.manit@gmail.com


Vibha Bagaria
vbagaria@in.rgare.com
Educational Background
  • I completed my post-graduation in Computer Applications from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal. After joining LIC in year 2004, I started writing actuarial exams and cleared all papers in year 2009.

How did you get in to being an Actuary

  • I had to choose between a job in an IT major and the other one in insurance behemoth LIC. In my meeting with LIC employees, I was really impressed with the way they talked about actuarial profession. They also gave me first glimpse of tremendous opportunities in the field of actuarial science. Moreover, they helpfully provided all possible initial guidance on it. I finally decided to join LIC and started writing actuarial exams.

Your career path so far

  • I worked with LIC for about 3.5 years and then joined Reinsurance Group of America. I have had opportunities to work extensively on reinsurance pricing, product development, experience studies and projects involving in-depth research on protection benefits. The biggest advantage of my current role is to get to work closely with globally-recognized experts. 

Pleasure of being an Actuary

  • Somebody once said, “Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right it’s not the end.” I am happy to be in the profession of my liking. It’s not only about number-crunching (as some people believe) but also about working in a challenging environment, solving critical business problems, finding innovative solutions and working with teams of excellent people. At the end of the day, I feel good about having contributed meaningfully to the society by being part of the profession that, in some way, works towards helping the less fortunate.
Educational Background
  • I completed my graduation in commerce from Delhi University and was professionally accredited as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2001 from Institute of Chartered Accountancy of India.I am also a professionally qualified Actuary from Institute of Actuaries of India where I appeared for the first exam in May’2003 and completed all exams by Nov’2006.

How did you get in to being an Actuary

  • I completed my chartered accountancy at the young age of 21. While exploring opportunities for further studies, I was introduced to actuarial science by a close relation who had been placed with a multinational insurance company after having completed her Masters in Business Administration (MBA). The profession appealed to me and I decided to give it a shot. Tasting easy success with my first two exams, I was soon on my way to become a qualified actuary from IAI. 

Your career path so far

  • The first organization I worked in the field of actuarial science was Aviva Life Insurance in 2004. I joined as a trainee in the companys financial reporting team in Gurgaon. It was an extremely fascinating role as it was a perfect blend of skills I had already acquired in accountancy  and those that I was going to acquire in the field of actuarial science. In mid 2006 I moved to Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Pune as senior manager in a similar role. In 2008 I moved to Reinsurance Group of America, and worked in a range of roles and projects. I am currently working in RGA in the field of Health Business, and am working on pricing fixed benefits and medical reimbursement products. 

Pleasure of being an Actuary

  • Being an actuary has been a journey of great pleasure, recognition and sense of satisfaction. It has given me the opportunity to work in a wide variety of roles, and being responsible for many key business decisions ranging from setting capital requirements of the company, measuring company’s performance and profitability, valuations of the company, pricing complex and profitable products. I am proud to be a member of this highly qualified clan.




Gautam Shah
futureactuary@gmail.com


Nikhil Gupta
fornikhil@gmail.com
Educational Background
  • I did my schooling from Smt. G. P. P. High School in Vile Parle, Mumbai. In 2004, I completed my graduation in the commerce stream at the Mumbai University; and also completed the Company Secretarial exams from the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. Ironically, I didn’t even know what an actuary was until mid-2004; and little did I imagine I was to become one in 2009. Such, after all, is life!

How did you get in to being an Actuary

  • One of my father’s colleagues recommended to me that I take up actuarial exams given my interest in mathematics. I did some research about the profession, and met a few actuaries including Mr. Diwan and Mr. Bharat Venkataramani to know more about the profession. It seemed an interesting profession to be in; and I thought I’ll give it a shot!

Your career path so far

  • In late 2005, I joined Birla Sun Life Insurance as an actuarial trainee. In my stint of over five years at BSLI, I got opportunities to work in a wide variety of activities such as statutory valuation, regulatory and shareholder reporting, asset-liability management and product pricing & development. In early 2011, I moved on to HDFC Life to lead the Special Projects unit within the actuarial team. At HDFC Life, my team supports the product pricing team as well as the financial reporting team for various activities. The education I received at both my jobs has been phenomenal. The single most important thing I’ve learnt is that an actuary exists to support the business he or she works for. In addition to the technical skills that one brings to the table, one must deeply understand the business and be alert to the dynamic environment in which the businesses operate.

Pleasure of being an Actuary

  • Quite a few indeed – diverse and challenging nature of activities that one performs, working with sharp and inquisitive brains, being recognised well by the businesses and being close to the decision making processes within the businesses. Your question does indeed make me wonder at a deeper personal level. Although one generally makes one’s best friends in the school or college days, I met few of my best friends in the actuarial profession. Those friendships, after all, count among the greatest pleasures of my life.
Educational Background
  • I am pursuing Actuarial exams from the Institute of Actuaries of India and Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, UK.  I have completed all my exams and with few formalities outstanding, and would hopefully be receiving my fellowship soon.
  • I hold an MSc from Cass Business School, London where I completed the course with distinction (Class of 2009). Prior to this I completed my engineering in Electronics and Communication from JIIT University, Noida (Class of 2007).  My schooling has been from Delhi.

How did you get in to being an Actuary

  • My father introduced me to this profession.  He knew about Actuarial Science, but chose to be a Chartered Accountant.  After completing school, it was my time to decide and I went with the former.
  • I must admit that with all the fears of low pass results, exams being difficult and quite a few of them, it was intimidating to start with. However a decision I am happy to have made. It has been a long journey of successes and failures that have helped me develop both personally and professionally.

Your career path so far

  • I have around 4 years of actuarial work experience.  I started my career in 2007 with XL Insurance and worked for 1 year before pursing my higher studies.  For past 3 years I have been working with Torus Insurance in commercial lines pricing domain

Pleasure of being an Actuary

  • Pleasure and Pain are part of this profession.  If you are on the right track, then it’s certain that pleasure will make the pain happily bearable. The profession offers a perfect balance of quality work; financial rewards and work hours (take the exams out!).  Just the realization of having the skills I have acquired as an actuary that make me stand out of the crowd is very satisfying.  It feels great to be a part of a small community of really smart people that is going strong. In India, ‘career is by chance and not by choice’ and you have to work equally hard in whatever you do to succeed.  For me, enjoying a career that I chose is the biggest pleasure of being an Actuary.
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