Mahesh Murthy

Founder, Pinstorm

Session: Learning from Tesla, and disrupting marketing
- , May 26th 2023, Strategy
It used to be believed that the more money you spend on advertising, the bigger the brand you can become. But that's no longer true.

The world’s biggest brands today, from Tesla to Red Bull to Starbucks to digital champions like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp spend next to nothing on media and advertising. This disrupts the entire ad-supported business and the trillion dollar economy behind it. It’s no longer the winners who spend – but it’s the losers who do.

What is the playbook of the new generation marketer if they were to learn from this disruption? How can a startup take on a giant even when it has no money?

Mahesh is an investor, marketer and entrepreneur, and he will talk of his understanding of the new rules of marketing, and his experiences implementing the same with his own clients and investees.


Mahesh has one of the more unusual bios for a speaker at a digital marketing conference. A college dropout, he helped design and launch Amazon and Yahoo globally in the mid-90s, and he launched India's first private satellites into space a few months ago. At other times in his career, he set up what is now South Asia's largest digital marketing independent, Pinstorm; led the fight that stopped Facebook from offering Free Basics in India; won a 'best new ad film director" at Cannes; helped launch MTV and then ran its rival, Channel V in India and won "India's best venture capitalist" award, twice.