Taking flight with Daniel Odoi

By Seth Robinson

Daniel Odoi has made a career of being in the right place at the right time, right before things get interesting. Since graduating, he’s worked with Uber, Busabout, and now Wing, Australia’s first drone delivery business.

Daniel graduated from the Bachelor of Commerce in 2015, with majors in Economics and Finance. They were disciplines he credits with building a strong foundation and business acumen.

“Economics was something I’d studied in high school, so I knew I was interested in that space. It was also just a couple of years after the GFC, so I decided to pursue Finance because I wanted to understand how to cut through all the noise of the media and understand what had happened from an academic perspective,” he says. “I started in those areas, but I always had an outside interest and passion for the creative stream, for marketing, and content production – which is where I’ve ended up working now – but I think those studies in Finance and Economics gave me a really strong foundation. They’re skills that gave me a more wholistic understanding and allowed me to have those more high-level conversations. It was particularly useful when I was working at Uber.”

Daniel joined Uber in 2015, at a time when the company was really just beginning to grow in Australia.

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Daniel Odoi
Daniel Odoi.

“At that point, I’d only heard a few glimmers of Uber. The tech scene was still in its infancy in Australia. We’ve seen some incredible peers since then – such as Canva and Atlassian – but back then it was all still pretty new. I remember my first trip: I pressed the button, the driver came up, knew my name, and away we went. Before that, I had never considered just how clunky the traditional taxi process was. There was something in that moment that made me say ‘yeah, this is really special’. It was one of those moments it’s easy to see in hindsight, but equally easy to miss at the time, that moment when iPhone came, and everyone still had a Blackberry, or when we stopped listening to radios and started watching TV. I just felt it was a really pivotal point, and I went with my gut instinct to join and I’m really glad I held on for the ride.”

Daniel stayed at Uber for a little over four years, working chiefly in operational roles but his desire to work in the creative space remained. When he finished at Uber, he took some time off to travel, a decision that opened the doors of the content world for him through a very cool, new experience.

“It was a sweet double-whammy. My plan had always been to take some time off, like everyone should with their first job. It was my mid-twenties recharge, taking a little time to look at what the next stage of my career should be. It was a beautiful coincidence that Busabout were putting on the Great #TravelExperiment competition at the same time. I got really lucky, I’m not going to lie, but I submitted a video that won from amongst a bunch of other content creators, all around the world. My prize was an all-expenses paid trip across Europe with Busabout, where I got to create digital content and work (remotely) with their Head of Marketing.”

It was an experience that confirmed what Daniel had always thought, he wanted to work in the content space. It also gave him the skills and experience he would need for his next step, as a Marketing Communications associate with Wing, a role that’s seen him return to the forefront of the tech world.

Wing is a subsidiary of Alphabet (Google’s parent company). At present, they’re transporting small packages by drone and making deliveries to communities in Canberra, ACT and Logan, QLD.

“I’ve flown drones for about two years and I’ve always had an interest in this technology. Once I got to see how people were benefiting from the service, and to see their operations across three continents, I thought it would be a really exciting place for me to be. Especially now that I’m getting to work on the creative and content side of things. I’ve gotten to bring all these threads of my interest together.”