Get to know Meghna, our Senior Reinsurance & Data Quality Manager

In the latest interview in the ‘Our People…’ series, we sat down with Meghna Sah, Senior Reinsurance & Data Quality Manager at MAXIS, to find out more about her role and why quality, timely data is so important for multinationals looking to manage their global EB programmes. We also find out what Meghna gets up to outside of work and learn one thing we never knew about her!

1. You’ve worked at MAXIS for a long time – can you tell us how the business has evolved since you first started?

So, I’ve been at MAXIS for six years now, and there are lots of things that have changed. But if I think about the key changes, three things come to mind.

Firstly, back in 2016/2017, MAXIS was just starting out as a joint venture, based in London – it had the feeling of a start-up company and we were still establishing all our processes and putting controls in place. We were looking to migrate from legacy systems to our new in-house system called BRIDGE, so everything was really new. But now we are a more mature company, we have robust processes in place, and we have varying technological capabilities.

The second thing is that MAXIS has grown tremendously since I’ve worked here, both in terms of customer base and the number of employees. When I joined, I was employee number 17 in the UK, and I think when I last checked we had 80+ employees in the UK and over 150 working for MAXIS globally. This really demonstrates our growth in the last few years! If I talk about my own team, Reinsurance & Reporting, I think we now have more than 28 analysts, with a major chunk of my team sitting in India too now, so our team has really expanded a lot with the increased number of clients.

Finally, the flexible working or hybrid working model that was implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has remained in place since, is something that’s very refreshing. We also had our office in London redesigned which brings with it a very positive energy.

2. And can you tell us a bit about your role, and how it’s changed?

When I joined MAXIS, I had absolutely no idea about employee benefits! I joined as a Reinsurance & Reporting Analyst and my main responsibilities were collecting member data and compiling client reports. I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity and flexibility to gain extensive technical knowledge – this is all thanks to the support of the different managers I’ve had over the past few years, and I really want to highlight the good leadership we have at MAXIS. They always encourage development and I think this is something that’s consistent across the company.

In my current role as Senior Reinsurance & Data Quality Manager, I lead our data quality initiative that focuses on the timeliness, completeness, accuracy and consistency of data. Data quality is at the very core of everything that we do in Reinsurance & Reporting, and as part of my job I liaise with members in our network to ensure that we can provide our clients with the data they need to run their EB programmes.

My team is also structured by region, to ensure we are aligned with all the other departments in MAXIS. I lead the European region, managing all the core activities across Europe.

3. Why do you think good quality, timely data so important for multinationals looking to manage their global employee benefits programmes?

Multinationals (as the name suggests!) operate in a number of different countries, with different regulatory frameworks and employee expectations. It’s their data that helps them create a tailored employee benefits programme, price their risks appropriately and maximise profitability. If the data is complete, accurate and timely it helps them identify trends, and then make really good, informed decisions based on these. Timely data is also vital for us, as a network, to be compliant with deadlines in terms of reporting.

Moreover, multinationals face risks around data privacy and GDPR, and so if the data is accurate it helps them to ensure data integrity. So, in short, quality and timely data is pretty fundamental for enabling consistency, cost optimisation and risk mitigation.

4. Can you tell us how technology and innovation has helped the Reinsurance & Reporting team with producing reports and completing other processes efficiently? And how do you think these innovations could continue to develop and help in the future?

Yes, so our in-house system, BRIDGE, has changed quite significantly since it was first launched back in 2017. There have been a lot of controls and automated checks put in place to make our processes run smoothly and ensure we identify any errors and anomalies early on in the process.

There are two key improvements that have helped us greatly. These are reserve management and occurrence reporting – both of which our clients repeatedly ask for. We also have the OneClient portal, which is a great platform that allows clients to see their data in different forms and analyse the trends for their programme.

And then finally, we use Tableau, a very powerful business intelligence tool which we use a lot internally to create dashboards that help us to identify any trends or gaps in data to further enhance the data quality. We also use Tableau to create interactive dashboards – these show client data in a more visual format and make it even easier for them to understand their data and trends.  

In terms of how innovations can continue to help us in the future, I would say that as an industry we lack real time data today, which means we tend to analyse data later on and make reactive conclusions. This is something we’re working on and developing at MAXIS, with the help of micro services, which will help us to make more proactive solutions early on. This is a really exciting development for the future.

We’re also really focusing on our ability to process large volumes of data in a much faster way. This will help us to process information from our members in a very timely manner, allowing us to get the information to our clients much sooner too.

5. What’s the best thing about working at MAXIS?

You might have heard this before, but it’s the people. I might sound like a broken record when I say this, but I’ve never worked for a more diverse company in my whole career. We’re made up of so many different cultures, but it’s great to see how everybody effortlessly, or organically, comes together to meet the common company goals – I really think it’s amazing. I’m from India and I’ve never felt for a second like I’m an outsider trying to fit in. MAXIS truly demonstrates diversity and inclusion at every level for me.

Another thing that I want to highlight is how empathetic MAXIS is as an employer, which is something you don’t always see. When the pandemic hit and we had to work remotely, the management and everyone at the company were very supportive and gave me the freedom and flexibility to manage my two young kids at home and fulfil my work priorities around this – there was never any pressure which was so helpful.

6. You manage a team spread across three continents… how have you adapted to work efficiently together?

The pandemic has taught us to use technology to our advantage when we’re working from different locations. Communication is key for me – I always stay connected with my team and keep them up to date about what’s happening in London. I make sure that they understand their priorities clearly, because it can easily get lost in translation when you’re working remotely.

I’m also more flexible with my timings and give maximum overlap with the different time zones in the team, to make sure everyone has as much support as possible.

I’m excited for the MAXIS MeetUp, our all-staff event, in September! Events like this, as well as team offsites, give us the opportunity to connect face to face, and on a personal level, which helps the team’s synergy even more.    

7. What do you like doing when you’re not at work?

I like travelling, and spending time with my kids – I’ve got two young boys.

The best place I’ve been is Norway – it was so beautiful. I visited Switzerland and after that I thought I’d never go anywhere else where I thought ‘wow it’s beautiful’ every five minutes, but then Norway did that for me!

8. And final question… can you tell us something we don’t already know about you?

I’m a Potterhead! I’ve been a huge fan of Harry Potter ever since the first book came out, which makes me feel old – it was in the late 90s right?! I’ve got my oldest son into Harry Potter now and he’s crazy about it.

I’m also a massive foodie, I love to eat. Not cook – but I love to eat! I like Indo-Chinese, it’s Chinese food but a bit more accustomed to the Indian palette – I love anything that’s like the street food of India.