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India Is Awakening To The Significance Of Product Managers

India Is Awakening To The Significance Of Product Managers

‘The Product Mindset’ is fundamental to how fast and how well the digital economy matures

Over the next three to five years, we see the product-management role continuing to evolve toward a deeper focus on data (without losing empathy for users) and a greater influence on non-product decisions

Unlike product managers of the past, who were primarily focused on execution and were measured by the on-time delivery of engineering projects, the product manager of today is increasingly the mini-CEO of the product

This article is part of The Product Summit 2020, India’s largest virtual product conference, to be held on October 10, 2020. Click here to know more!

Product Managers are amongst the most essential contributors to a product’s success. The Indian tech ecosystem is grasping their value now more than ever before.

Functionally, a Product Manager (PM) is the glue that binds many functions that contribute towards making a product successful — engineering, design, customer success, sales, marketing, operations, finance, legal, and more. They not only own the decisions about what gets built but also influence every aspect of how it gets built and launched.

In other words, a modern day PM is increasingly analogous to a mini-CEO of the product. She wears many hats, using a broad knowledge base to decide on product trade-offs, bringing together cross-functional teams, and ensuring alignment between diverse swimlanes.

Beyond the confines of tech companies, product management is also emerging as the new training ground for future tech CEOs. In fact, we have already seen several ex-Product Managers found their own tech startups in the recent past, such as — Shishir Mehrotra (CEO at Coda.io), Girish Mathrubootham (CEO at Freshworks), Deepak Abbot (Founder at Flat White Capital), and many, many more. 

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Mini CEOs For A Mega Impact

With massive government initiatives like Make in India and a booming startup ecosystem, the need for Product Managers who understand India both as a consumer and a builder is significantly sizable. Top product management gurus like David Fradin believes this is the best time for Indian firms to harness the power of a Product Manager to mitigate risks and losses and ensure product success. 

As of 2020, India needs double the number of Product Managers it currently has. Currently, sectors such as — IT, telecom, and retail have been the most prominent demand generators. Indian firms are fast realising the importance of hiring good Product Managers for efficient product planning as well as delivering superior customer experience. 

This shift is not limited to India alone. MNCs like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple who previously outsourced service delivery or hired Indian talent for core engineering roles are now gradually looking towards Indian talent for their product management needs as well. Take for instance, the Indian product engineer from Ranchi, Rohit Prasad, who is the brain behind Amazon’s hugely popular AI-powered virtual assistant device Alexa.

“The Product Mindset fuels innovation by focusing the mind on what matters most in the digital world—and providing practical tools for attaining success,” David H. DeWolf, Author, The Product Mindset.

The analysis of the product management scene in India makes one thing abundantly clear — India is waking up to its Product Management talent and needs much more. 

To create Product Managers of the future, India needs more industry partnerships and collaborations between schools, colleges and higher education institutes, to instill innovation and a product mindset in the psyche of aspiring candidates. India needs more Product Managers for a stronger home-grown tech ecosystem and a brighter future. 

This article is part of The Product Folks And Inc42’s ‘The Product Summit’ — India’s First And Largest Virtual Product Conference, supported by Amplitude and AWS is scheduled for 10th October 2020. Register Now!

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Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.