The Breakout Growth Podcast

TransferWise VP Growth, Nilan Peiris, shares how they've used customer advocacy to grow from 40 to over 1700 employees.

In this episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, Sean Ellis is joined by guest host Matt Lerner, formerly marketing director at PayPal. Together, they interviewed Nilan Peiris, the VP of Growth at TransferWise. 

Nilan has led growth at Transferwise from around 40 employees to a company that is now over 1700 employees. The goal of this interview is to deconstruct what is truly driving this breakout growth success for TransferWise.

TransferWise’s growth starts with strong product/market fit. The founders identified an opportunity in the high costs that banks charge for international money transfers. Their solution makes it instant, convenient, transparent and significantly cheaper to transfer money abroad.

One of the key growth challenges that Nilan and his team have faced with TransferWise is that most people don’t realize that they are overpaying for money transfers. Getting the word out and building a trusted brand via advertising would be a very expensive feat, so instead, Transferwise has worked hard to build customer advocates. But to maintain strong word of mouth, the team needs to delight customers with every touchpoint. This has proven challenging given their unprecedented growth rate. Still, Nilan and his team have closely monitored their Net Promoter Score and have quickly worked to address the inevitable operations challenges that come from a rapidly scaling business. This requires Nilan and his team to work closely with other executives and even the board of directors to effectively manage their rapid expansion. 

Another reason that a strong referral loop is important is that TransferWise is generally an infrequent use case.  So rather than focusing on building a strong engagement loop, Nilan and his team focus on the referral loop. Another recent addition to their approach is identifying a more frequent use case for international money transfers, the b2b market. 

Some of the other topics discussed are:

  • Forecasting growth in early-stage startups vs rapidly scaling companies
  • Managing your growth and marketing career in an expanding company
  • Building trust with executives and board of directors
  • The role of mission in driving sustainable growth

Listen to the full podcast for more details on how Nilan and his team at TransferWise are driving breakout growth. 

Learn more about Nilan here:

And learn more about TransferWise here:

Brought to you by Sean Ellis of The Breakout Growth Podcast