"Career walk" interview with Kartik Krishnan of Capdesk: Growth Vs Marketing

Updated: Oct 11

What’s it like to be a fintech marketer? In our “Fintech Career Walks” series, we’re revealing the career stories of some of the most inspiring and successful marketers in the sector. Subscribe to the Fintech Marketing Monthly Digest here so you don’t miss any of our future stories.

Career walk interview with Kartik Krishnan of Capdesk

I understand the various parts of the funnel well, can talk about outbound marketing and sales pipeline challenges with the sales team while understanding the job-to-be-done enabled by our latest feature or product offering. I think this is essential in a fast-paced Fintech, where the market is constantly shifting and you need to be aware of the wider ecosystem to truly add value to prospects and customers.

“Extremely collaborative, insightful and never shy to roll up his sleeves” … “Kartik is the kinda guy you’ll never forget!” These are just a few of the words people say about the fintech marketing star of this edition of our “Career Walk” interview series: Kartik Krishnan.

Kartik started his career at probably every tech marketer’s dream company, Google, where he’d spend more than 3 years managing a portfolio of key Google AdWords accounts.

Following his career jumpstart at Google, Kartik completed an MBA at the University of Cambridge and entered the fintech startup space by joining the fintech ‘soonicorn’ Onfido. Originally hired as a digital marketing specialist, he quickly realised that what Onfido actually needed was a more outbound and demand generation approach to its marketing. So, his role shifted to a “Head of Demand Gen”.

“Realising that Onfido’s enterprise B2B focus required other approaches, my managers and I figured a ‘Head of Demand Gen’ role would be better for the company. To this end I had to learn about outbound marketing approaches, hiring and managing an inside sales team and justifying the spend (attribution).”

Currently, Kartik is a Director of Growth at the UK-based equity management platform Capdesk. Founded by the serial Danish entrepreneur, Christian Gabriel in 2015, Capdesk has raised more than £11.7 million funding over two rounds. The company is now planning to use this capital to build a “seed to post-IPO” equity platform for the usually underserved private secondary European market by onboarding established private and publicly listed companies.

About his role at Capdesk, Kartik comments: “The work is both challenging and exciting. To do it well I need to be able to trust my team, empower them to do their best work, and constantly ensure we are pulling in the same direction with speed and precision.”

What’s the difference between Growth and Marketing, and why data and empathy are key to fintech marketing?

Find the answers to these questions and more in Kartik’s complete story below.

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Tell us about your career start? How did you end up doing marketing for a fintech?

My career to date has involved a lot of serendipity - as a bonafide generalist and quick learner, I’ve been able to run with the opportunities life has thrown at me.

The first was when I joined Google. I’d come out of Nottingham Uni with degrees in Science and Maths. So joining a tech giant to account manage a digital marketing offering (AdWords) was not a part of the plan. But knowing the company would provide some powerful learning opps and sensing that digital marketing was a growing realm, I got stuck in.

Since then, I’ve worked at Fintech ‘soonicorn’ Onfido following my MBA, at the incubator / accelerator Founders Factory and now am Growth Director at Capdesk (with a few stints either as a freelancer or for shorter periods at a couple of other startups along the way).

What’s it like to be a Growth Director at a fast-growing startup? What do you love about your current role at Capdesk?

I often talk about the difference between Growth versus Marketing. If you are interested you can hear me speak about it over this 45 min podc