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Embracing Technology: From Childhood Coding to Establishing a Digital Marketing Firm

Being exposed to the world of coding early age has become increasingly recognised as a pivotal foundation for future success in the digital age. It allows the new generation to acquire technical skills, cultivating a mindset that embraces innovation and equips young learners with the tools to navigate and shape our technologically driven world.

At the tender age of 8, Dhawal Shah’s journey into the world of coding began unexpectedly when it was sparked by a Pentium 386 computer that ran on a DOS operating system.

This early exposure – facilitated by supportive parents who enrolled him in computer classes and provided him with his first computer – set the stage for what would become a lifelong passion.

“I discovered coding when I found the Nibbles game on QBasic – where you compile the source code to play the game each time. I started messing around with the code, and when I found that the game changed based on my edits, it blew my mind!” he said in an interview with The Exchange Asia.

From there, Dhawal’s passion for technology and the capabilities that technology offers ignited his fascination with programming, laying the foundation for his future endeavors.

During his high school years, his technological pursuits expanded as he delved into web development using HTML and Javascript. At the time, Dhawal shared that he gained a lot of support from his friends who also shared his enthusiasm for programming.

Encouraged by his parents, Dhawal even ventured into formal education in Visual Basic, a programming language for developing Windows software, where he found himself among adult learners – an early testament to his drive and precocious talent.

However, his interest in technology is not confined to coding alone but spans across diverse domains.

In 2012, Dhawal and his then-schoolmate, friend and business partner who describes Dhawal as the ‘genius troublemaker’, Razy Shah established 2Stallions, a pioneering digital marketing agency headquartered in Singapore. This allowed Dhawal to keep abreast of cutting-edge advancements in AI, blockchain and marketing technology (martech).

2Stallions co-founder, Dhawal Shah

His fascination with these technologies aligns seamlessly with his business’s core focus – leveraging technology to enhance digital marketing strategies for clients across the Asia-Pacific region.

“I am bullish about all Internet-related technologies, for the obvious reason that this is the space my business is in. For the hardware geek in me, I also learn about the latest chipset technology and advancements in robotics,” he added.

The inception of 2Stallions was driven by Dhawal’s vision to democratise digital marketing for smaller businesses. What began as an educational initiative evolved organically into a full-fledged digital marketing agency.

By offering comprehensive services including SEO, performance marketing, social media management, and web development under one roof, 2Stallions distinguishes itself through streamlined vendor management and a commitment to client success.

But establishing 2Stallions wasn’t without its hurdles. In its nascent stages, scepticism towards digital solutions and the challenges of being a bootstrapped startup tested Dhawal and his team.

“We originally started with the objective to make digital marketing accessible to smaller businesses. We went about this by educating them on the use of digital marketing.

“However, as we shared what we knew, we found that a lot of businesses would rather have it be done for them instead of doing it themselves. One project led to another, and we ended up achieving our objective as a digital marketing firm,” Dhawal shared.

Through perseverance and a focus on delivering measurable results, they gained traction and built enduring client relationships.

Today, with multiple accolades and a robust team across several countries, 2Stallions stands as a testament to Dhawal’s entrepreneurial resilience and strategic foresight.

Looking ahead, Dhawal envisions integrating AI and other emerging technologies to further elevate 2Stallions’ digital marketing offerings.

“Being full-service lets us meet all of our client’s digital and development needs in-house – whether it is SEO, performance marketing, social media marketing, marketing automation, creative work or web/mobile development,” he said.

By harnessing AI’s capabilities, the firm aims to deliver hyper-personalised, data-driven solutions that optimise client outcomes. Dhawal’s strategic vision extends beyond regional markets, aiming for global recognition as a thought leader in digital marketing innovation.

What started as a childhood curiosity in coding to founding and leading 2Stallions exemplifies the transformative power of early technological exposure and entrepreneurial spirit.

Dhawal’s story underscores the importance of passion, perseverance, and a forward-thinking approach in navigating the dynamic landscape of digital marketing and technology.

As 2Stallions continues to evolve and innovate, Dhawal remains steadfast in his commitment to pushing boundaries and delivering exceptional results – a testament to his enduring impact on the digital marketing industry.

“Our clients love the easier vendor management, ease of adopting new ideas and innovations for their digital marketing strategy and transparency in their results across all channels. We position ourselves as a strategic partner invested in the success of our clients.

“It also doesn’t hurt that we have won awards as an agency for our client work and our team members have been recognised in their domains as well!” he ended.

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