CEO, Pandan Social, Racing Driver and TV Host
One part Malaysian, one part British, Daniel is a man who has dealt many cards. Growing up loving what most boys love—racing, his interest for the sport grew when he went go-karting with his dad one weekend and little did he know it would lead to a professional racing career. After moving up the ladder from go-karting, Formula BMW to then Formula Three, he decided to call it quits after running into funding issues. With life taking him down a different route, Daniel decided to shift gears and together with a long-time friend, he started his own digital marketing agency called Pandan Social. When he’s not busy managing his own company, you can occasionally find him on your TV screens, co-hosting alongside Malaysia’s first Formula One driver, and fellow Men of the Year, Alex Yoong.
What drove you to start your own agency, Pandan Social?
After leaving the motorsport scene for sometime, I took on a consulting gig working on projects in Malaysia and Bangkok. However, after spending some time in Australia for another consulting gig, I realised I had enough marketing exposure from both the entertainment industry and my consulting experience to monetise this myself. So together with Brandon Lee, my best friend who used to race with me, we started Pandan Social in 2019 with only $1,400 dollars. From there, we grew and eventually snowballed into a fully fledged growing agency with a whole range of clients in Malaysia and the USA. In a span of two years, we’ve grown from a team of one to 12 full-timers with an array of reputable clients working with us.
How has the pandemic shaped your life/career to date?
I think career wise, it hasn’t affected me as much. As a digital marketing agency, we were very lucky to have had the capabilities to work remotely so we were prepared before the storm really arrived. So for us, I think where it really affected us was the company culture, we weren’t able to mingle with the team as much—there’s only so much you can do through a Zoom call. We’ve made it work and it’s been well over a year now. I’m dying to get back to the office but we’ll take as much time as we need/ as appropriate depending on the Covid-19 situation.
We all know Daniel Woodroof – young entrepreneur, former professional racing driver. What is something unexpected about you?
To be honest, I’m a workaholic. I think my balance comes when I do occasionally go on trips overseas. My biggest hobby has got to be traveling hands down, whether it’s for work or for leisure, I just love experiencing different cultures around the world but with the travel restrictions I couldn’t do any of that. I’ve recently gotten plants, I’ve got monstera, fig tree, lilies and many more—so I’ve been really greening my workspace which I think has really helped. Outside of that, I just work but I promise I’m not as boring as I sound!
Jacket, shirt and pants by MSGM; Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Blue with blue rubber strap