Entrepreneurship lover and passionate about digital marketing, Bibin, a 2017 alumnus, followed his heart and moved to France to study digital marketing strategy at EMLV. As a digital marketing strategist at Braincities Lab in Paris, he recalls his journey from his native India to France.
My name is Bibin PONNACHAN. I am from India. I did my B.com and MBA in Marketing and Finance (Dual Specialization) from India and then moved to France for my Masters in Digital Marketing Strategy.
The transition from being an entrepreneur to being a digital marketing specialist
Before joining this program, I was working with HSIl Ltd (Hindware) as the Territory Manager. I was responsible for all the trade sales and brand promotion. Alongside that, I also had my own company, InUmbrellas. Under the brand InUmbrellas, we used to promote different brands on social media, give motivational speeches, conduct events, outsource services in the field of IT, Finance, Digital Marketing and Graphic Design and 3D Animation.
When working as a Territory Manager and as a Founder, I was responsible for brand promotion and worked with many clients to promote them online and offline. That was my passion. And I wanted to pursue more knowledge in the Digital Marketing space.
I wanted to learn how companies make digital strategies and transform digitally. I spoke to my mentor, and he suggested that I go to France. I started looking for universities that could provide me with in-depth knowledge of digital marketing. I started giving interviews and started getting letters from different universities.
The EMLV program, the right mix between theory and practice
My best option was EMLV because it was the only college that was providing me with a Masters degree in Digital Marketing Strategy. And I am still proud of my decision of choosing EMLV.
I liked the whole structure of the program. But my favourite part was the organizational project, where I got the opportunity to work with Spot-A-Shop (A Finnish e-commerce company). We were allowed to use all the theoretical knowledge we gained during this project and apply them practically to help the company grow.
I gained a lot of hard and soft skills that I use in my daily life. Like defining communication strategy, making digital marketing strategies, using tools like google analytics, Adwords, SEMrush etc., learned more about graphic design, learned the basics of coding and a lot more.
At Braincities, I work as a Digital Marketing Strategist and Graphic Designer. I am responsible for all the digital strategies around the company, managing all the online and offline media, managing the public relation, designing all the graphic materials for the company, event management, content management etc.
Digital marketing in Paris: bringing the “Jugaad” mindset to your growth strategy
Jugaad is a colloquial Hindi word that means a non-conventional innovation. With a Jugaad mindset, you try to solve a problem innovatively and creatively with meagre resources. I believe every person should have this mindset.
For example, when you’re working as a Digital Marketing Executive, you will have to bring some organic growth with limited resources and your jugged attitude or your ability to improvise an effective solution in adverse circumstances like that will help you.
Another example I would love to quote is when I organized a “Marshmallow Challenge”. The rules were simple: each group had 18 minutes to build the highest tower with the marshmallow on top using 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. At the end of the exercise, the teams’ performance was a great way to see the Jugaad mindset into practice and see what we could accomplish with limited resources.
What digital marketing students need to know to grow
One of the most critical things every digital marketing student needs to understand is that you have to be on your toes to match the pace of growing technology.
Digital marketing is an evolving and dynamic field, so the strategies always need to be updated to keep up with the current technological advancements. So keep yourself updated.
Another piece of advice I would like to give is, always keep an eye on your competition. Look for what your competitors are doing, how they manage the campaigns, their style of advertising, their designs, use of different tools etc. everything is essential to stay in the market. Last but not least, try to gain skills related to the field and get certified. Because if you don’t know the language (French), your skills/experience will speak for you.