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The Wait Is FInally Over! Introducing #TheProductSummit Sessions: India’s Product Leaders In A Single Playlist

The Wait Is FInally Over! Introducing #TheProductSummit Sessions: India’s Product Leaders In A Single Playlist

Inc42 and The Product Folks hosted The Product Summit on October 10th and 11th which saw founders, product leaders and VCs congregate to brainstorm on everything product

Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu, Zerodha’s Nithin Kamath, OYO’s Ritesh Agarwal, BigBasket’s director of products Tejas Vyas, Zomato product head Rahul Ganjoo, Razorpay’s product captain Khilan Haria were among the 42 speakers from leading tech startups

We have curated The Product Summit Sessions — a playlist with 15+ hours of exclusive video content based on the most popular product topics such as product strategy, user experience, data analytics, and more

This article is part of The Product Summit 2020, India’s largest virtual product conference which took place on October 10 & October 11. 

Missed TPS 2020? To access the exclusive TPS Session recordings, PPTs and upcoming sessions on products, click here!


While there is a lot of knowledge and resources on product management in books and online forums and blogs, most of this is centred around Western markets. But as many product builders and founders have claimed, the Indian market is a different beast altogether. Given the microcosmic market segments and demographic variances, product makers have to cater to varying market conditions often within the same region. While the startup ecosystem has grown by leaps, there is definitely a dearth of product and marketing insights for India’s rapidly expanding product ecosystem. 

To plug this gap, Inc42 and The Product Folks hosted The Product Summit on October 10th and 11th which saw India’s leading founders, product leaders and VCs congregate to brainstorm on everything product-related — right from the ideation stage, through achieving product-market fit and the go-to-market strategy, and most importantly how to iterate and grow a product during its entire life cycle, especially as the user base matures. Plus, the likes of Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu, OYO’s Ritesh Agarwal and many others gave us a glimpse into how they have structured their product strategies in these times. 

TPS 2020 saw the participation of over 5,000 people over two days, along with the event trending on Twitter for an entire day with 40 Mn+ collective social media impressions.

#TheProductSummit2020: 5K+ Attendees, 42 Speakers, Here’s A Lookback At India’s Largest Virtual Product Summit

Introducing The Product Summit Sessions

We soon realised that the 24+ hours of discussions that encapsulated the insights of 42 of India’s top product minds and founders shouldn’t be limited by its reach to just those who signed up for the event. Moreover, we also saw the demand for this content rising among product makers and enthusiasts who are looking to revisit the virtual event. Which is why we curated The Product Summit Sessions — a playlist with 15+ hours of exclusive video content based on the most popular product topics such as product strategy, user experience, data analytics and more. 

And that’s not the complete deal — with fresh content on product building being released every month, your learning will keep growing.

If you are among The Product Summit attendees, you already know that the depth of the ideas presented was such that they demand a revisit. But if you missed the event, here’s a snapshot of what you can expect from The Product Summit Sessions, now available for download with Inc42 Plus Membership. 

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Building Products The Bootstrapped Way

In a world where the magnitude of VC backing has come to be one of the critical ingredients of success, Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu, Zerodha’s Nithin Kamath and Pallav Nadhani of Chart.com and Fusioncharts fame are outliers.

Speaking about the nitty gritties of building products in a bootstrapped outfit, Vembu said “Our first product was also something that was small and put food on our plates. It kept us alive. My colleague Tony Thomas wrote it single-handedly in three months. It put us on the radar. It made us ‘idli’ positive.”  

Kamath, who is a Vembu fanboy, spoke about the product instincts which have led to Zerodha assuming the pole position among a bevy of large Indian brokerages and how the fintech unicorn uses its mountain of data to “nudge” customer behaviour in the right direction rather than making money in the short term.   

The Metrics That Matter In Early Stage Startups

Though there’s a lot to learn from the bootstrapped entrepreneurs, most Indian tech startups today depend on VCs. A burning question for early-stage founders, product managers at Series A and below startups and aspiring entrepreneurs, is what exactly convinces a VC to invest? What are the metrics that matter in early stage investments and which are just vanity metrics that don’t need to be chased?

In a session moderated by Sanjay Mehta of 100X.VC, Indian investors — Sajith Pai of Blume Ventures, Seema Chaturvedi of AWE Funds, Amit Somani of Prime Ventures, Ritesh Banglani of Stellaris Venture Partners delved into what makes a startup tick from a product metric perspective. 

However, a startup shouldn’t just set its product goals based on VC metrics — the first and foremost hurdle to cross is product market fit. 

Speaking in a panel that had product leaders from Zomato, BigBasket and Amazon, former Ola product head and Lightspeed Ventures partner Harsha Kumar said “If you don’t keep evolving with what your users like or love, you will start losing them. This journey to PMF never quite ends — you’re constantly on a treadmill — you will hit PMF, get an S curve, and then you’ll start to plateau. And guess what, you have to find another S curve if you want to keep growing.”

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Engineering Products For The Next Billion

One of the ways for products to keep growing is continuously expanding its target audience — the reason why tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Microsoft today stress on attracting the next billion, or the Bharat audience in the Indian context.

“We often go into the assumption that there could be a lack of awareness among the users in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. But, in reality, that could be a mere lack of trust that most people face while using digital platforms, given their offline experience” said Myntra’s Lalitha Ramani at a panel discussion with SHEROES founder Sairee Chahal, Chingari cofounder and CEO Sumit Ghosh, and Mitron cofounder and CEO Shivank Agarwal. 

That means attracting the Bharat audience would require a significantly different UI/UX that can make users feel at home while navigating some categories of internet products for the first time. 

Delving deeper into the UI/UX conundrums that face makers in a session that had design leaders of BYJU’s, Microsoft and Xperian, Flipkart’s head of design Sameer Chavan said the action-oriented nature of Bharat means that product makers have to continuously experiment. Tune in to the session to know about testing design hypotheses, the right way of cloning features, and balancing customer delight and business goals.   

Building A High Growth Product Team

Achieving these lofty goals is not possible without having the right product team in place. In a session with India’s top product leaders, Razorpay product head Khilan Haria said  “I think product management is a very catch-all role. So the first thing I look for when I hire when I build teams is someone who has a skin-in-the-game attitude and is willing to do anything and everything to solve the problem.” 

This session is a ready compendium with tips and tricks for any entrepreneur looking to build a product team — from making the right hires to creating a product playbook for new members, it informs the viewer about all the nuances of engineering a high growth product outfit.

How To Scale Products For The Global Market

After achieving product market fit, optimising UI/UX through iterations, and putting a high growth team in place, the next milestone is scaling the product fast to reach a global audience. With India’s SaaS startups already being accepted globally, it’s time for consumer products to break the glass ceiling, many of TPS speakers said.

Two examples of startups which are on their way of doing it are OYO and WhiteHat Jr — and so we invited the respective founders, Ritesh Agarwal and Karan Bajaj, to uncover the secret recipes they have employed.

“VCs were not really happy about a Series A company which had barely raised $10 Mn was out to conquer a new market but I had a very strong conviction that if I have a good product then it will work outside India too,” Bajaj recollected.

Besides giving direct access to the sessions from The Product Summit, we have also added them to our Inc42 Plus membership experience that also includes exclusive in-depth stories and newsletters on India’s tech startup ecosystem, playbooks on upcoming trends, data intelligence, deeply researched reports on frontier industries and to top it all — $150K+ worth of deals, discounts and free access to a hand-picked set of essential products and services for entrepreneurs. 

That’s not all — we are adding new features and products to our membership bouquet every month. So watch this space for more! 

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This article is part of The Product Summit 2020, India’s largest virtual product conference which took place on October 10 & October 11, supported by Amplitude, AWS, Dell Technologies, and DigitalOcean.

Missed TPS 2020? To access the exclusive TPS Session recordings, PPTs and upcoming sessions on products, click here!