Please welcome Avi (Avinaash V) as the 10th guest on The Entrance Series. Avi is a passionate digital marketer who currently works at a leading internet-security company. Having started his entrepreneurship journey in university and learning through trial and error since a young age, Avi shows that learning by doing is often, if not always, the best way to achieve growth and breakthroughs. Let’s hear his story and his take on marketing.
OpenDoors: What’s your story?
Avi: Straight out of university, I created my first startup — a hardware product similar to power banks, but with a plug point instead of just a USB port. The project was successfully crowdfunded and we shipped about 400 units out. This was my very first experience of going from zero to one — from a simple idea to actually having a physical product in your hands.
Around the same time, I also co-founded an online community, which was like 9GAG for India, and grew it to around 300,000 followers. This then taught me how to scale a project and grow something beyond the ideation phase.
My entrepreneurial journey was followed by two jobs, first at a logistic tech startup where I joined as the second employee — helped scale it to over 20 people, and also helped set up an office in Korea and train the local team there. And my current job involves working in marketing at an internet security company. Fundamentally, getting this experience working at larger companies allows me to see what established processes and systems look like. If and when I start my own thing again, I would reverse engineer these processes and hope to make it as successful as the companies I work for now.
Back in university, I came up with this roadmap of what I want my life to look like in 5 year intervals. Somewhere along the line, I decided that I want to try 5 industries by the time I’m 30. Ultimately what I want to do in the long term is to impact people in a positive way, so the industries I’ve chosen are those which are widely applicable to several companies as well as creating lasting impact on society. Some of these industries include logistics, consumer technology, and EdTech. That being said, while I think it is important to have a vision and a plan, it’s also important to be somewhat flexible and take things as they come. If I’m really enjoying doing something or feel like I’m continuously growing through an opportunity, then I will happily keep pursuing that despite the 5 year plan.
OpenDoors: Why digital marketing?
Avi: I like working with people in general and I think marketing is all about understanding consumer behavior which is something that I’m innately drawn towards — understanding how people think and act, and why.
The part about marketing I’m most fascinated by is A/B testing (a process to compare two versions of something to figure out which performs better). The fact that a single word or the color of a button can create a difference in conversion rate blows my mind. Traditionally, people tend to associate marketing as a creative and artsy profession or industry, but for the most part, it is very much science and data-driven.
“The fact that a single word or the color of a button can create a difference in conversion rate blows my mind.”
OpenDoors: What’s your current company and role like?
Avi: My role is a combination of business development and marketing — building partnerships with online media outlets and influencers to help drive sales and providing those partners with tips and suggestions on how they could increase conversions, optimize SEO and their actual content and assets. For me, I find this to be the perfect blend of my skills combining sales and digital marketing.
I also spend a significant portion of my time (about 40%) on people management, including recruitment and building out our team. Another 40% goes into i) researching trends in different markets and ii) actually optimizing metrics for our partners. The rest of my time will be put into new partner outreach and new initiatives that the company might have.
I get to work with a really smart and capable team in which each member has their own domain expertise. This creates the perfect environment for personal and professional growth. When I’m in meetings, people are talking about such specific insights related to their niches that I’m able to learn a whole lot more just from being included in these meetings.
OpenDoors: How would someone go about getting into digital marketing?
Avi: There’s many ways you can go about it. In my opinion, one of the best ways is to try and find yourself a mentor, whether in person or online because they can show you the step-by-step process of how to, say, set up a Google ad.
The other way is to work on a project yourself, for example finding a product that you like and creating your own online dropshipping store. Setting up the store is the easy part; marketing is a bit trickier because soon you’ll find yourself flooded by questions such as “how to identify who’s my audience and how to identify where they hang out?”. So by working on a project like this, you’re actually putting yourself in a situation where you must learn and experiment with everything that could make it into a success.
I think joining a startup would also help speed up this process because startups typically have smaller budgets and need results in a shorter time frame.
Get in touch with Avi: He’s currently looking for digital marketers to join his team!
Get in touch with Avi:
Want to be featured or got a particular field/ industry that you’d like to learn about? Let us know: email@example.com