Ramen To Riches
S2E6: Why A Famous Digital Marketer Quit His Top Corporate Career For Startup Dream
Jun 14, 2020 · 52 min
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Thanks for listening to one of our most popular episodes, click the Play button! What would you do with your career if you were the head of your department at one of the world’s best companies? Would you stay or would you go? Would you embark on a risky startup journey?

Watch the latest TV show in Japan with Channel NewsAsia before COVID-19 hit.

You can’t deny the career achievements of my next guest. Damien Cummings is one of Asia Pacific’s most recognised digital transformation leaders, having led digital or marketing departments at companies like Ogilvy, Samsung and Standard Chartered Bank. He’s now the CEO of Peoplewave, his startup that aims to help HR departments through their innovative software. He raised a seed round of $1.2 million, which is an impressive amount for a seed round, but behind his success, he’s had to fight huge personal battles.

You’ll hear how an ambitious young man from Australia used his social and self-taught computer skills to climb to the top of Asia’s marketing industry, and how he’s dealt with huge hardship. Find out how he’s able to keep his mind on his goal of building a $1 billion-dollar company.

Thanks for listening! The greatest compliment you can give me is to recommend this podcast to colleagues, family and friends. Share a comment through email or Linkedin and let me know what you think, I’m constantly trying to improve the content in this podcast for you.

I’m also looking for my next tv show after I recently hosted my last tv show on Channel NewsAsia about the latest business trends in Asia. In this show, I flew to Japan to uncover the e-sports industry with a crew and fixer, and we dove deep into the Esports industry. I learned a lot about myself and about how to host a show. You can check it out here, it’s an hour-long and we met with a lot of interesting characters along the way. I’d love to know what you think.

Damien’s Bio:

Damien Cummings is highly awarded, being honoured with a Doctor of Philosophy in Management (honoris causa) from KEISIE University, Korea in October 2017. He’s also been awarded “Global Top 50 Digital Marketing Leaders 2016”, “Financial Services Marketer of the Year 2016”, “Digital Marketer of the Year 2016”, “Most Influential CMO 2015”, “Marketing Professional of The Year 2012” and the “Brand Leadership Award 2011”.

Damien is currently CEO of Peoplewave, Asia’s leading HR software company, which is powered by blockchain. He is also the Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Blogger and Principal Consultant at Econsultancy. Before entrepreneurship, he was Global Head of Digital Marketing at Standard Chartered Bank and Chief Marketing Officer at Philips APAC. Damien has also worked at major global brands such as Samsung, Dell, Ogilvy & Mather, Citibank, Coca-Cola, NRMA and McKinsey & Company.

He has been a judge for many awards and a top-ranked keynote speaker, chairman or commentator on marketing transformation and digital. Damien has held industry leadership positions including APAC Board Director of the Mobile Marketing Association, APAC Advisory Board of the CMO Council and the Global Executive Committee of the World Federation of Advertisers.

Damien’s blog, Digital Future, is available at: http://www.digitalfuture.asia and his Twitter account is: @DamienCummings

Host’s Bio:

At 20, I took a break from my law degree to co-found my first startup, Beeconomic, which was fully acquired by Groupon (a record-breaking buyout in Singapore after just 6 months according to The Straits Times).

As Groupon Singapore co-founder, we created over 200 jobs and made history by helping Groupon become “the fastest-growing company ever” (-Forbes and CNBC). After Groupon, I worked on 4 startups that failed, which taught me important lessons about failure.

After finishing my law degree, I joined a “Top 5” law firm in Australia that led to an offer in their M&A advisory practice.

I was then recruited by Hong Kong’s biggest English newspaper, The South China Morning Post, as the social media editor to execute a digital transformation strategy. When the team achieved strong digital growth, Jack Ma’s Alibaba acquired the newspaper. After 6 months of transitioning and training with the new owners, I moved on to pursue my passion for cooking.

After culinary school, I became a full-time advisor for a $100M Japanese VC, a highlight is our $1M investment into a fast-growing, millennial-focused news platform.

I have served as a consultant to Governments and 80+ tech firms in Southeast Asia, but for early-stage startups, I also volunteer as a mentor at an incubator. I am an entrepreneur who knows exactly how it feels to be guide-less and isolated. I’ve met a lot of kind people on my travels who were willing to help me and this is my way of paying it forward.

Spending my spare time volunteering in charities, mediation, cooking, and working out are my passions. Channel NewsAsia shot a 2018 TV documentary called “Millionaire Minds: Chris Chong” featuring my latest (failed ) startup and featured me as a guest host on their show “The Millennial Investor” before COVID-19 hit. I’m looking for my next job (like everyone right now), if you know of any TV hosting opportunities, then do please reach out.

If you liked this episode, check out our most popular interview from season 1 with the co-founder of SGAG and MGAG, Karl Mak.

This podcast was originally published on 2018-10-16

 

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Music Attribution (Creative Commons/Royalty Free)

-Purple Planet – “Introspection”, “After the Fall”, “Meat Grinder”, “Dreamcatcher”, “Fearless”, “ Vital Signs”
http://www.purple-planet.com

-“Royalty Free Music: www.soundotcom.com
Cold Night (Creative Commons) FREE Ambient music by Unwritten Stories

“A New Year” by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au

“Hymn” by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au

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