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Meet Sunny Dhaliwal, Business Analyst at Certua

Jessie Wang

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your background, what you do at Certua and outside of Certua.

I’m Sunny and I’m a business analyst at Certua. I started at Certua in 2017 and prior to this I was an English teacher in France following my university studies. Outside of Certua I love to cook, and I try my best at yoga and tennis. I enjoy learning about languages and cultures – currently I’m loving the Basque!

2. What led you to this career?

The intention for me was never to work in the tech sector. I was more drawn to modern languages at school and studied French language and French literature at university. In between academic years I had spent one summer working as an assistant to a team of underwriters and decided after my studies that I would find any job remotely related to insurance because it was the only experience I had. I started at Certua in the customer support team. A big part of this was client facing and ensuring that everything was running smoothly in our production environment. The other side was process mapping, implementing, and documenting our operational processes. From this I worked a lot with the BA team. Then there was an opportunity to move to the BA team and I took it. I give huge credit to the 3 years I spent in the support team for giving me the context of insurance products and how they work when they’re live. From it I really understood the business functions of the insurance side of Certua and importance of conduct risk with all our products, and it therefore made sense for me to start my BA career with the insurance projects.

3. What is it like to be on the Business Analyst team at Certua?

Certua follows an agile approach to our projects which is a really efficient way of developing software. As a business analyst I’m given the shiny new ideas and prospects from the new business team and product owners, and I gather and prepare requirements. I then see them all the way through to design, development and testing, up to the last operational checks prior to launch, and the post-sale product support and maintenance. It’s gratifying to see the whole process from start to finish. And one of my favourite things about being a BA is that it’s truly a collaborative role throughout the whole process. Day to day I really work with every team at the company on different requirements simultaneously, which means I get to pick and choose mentors and learnings from each team. Ironically, I probably spend the least amount of time working with the other BAs.

4. What kind of projects have you worked on?

Since I started the BA role I’ve mostly worked on the insurance side of the business, and I’ve been able to look at the whole range of projects like building insurance products, general platform enhancements, and looking at the overall user experience.

Our product builder and rulebase builder tools means that we can “plug in” insurance products for different levels of risks. For each product I prepare a catalogue of all configuration items, from the rates and underwriting to the terms of the policy and branding requirements. I’ve worked on simple GI products like liability insurances for SMEs, as well a life insurance product with hundreds of possible underwriting journeys. But there’s more to insurance products than just configuration and setting it live. There’s also the whole operating model for each product made up of roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder. It’s my job to map out every process – whether product specific or generic to all products, find the gaps or edge cases and identify ways to enhance our platforms and frontends. This could be anything from basic self-servicing actions from a client portal to automating payment processes for the payment methods we support, or ensuring there are the correct measures in place for the insurance products to be compliant.

5. Which insurance products have you found most interesting?

Certua is a Lloyd’s coverholder which means that some of the products that we’ve built are on behalf of our insurance partners who hold Lloyd’s syndicates. Working with partners who are looking to digitise a super traditional way of insuring has been great experience for me and from it, I’ve learnt even more of how the Lloyd’s market works. Whilst Lloyd’s only makes up a fraction of the London market, our coverholder status came with prerequisites, which for me meant a new set of functional and non-functional requirements and a different operating model to account for.

6. Please describe Certua in 3 words:

Agile, passionate, challenging.

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