Ad Land’s Young Guns: Edwin Daniel, Branch Personal Finance App

Edwin Daniel, Head of Marketing, Branch Personal Finance App, is an experienced marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the healthcare and consumer business. He has specialised skills in Management, Scaling, Acquisiton, Engagement, Quality system, Competitive analysis, and Customer Service. Daniel has more than 10 years of experience in the marketing industry.

Daniel has worked with some of the leading brands in the market like Openhouse as marketing consultant, OkCredit as Marketing Director, Myra Medicines, Nearbuy, Tata Motors as a Manager and many more. He has lead sourcing and advertising on the platform and collateral for partner brands to generate additional revenue for different organisations.

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?

I globally head marketing for Branch. With over 11 years of experience, I bring in my wide experience in scaling up app-based B2C products in India. With experience in acquisition, engagement and retention, I am one of the handful of marketers in India who have scaled a company 50x in 2 years and had a successful exit. 

How did you join your current organisation?

Fintech has been a booming field for the past few years. I was keeping a close eye on it and had spent a short period of time working in one. Eventually a headhunter reached out to me about Branch and its mission to unlock financial access to millions of people across India and Africa. It resonated with me and I decided to meet the founder and understand more about it. And here we are a year later. 

Icons in this field you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?

Marketing as a field is quite diverse with a single discipline. While most people have a bias towards the prominent people in the field of branding, I look up some of the more popular instructors in Udemy, who have helped me learn new skills every year. 

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?

  1. I spend the first 30 minutes of my day with my tea thinking about the day before – about the interactions I had and how they played out. This retrospection helps me reflect on what I did well and I didn’t do well.
  2. I take the time to routinely work out for an hour in the morning. In the current times with limited human interaction and work from home, it is difficult to stay upbeat (and healthy). The serotonin rush helps me keep my mood up despite a hectic and challenging day ahead.
  3. Before I start my work, I take 15-30 minutes to check my To-Do list to prioritise and break down tasks into smaller pieces and schedule them into my calendar. I use the well known framework of dividing things to what’s important and what’s urgent. This planning at the beginning of the day helps me pace myself to get done with more.
  4. I use a 15-minute sprint cycle. It is essentially a 15-minute timer that I use to keep my tasks in check. It is easy to get distracted while working from home. Having a reminder of 15 minutes helps me refocus on the task at hand.
  5. I take a 30-minute break post lunch. I typically squeeze in a power nap and a coffee. It enables me to reset and restart with better vigour.

Do you think a career in this field is a viable one in the long term?

Yes. Absolutely. Marketing is one of the fields which has burgeoned with time. With inclusion of technology and smarter ways to reach out to people, marketing is going to be an evergreen field of work. 

What does it take to succeed in a career?

The willingness to upskill and be flexible is the most important aspect of the job. Within 10 years, I have seen the landscape of marketing change – from skill sets to tracking to spends. Adapting to the changing times and trends is pivotal in succeeding in the industry. Even at this level, I make it a point to learn something new about the field or the domain every six months. The organisation I work for (Branch International) also ensures we focus on lifelong learning by providing annual stipends to do that.

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?

I found it difficult to break into marketing when I was pursuing my MBA. Coming from an operations heavy background, my experience didn’t help me get into marketing. If one is passionate about marketing, they should try to do two things.

  1. Take up courses which make you more employable. I am not referring to academic courses. But practical ones like Google Ads certification or free courses on sites like Udemy, which are much more in line with what the industry looks for.
  2. Take up free internships, if needed. Getting into marketing is a Catch-22 situation. Internships serve two purposes – they show that you’re serious about the path and they help you gain more experience.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I particularly find the aspect of learning the consumer behaviour of different types of people fascinating. So, hopefully in five years I will be working with a company that provides me that opportunity while I try to scale a company to a billion dollar valuation.

Is there any organisation that you would like to work with in the future? 

Rather than a name, I look for opportunities which have an ‘experiment, learn and repeat’ model of working, along with a healthy work-life balance. Branch currently is that company.


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