Q&A with Mita Chavda

By Hannah Freeman - September 14, 2021

Our Head of Technical Sales, Mita Chavda, discusses her upcoming presentation at the IUMI 2021 Conferencethe pressing issues facing the cargo sector, what value digitisation can add to the market, and why trust is important when managing her team. 

 

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1. You will be speaking at the IUMI 2021 Conference as part of the Big Data and Digitalization Forum Workshop. What can we expect from your presentation?

Cargo is an extremely complex market and there are a number of factors to consider when pricing, writing or managing risk. During the workshop, I will be talking about how some of these factors are changing, creating new threats for both the cargo insurance industry and the digital supply chain. The combination of containership vessel growth, cargo practices, and climate change has led to an environment that is more volatile than previously seen. e.g the 2020 Beirut explosion. These issues have been exacerbated by the pandemic, highlighting cracks in the supply chain.

Technology can facilitate regulation by improving the visibility of supply chains. Combining data from multiple sources with new methods of analysis will change the way we interpret cargo risk. The goal is to provide meaningful rating factors that can be combined into a model that learns dynamically as new data is acquired. The advantages of such a process will lead to more efficient operating models. This digitalisation journey comes with hurdles and complexities, however it’s a necessity for profitability and efficiency moving forward.

 

2. How has digitisation delivered value to the market to date?

The market is on a journey to digitisation which will allow for sustainable and profitable underwriting in real-time. This operational efficiency will decrease human error and save time. Technology can also provide more accurate predictions of claims with advanced modelling. Marine insurance was the first line of business to be written so naturally, it has been reluctant to embrace technology. However, I think the pandemic has highlighted why digitalisation is the future. Legacy systems such as hard-coded platforms that are stored in a server room are no longer future proof. New and adaptable technology such as the cloud and dynamic algorithms are the future. The IUMI conference is a great platform to raise greater awareness of which companies are embracing this digital transformation.

 

3. How does the value of digitalisation translate to stakeholders throughout the industry?

Within the insurance value chain there is a huge amount of data available. This data however can get lost as more risk is aggregated and moves up the value chain. By the time the data reaches the reinsurer they may have little knowledge of what the data truly means. By utilising tech such as Quest it is easier to aggregate big data sets together and decipher key insights without losing data. Stakeholders are then less overwhelmed by the data as it is condensed into key driving factors. This will lead to improved risk selection and pricing for new business.

 

4. What do you think will be the most influential change in Cargo insurance practices globally?

Visibility of the supply chain is key. One of the factors threatening the cargo insurance industry is container shortages. For example in Asia bulk freight rates are on the rise amid vessel shortages. If we are able to gain greater visibility over what cargo is where and what condition it is in then we could mitigate these issues by having alerts in place to overcome these challenges. AI and machine learning can improve supply chain visibility and provide the relevant stakeholder's access to real-time data related to the order process, delivery, and potential supply chain disruptions.

 

5. What is the most significant impact of COVID-19 on the insurance industry?

The pandemic has changed the marine sector's risk landscape. There was significant disruption within the supply chain. E.g shortage of containers and congestion at ports. It is also important to consider how crews were affected with limited resources etc. I would say however the market has been very adaptable and reliant. Last week IUMI reported improvements for the cargo insurance sector “an increase in the 2020 cargo insurance premium base (from 2019) of 5.9% to USD 17.2 billion alongside an improvement in overall loss ratios”.

The pandemic was a real eye opener for the insurance market. When you are restricted to working from home technology is the only way to get things done. It widened the gap between the companies that have tried to adapt and those that have not.

 

6. Have you attended previous IUMI conferences and what are you most looking forward to?

I have not had the opportunity to attend any of the in person annual conferences yet but I hope to in the future. From speaking to other experts in the industry I understand that it is a great place to engage in conversation surrounding the pressing issues within the market. I am also looking forward to attending the workshops to gain more visibility of current trends within the market and gauge who in the supply chain is adopting tech.

 

7. What is a typical day like for you as Head of Technical Sales at Concirrus?

My day to day can vary depending on what is going on. I attend several sales meetings to understand what is important to our clients and where our products can add value. I work with numerous teams within the company to make sure we are aligned and up to date on product features and functionality. I also manage the presales team which I really enjoy. I have some real superstars in my team and I can trust them to just get on with it. I like pushing my team and myself out of our comfort zones because this enables us to expand our skillsets. My management style is very macro, and I think that comes from trusting my team to take a proactive lead. You need to be able to trust your team especially when you are dealing with data, so I am very lucky.

 

8. Have you been up to anything exciting this summer?

I went on holiday to the lake district in Cumbria. When we were there we climbed up the mountain Helvellyn. It was tough but the view at the top was absolutely incredible and well worth the climb. I would highly recommend anyone who hasn’t visited the lake district to go, it is so beautiful!

 

Learn more about the IUMI annual conference here

For more detail on Quest Marine Cargo, download the white paper or get in touch:

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