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‘Everyone must have the liberty to think big, be creative, and add value to the company,’ says Gaurav Khurana, CMO, PAYBACK India

With over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing & product management across industries such as loyalty, financial services, and automobiles, Gaurav Khurana, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Online & Affiliate Business, PAYBACK India is a key influencer in defining overall branding and customer strategy for PAYBACK India. With his immense experience in product and brand marketing to build a stronger brand, Business2Business got into an exclusive conversation with Gaurav to explore more about his corporate journey as a marketer, his work-life balance and a lot more: 

The corporate journey: Gaurav shares, “It’s been an exciting journey so far. Over the past 15 years, I’ve had the good fortune of working across industries and service categories including Sales, Marketing and Product Management in the loyalty sector, financial services and automobile space. Prior to PAYBACK, I was associated with American Express for 6 years in their product and brand management functions. At PAYBACK too it has been an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career graph. As a part of the senior management team at PAYBACK, I was responsible for pitching and on-boarding team new brand partners like Samsung, Unilever, Trident Hotels, Carzonrent, Easy Cabs to name a few. Following which I took over the role of Chief Marketing Officer and have also been responsible for scaling the online and affiliate partnership's business.”

Biggest lessons that have impacted your work life: Sharing more on some key learning’s that have impacted the way he works, Gaurav shares, “Some key learning’s I have imbibed along the way have been to always set your priorities right else you lose track of everything you are juggling together, delegate and follow through, have a keen eye for detail as it’s all in the details. As we grow and climb the corporate ladder, it is imperative to keep in touch with the basics and create an open and friendly work-space.” 

The most loving thing about work: When asked about one thing that he loves the most about his work, Gaurav shares, “PAYBACK are a young and vibrant organization and I enjoy working with an energetic & a dynamic team in a fast-paced environment. I love the dedication and passion in our employees, which they invest every day at the workplace to achieve better results.”

How does your day look like: Gaurav shares, “I start my day early with some running and exercise as fitness is a both a passion and goal for me. I prefer to reach office as early as it helps me proactively plan my day and get over with the regular tasks like mails, calls, etc. which leaves me the valuable part of the day for meetings, reviews and brainstorming sessions with the teams across branding, marketing, sales. Frequent travelling is also part of my job. However, despite the hectic schedule, I manage to take small breaks to keep myself relaxed and energetic.”

Work-life balance: Sharing more on his non-work habits that help him to balance his work life, Gaurav shares, “Weekends for me are for the family and running. I am an avid runner and it refreshes and relaxes me. It helps me keep fit, calm & focused, which reflects on my professional life. I love spending quality time with my family on weekends.”

Best advice received: Gaurav shares, “I strongly recommend the mantra – focus on one thing at a time. When we deep dive into problems, it throws up many intricate details, and this leaving you with many more things to resolve. Despite this it is imperative that we focus on the core problem and I am confident that there will be an impactful solution to it.”

The different mindset: Sharing more of the mindset that has helped him be different from others, Gaurav shares, “My focus and passion to win, my nature of being relaxed and calm under pressure and the creation of an open and friendly team environment in order to build camaraderie and team spirit.”

Something that can be done differently: Gaurav shares, “India is one of the fastest emerging markets in the world. The pace at which this nation is growing is phenomenal. I’d like to see that this extends into the rest of the rural sector. We have more potential than we know; I am a strong believer of pushing boundaries to achieve more. To truly encourage my team to grow as individuals.”

Advice for professionals in the marketing domain: “Learning is an everyday process, never stop learning. The world is changing at a fast pace, new technologies coming in and one should take an effort and invest in learning new things. In addition to this, young professionals should focus on building their personal brand too,” says Gaurav.

Greatest motivation: “Ratan Tata, an iconic businessman and philanthropist is one of the greatest motivation for me. Not only me, but I strongly believe he has inspired generations of individuals who aspire to follow in his footsteps. He revolutionized the corporate world with his intense dedication and principles. Not only is he a great business leader, but a great human being too and his contribution to society is commendable,” says Gaurav. He adds, “I try to implement his attitude towards my work and my interaction with my colleagues and team as everyone must have the liberty to think big, be creative and add value to the company.”

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