Alpa Patel didn’t expect to become an insurance technologist. “Growing up, I was strongly led to believe that all Indian kids became doctors, lawyers or engineers,” she says. “I was good enough in math and science that I became a chemical engineer.”

But due to a downturn in that industry, Patel took the opportunity to work at Andersen, now called Accenture, in 1988, as an insurance consultant. After stints there and at John Hancock, The Hartford and One Beacon, Patel landed at XL Group in May 2011 as SVP and CIO of global services. In that role, she implemented a new underwriting platform for the carrier, while also cutting infrastructure costs by about 20%.

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