Interview with Pulak Sinha, Founder and CEO of Pepper

Marketing Darwinism:  Pulak, tell us about Pepper.

Pulak:  Thanks Paul.  Pepper was conceived as an end-to-end platform for Asset Managers who seek simplicity in a deeply complex world.  Asset Management is indeed complex; think of the questions Asset Managers have to answer:  What investments should I make?  How should I optimally manage the investments I have made/my portfolio?  What are the regulatory and data frameworks that govern the different asset classes in the portfolio?  How should I get real-time intelligence on my investments?  How should I report to my investors?  How do I differentiate from other Asset Managers?  These questions lend themselves to a platform- approach to this space.  So we built Pepper.

Marketing Darwinism:  Tell us more about Pepper’s origins.

Pulak:  I’ve spent my whole career in and around this space.  What appears to be a perfectly working machine from the outside has the usual issues when viewed from the inside.  We are talking about the management of trillions of dollars across a plethora of asset classes and a complex and dynamic international system of rules, regulations, compliance, and risk tolerance.  When I realized there are ways to simplify this, to help Asset Managers focus on client-return and not the perspiration and minutiae they have to spend much of their time on, Pepper was born.

Marketing Darwinism:  So is Pepper just an idea like so many startups or are you in market?

Pulak:  Great question.  There are so many claims made in the “Fintech” space that are theoretical and not tried and tested.  So I appreciate the question.  We are very much in market.  We are a revenue generating company with a blue-chip client base.  But I will say that my background is deep product design so I over-indexed on building a resilient comprehensive platform.  So we are now launching a massive marketing push to expand our customer footprint.

Marketing Darwinism:  Marketing is “music to my ears.”  Tell us more about your plans.

Pulak:  We are in a sector that requires very strategic marketing and not scatter-shooting.  First of all, given the impact of this sector- with the trillions of dollars at play- we should not exaggerate or embellish.  We plan to use a very clear, authentic messaging strategy in the voice of a peer.  After all, the idea is to be clear that we built this on the backs of our own experience and from within the cauldron not from the outside.  We will certainly leverage the tools of modern marketing- LinkedIn and others to get our message out but ultimately we know the true potential of Pepper will be realized when organizations trial it and see its power.

Marketing Darwinism:  Pulak, you have mentioned “Fintech” a few times.  What do you think the future of the space is?

Pulak:  I think the future of Fintech is very healthy but as entrepreneurs we have to help make it healthy by building truly useful products and truly helping customers adopt them in their own contexts.  No technologies are silver-bullets without context and culture surrounding them.  We have to think about those aspects of our industry and then devise and hone products that are in keeping with those principles.  I’m very bullish but also very clear that we have to work hard for that bullishness to be warranted.

Written by Paul Dunay
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating awareness for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the global vice president of marketing for Maxymiser a leading web optimization firm, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.