Marketing alumna creates online community to bridge COVID-created industry gap

Newsroom authorby Olivia McLeodJan 20, 2023

Payal RainaWhen the global COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world in March of 2020, Payal Raina (Marketing Management ’06) found herself looking for new ways to connect with her marketing peers as they attempted to pivot through all the changes that came with remote work. To bridge this gap, Raina founded the award-winning FinTech B2B Marketing Community a first-of-its-kind online resource that brings marketers from the financial services and tech industry (fintech) together to share insights as well as train, learn and develop through mentorship.

The idea for this community came out of Raina’s own wants and needs in fintech. “The role of a fintech marketer is very different from a traditional B2B marketing role for two reasons. Firstly, the fast-paced nature of the industry landscape and, secondly, the highly regulated environment, which add a huge level of complexity,” she says. “The FinTech Marketing community is built for, and by, B2B marketers to solve those challenges and bridge the knowledge gap.”

“I took a leap of faith with this idea, and I didn't know if it was going to work. But then I put together the vision and the plan and started reaching out to my network.” The risk has paid off: in less than three years the platform has already grown to over 3,400 global members and subscribers.

The booming success hasn’t come without its challenges. Raina wears multiple hats, including her full-time role within the field. Now based in London, England, she is the Global Head of Marketing for leading global financial services company Torstone Technology. She starts her days very early — “usually I’m up at 4 o’clock in the morning, before everybody wakes up”— and works late into the evenings and on weekends to ensure both her nine-to-five work as a marketing executive is completed and that the work needed to keep FinTech thriving keeps going too.

But the latter is a labour of love for Raina who finds both personal and professional satisfaction through the FinTech B2B Marketing Community. The platform offers insights, networking, training, mentorship and coaching, as well as personal brand growth and event opportunities to those working in, or looking to break into, the financial services and fintech fields. “It appeals to my purpose here on planet earth. It truly gives me pleasure when I see how the community has made an impact in people’s lives and fellow peers thank me for what they’ve learned from community members,” she says.

“COVID-19 put life into perspective, and I didn’t want to end up regretting anything or to say I wish I would have given it a try.”

– Payal Raina

Membership to FinTech is free to access tools such as blogs, case-studies, videos, podcasts, newsletters and more. The FinTech B2B Marketing community also hosts several events and offers premium content at varying levels for students, individuals, businesses, or academic institutions as well as career-boosting platforms and mentoring opportunities. In short, helping fellow marketing peers to connect, learn and grow with each other.

Raina is passionate about the power of community. Giving back to marketing professionals is important to her, as she was given helpful guidance at the beginning of her own career. After coming to Canada from India with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration and marketing, she found herself wanting to expand her skills to better understand the North American market.

Through valuable education at Sheridan, she was able to graduate into positions at Microsoft and General Electric, where she says her various employers provided expert mentorship and support, most notably when she moved to the United Kingdom in 2008. “I’ve been lucky that all my managers genuinely wanted to help their staff members to grow and develop and kind of take that next leap of faith. Working with some of the global brands, both in Canada and the United Kingdom, I’ve been blessed (to work) with all these people.”

Raina’s various successes can certainly be attributed to her incredible work ethic, but also to her knack for innovation and the ability to look inward during a challenging time, find solutions to address a gap in her field, and take a risk in what she believed in—herself.

“COVID-19 put life into perspective, and I didn’t want to end up regretting anything or to say I wish I would have given it a try. So with strong, passionate belief I started reaching out to my peers to volunteer, help and support me in this movement. The rest is history.”

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