The world of marketing is constantly changing, but one thing that has not is our determination to spot bright and young marketers who want to be a roaring success in the Retention realm.
Last year, WebEngage, in collaboration with The Economic Times BrandEquity, ventured into this journey of discovering young and talented marketeers who realized the importance of Retention Marketing to keep their businesses afloat during challenging times like mass layoffs, funding winters, and more such adversities. These are the individuals who have set an example of how businesses need to lay their foundation on a Retention-first strategy to attain sustainable growth.
As the new chapter of the Retention Marketing 30 under 30 progresses, we take a look back at the young and talented Retention Rock stars from the Class of 2022 and share a glimpse of who they are and how their career trajectory evolved after winning the title of most influential Retention marketers.
Aditi spearheads the PR and content efforts at Bluestone, an online jewelry brand. In her short career span of five years, she has worked with several high-growth D2C startups like Epigamia and Juicy Chemistry. Talking about her Retention journey, Aditi recalls the day she was introduced to the WebEngage platform and how it led to her discovering the world of Retention.
Aditi says, “One thing I learned in my career trajectory is that, in creative fields like content or graphic designing, there is a common saying: Oh! I do not want to look at data or numbers scare me. But I eventually realized that marrying creativity and numbers is critical in driving long-term growth.”
An engineer turned marketer and a social activist at heart, Amanjeet is the Global CRM manager at Wego, an online travel agency. He started his career with a startup and transitioned to Wego during the pandemic. Talking about his Retention Marketing journey, Amanjeet says, “I knew marketing was my calling all along and realized it when I worked at my first startup as a Social Media Marketer and moved on to handling CRM alongside a mentor, learning data and analytics and since then there is no looking back.” Talking about his experience at Wego, he says, “I took a big risk during the pandemic and joined a travel industry which was one of the most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. So, when they got me onboard, the industry was stagnant and unpredictable, and I was challenged to prove my worth by making a difference.”
With an extensive career spanning a decade, Amit Kumar is the Lead-Customer Retention & Growth at Hotstar. Before changing course to the OTT platform, he worked with renowned eCommerce brands – Jabong and Ajio. Amit has completed his Master’s in Computer Application with a keen interest in software engineering. When asked about how he got into the Retention spectrum of things, he says, “My first job was to build codes for SMTPs, where I was asked to start running email campaigns temporarily. And so, from coding to sending emails and driving Customer Retention, it all just happened, and I loved it and never left it.”
An adept marketing professional with three years of enriching experience as a Retention Specialist at Board Infinity, an eLearning platform, Anushka says her journey was nothing short of a ride full of insights and career transformation. She says, “I studied English Literature and started off as a Content Writer. I used to send emails when one fine day, I was told to create a Chat Bot, my strategy clicked, and that’s how I evolved into a Retention Marketer.” Talking about challenges faced while embracing the Retention process, Anushka says, “As a marketer, you will be criticized from every direction, so you need to filter the constructive criticism and let go of the rest.”
An Indore lad with more than six years of experience in the Digital Marketing and User Engagement arena, Avi Gupta leads the digital marketing vertical at Refyne India. When asked about how he ventured into Retention Marketing, he says his learning was purely on the job. He always wanted to be in a user-centric work area and figured that out early in his career. He adds that winning the 30 Under 30 title has changed him to actually wanting to make more of himself.
A Hotelier turned into a Marketer by profession and a Vocalist by passion, Deepak Tiwari oversees the Digital Marketing vertical at Zee Media Corporation. In the past, he has worked for hotel giants like JW Marriot, Hilton, and IHG, to name a few. Speaking of his Retention journey, Deepak recalls the challenges he faced amidst the pandemic during his stint at Hilton. He shared how as a 5-star hotel, it was tough to position itself as a food delivery platform or do door-to-door deliveries, but that was the only way to survive, and that’s how the Retention part of it got initiated. Deepak says, “We started to build customer data by engaging people using personalized delivery boxes with a giant QR code and a free dining voucher, persuading customers to dine at the restaurant. The idea kicked off, and we were able to retain customers effectively within a limited resource and marketing budget.”
Dibyamrit is a Digital Marketer at Ola and has worked with several startups early in his career. Before venturing into Digital Marketing, he also held an entrepreneurial position at an automotive company. Sharing his journey, he says, “As an entrepreneur, your focus is on numbers, and as a Retention Marketer, these numbers make a lot of sense and give you direction on where to head and where not to.”
As a founding member of Clensta, an online platform for personal care and wellness products, Himanshu holds seven years of industry experience. When asked about how he got into the Retention field, he says, “Since I started my career as a Co-Founder, I learned all the aspects of running a business, and eventually realized that Retention should be the main focus for sustaining a business.”
Ishan Singh heads the Retention efforts at Mindvalley, the world’s largest personal transformation platform. Speaking about his journey as a Retention Marketer, Ishan mentions that in India, there is a narrow focus on marketing-based education. Many marketers would agree that we have to learn things on the fly and then go ahead and execute it. When asked about the one thing he learned very late in his career, he says, “One thing that keeps coming back to me is that rather than focusing on micro things like how to acquire customers, I should have had a macro view like what happens next, how do I make sure it is the high-quality customer who keeps giving more business. Having this holistic marketing view sooner would have fast-tracked my career early on.”
Ishita is a Growth Marketing and Product Manager at Airtel. She earned her MBA from ISB Hyderabad. Talking about how Retention is not considered as a subject matter at B-Schools, Ishita says, “I do not quite agree that B-schools do not teach Retention. It is not a standalone theory but a common sense and one of the basic principles of marketing, and good marketing at that, and B-schools do teach you good marketing.”
Starting as a Business Development Executive to handling customer acquisitions, building a community of farmers, and transitioning into growth and brand marketing, Navneet has worn multiple hats throughout his career trajectory. Currently, he is the Senior Marketing Manager at Moofarm Pvt Ltd, a dairy-tech startup. He disclosed that one thing he learned late in his career was ‘experimenting.’ He says, “The kind of niche industry I am working in, experimentation is the way to go, and I give all the credit to the founders who supported me. The advantage of working with them is that they give you the room to fail and learn.”
Nishant drives all the marketing aspects at CASHe, a Fintech app. Before CASHe, Nishant was into hardcore door-to-door sales of American Express credit cards, where he studied human behavior closely, uplifting his confidence in meeting new people. He says, “Every human being is different; when I approached those doors every day, some people would kick me out, somebody would take me in and offer water, so that’s how you gain confidence meeting new people; from a security guard to a CEO of an MNC.”
Palak is an IITian turned Product Manager (PM) and currently works with indeed.com, based out of the UK. He started his career with Capgemini as an Associate Consultant and later switched to pursue his dream of becoming a Product Manager. Palak started his PM journey with an internship at Zolo. Speaking about how he fell in love with Retention, he says, he was fascinated by the idea of how Product Management gives the flexibility to work across teams and how every day is exciting as a PM because there’s never a dull moment in marketing.”
“Retention was not something we were trying to adopt; it was a business need. We wanted to digitize our retail space and make customers digitally savvy, making Retention the need of the hour, and that’s how I tapped into the game.” says Pranav Mohanpurkar, who is the Senior Product Manager for the Southeast Asia Market at Unilever. Talking about the cultural differences in India and Southeast Asia, Pranav shares, “a lot of things are culturally different like people here have a hustle culture when it comes to business and customer; in S.E.A market it’s mostly about trust and win-win situations.”
With eight years of experience in the marketing arena, Puneet Bhalla currently holds the position of Associate Director – Marketing at Shiprocket. Talking about how he landed into the Retention spectrum, he says, it all happened on the job, “I was tasked to increase Retention as well as acquisitions. My role was to increase subscriptions, and that is when I identified many purchase barriers and realized the need to run Customer Engagement and lifecycle journeys to nurture buyers and eventually convert them. That’s how I got introduced to Retention and CRM.”
Radha is a Growth and Retention Marketer at Hotstar, an Indian OTT platform. Prior to this, she worked with Pepperfry, an Indian online store for furniture and home décor. Talking about the one thing she wishes to change that will set the tone of her career for the next 10 years, she says, “One thing I learned in my career is that never get anchored to your manager and seek different people to solve your problems so you will gain insights into varied departments and eventually grow and expand your learning horizon.”
“Funny thing is I applied for the role of Product Manager at Bluestone, and then one day, my Manager told me there was a new domain to explore which is at a nascent stage. He asked if I would be interested in making a switch, and that’s how I got into the world of Retention,” says Rajorshi who works as a Depuy Manager at Bluestone, an online jewelry brand. When asked what the one piece of advice he would give to the aspiring cohort of Retention marketers to get started with their journey, he says, “Learning consumer behavior is a very crucial aspect of understanding the buyer persona and how they interact with you, especially in the eCommerce ecosystem.”
Rishikesh Patil is the Associate Manager, Consumer Marketing at Refyne and yet another engineer turned marketer who pursued Mechanical Engineering from Dwarkadas J. Sanghvi College of Engineering, Mumbai. While engineering, he did an internship with a fast-paced startup called crejo.fun, an EdTech platform, where he got exposure to many projects, learned many growth hacks, and got hands-on experience doing various campaigns, which eventually landed him the role of a Growth Marketer.
An MBA from IIM Ranchi and a Retention Consultant at Lyftcurve, a D2C focussed growth agency, Rohan has been deep into all things retention right from the start of his career journey. Rohan says that he was thrown into the role and learned everything about it on the go. Sharing about the one thing he would like to change for his future self, he says that he would like to be more courageous in taking new initiatives and charter into uncharted territory more confidently.
Ronak Devadiga is a professional with a proven track record in the Demand Life Cycle during his stint at Porter, an on-demand logistic platform. He has hands-on experience in solving various problems like reactivation, cross-selling of new categories, and Retention. Currently he leads the Growth Initiatives at an AI driven music platform called Beatoven.ai. When asked about the nature of Porter’s business and how he managed Retention with an average lifecycle and low frequency of repeat orders, Ronak says that their initial strategy was to build top-of-the-mind customer recall. These customers are not one-time users moving houses but SMEs who need services month on month. Eventually, we introduced two-wheeler delivery services where the frequency and lifecycle were more than that of trucks, say once a week, and that’s how we hit our Retention goals.”
Dhyani Doshi is the Associate Director – Customer Retention and Growth at Licious, an online meat delivery platform. She has previously worked with renowned brands like Blinkit and Reliance. Speaking about Retention, Dhyani says that this role was unplanned for her. She started off in the grocery space and then transitioned to an eCommerce ecosystem as a Digital Marketer, where she got to learn about Retention. She says, “As I was learning more about enhancing campaign spending and coming up with optimization strategies. I realized that most of the meat of the business belongs to Retention.”
Kaushik Sen Daka is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Google. Elaborating on his current job role and how he got introduced to Retention Marketing, he says, “My job at Google is to equip the emerging and new-age brands in EMEA countries to grow and optimize their business digitally. Prior to this, I worked with Acko Insurance, primarily spearheading Retention Marketing efforts over there, and that’s how I got started.” When asked about the one thing he wished to change today for a better tomorrow, he says, “Despite having the marketing acumen, many businesses lack the awareness about the nuances of Retention Marketing, and this is the opportunity for next-gen to set the benchmark, set examples and become the key opinion leaders.”
Sahil Seth works at Meta as a Solution Analyst and has a proven track record in implementing multiple digital strategies across platforms. Talking about his career trajectory, Sahil says, “Unlike others, I started from scratch. I began with Hospitality and switched to Marketing, and after that there was no looking back.” Sahil shares that before landing in Meta, he was working with boutique agencies and startups, where he wore multiple hats and gained hands-on experience in Retention marketing. He says that it was a less-known subject during that period. Today, the importance of Retention has just leveled up in a manner where acquiring a client is good, but Retention makes it profitable.
Sagar Bhatt is a seasoned Growth Marketing Manager at ET Money, a renowned fintech platform. He holds more than eight years of experience in Acquisition, Retention, Upsell, Cross-sell, and Win-back strategies. Talking about his role at ET Money he says, his primary role at ET Money includes driving Growth & CRM functions by identifying key issues in the Sales funnel and, optimizing it via different marketing channels, and making the best use of Martech to generate higher conversions.
Trisha Kumar Kamisetti is a Brand Manager at Razorpay, an Indian fintech company. She is an experienced, motivated, and result-driven marketer with over six years of experience in Sales and Marketing. Aside from Retention Marketing, she specializes in Brand Management curating strategies for eCommerce, Social Media, Customer experience, Digital and Growth Marketing and more. She has worked with multiple startups like Teabox and Vahdam. She believes that her curiosity and creativity helped her get more challenging and diverse work opportunities that accelerated her growth.
Adnan Ali Siddiqui is the CRM Marketing Manager at Arata, a D2C eCommerce brand for personal care products. For Adnan, the definition of growth is to learn and get things done constantly. Talking about his take on Retention, he says, “Retention Marketing is in my veins! I love to work on strategic initiatives in order to get the most out of the existing base without spamming them. Intelligent Segmentation and Customer Personas using the right channels at the right time helps me achieve the desired goals.” When asked about one of his skills as a Marketer, he says, “Mind mapping and giving clarity to all teams from scratch until the task is done is my forte!”
Surbhi Prasad works as a CRM Marketing Manager at Navigatr, a fast-growing luxury travel company based out of Canada. Prior to this, she worked with Future Group under the profile of Future Business Innovator, where she handled company branding for more than 280+ Big Bazaar stores across the country. During her stint at Future Group, she developed multiple experiential marketing plans for Big Bazaar stores across India to boost store walk-ins. She has over five years of experience with a proven track record in driving Retention-Led campaigns and implementing result-driven engagement strategies.
Nagesh is an experienced marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working across various industries, including eCommerce, Fashion Retail & Healthcare. He currently spearheads the Retention Marketing initiatives at Max Fashion, a brand under the banner of the UAE-based Landmark Group. His expertise lies in business insights, behavioral analysis, and Customer Relationship Management, among other areas. He is a strong professional with an analytical mindset and the zeal to excel.
A dynamic, results-driven individual with strong organizational abilities and demonstrated success in building relationships, Tarun Thomas Philip works as the Strategic Advisor at Q49 Flavours, taking care of the Customer Experience and Retention initiatives. Before this, worked as Growth and Marketing Expert for Freshchat and led CSR initiatives at Freshworks, where he spearheaded growth campaigns for ASEAN and MENA regions.
Mansi Verma spearheads Customer Retention strategies at Tata CLiQ. She is a young and enthusiastic marketeer brimming with a creative flair. She holds diverse experience across the telecom, travel, and now eCommerce industries. During her stint at MakeMyTrip, she handled loyalty programs, a critical component of Customer Lifecycle Management. Being at the forefront of acquisition and Retention in her career, Mansi understands the importance of Retention and how it impacts any business’s bottom-funnel, be it telecom, eCommerce, or any other industry.
Building a thriving career in retention was a far-fetched dream in the past. User Engagement and Retention have always been a very less traveled paths in the marketing world. However, that’s not the truth anymore. Today people realize that retaining customers is the only way to rung up the ladder of business success. Brands that are built on the back of a strong retention-first strategy are not dependent on external funds for their growth. All these stories and experiences of our young Retention Rockstars clearly proves it.
Are you keen to know more about how retention marketing can deliver better ROI for your business in 2023? Here is an in-depth tour of all the Retention strategies you can adopt to sail through the storm of challenges affecting your business bottom line.