Engineering Meets Marketing

Burhanuddin Pithawala has driven demand and revenue for brands such as OYO and Whitehat Jr in new geographies

Burhanuddin Pithawala was expected to do great things in the technological realm due to his IIT Kharagpur-rooted engineering background. But fate had its own plans as Pithawala discovered his love for marketing during an entrepreneurship stint post leaving his relatively safe job at ITC.

Soon after, he found himself at OYO where he had joined as operations head. Within eight months at the organisation, he was elevated to lead the entire South India region. At OYO, he delivered over 65 per cent of revenue in the Indian market (through direct channels i.e., apps, call centres etc.) for the company. By 2019, he had made his way up the ranks to become OYO’s vice president and global head of marketing and growth.

In his experience, Pithawala has collectively driven revenue and demand for marquee brands such as OYO and Whitehat Jr in new geographies including Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the US and Latin America. He has also hired and developed over 300 direct and indirect team members during his multiple stints.

The Journey Continues

As the head of growth marketing at HealthPlix, Pithawala has launched direct demand channels for the company, following key zero-to-one initiatives of self-onboarding, referral, webinar-led onboarding and rewards. He also set up the operating framework for the firm including the annual operating plan (FY 22-23). Additionally, he also optimised the market mix from 100 per cent sales to 55 per cent sales and 45 per cent (marketing + product + sales enabled).

Under his leadership, overall four times growth in user addition was observed by HealthPlix during the last year. 

True To Roots

“I frequently invest in building growth levers within a geography or product line which can become a 10X growth lever. This strategy works very well in combination with maintaining the remaining portfolio for baseline growth with spikes coming from hotspots,” says Pithawala.

Given his engineering background, Pithawala had a large analytics function in his portfolio during all his stints. He carries the values of the alumni of IIT Kharagpur – an institute known to bring out ambitious science and technology missions of national importance.

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