The Product Management Express Rolls out of Bangalore
This may not be the blockbuster movie Chennai Express but Product Management Express, a joint initiative between NASSCOM and IPMA, has no less a goal to reach the masses. Of course, the masses here are professionals from IT companies from startups to large companies, captives or Indian who are working on creating and selling products.
It’s an exciting time to be creating products out of India, made for global markets or made for India. Just in the last couple of years, Indian product companies such as redBus.in, Little Eye Labs have tasted success with acquisitions and few of them like Make My Trip have also gone public. There are also several companies set up in India which are international subsidiaries with R&D charters.
Success sounds intoxicatingly delicious but we all know, getting there is a marathon! While organizations want to have a better appreciation of taking an idea to launch and contributing towards profitability, what has distinguished successful products and companies are a series of thought processes that are designed for maximum understanding of users. In addition to bringing in vast knowledge of user behaviour and market gap analysis in a systemic way, mature companies ensure sustained business growth and profitability by nurturing product management best practices.
The essence of Product Management can be described as getting clarity into what do we need to build, why and for who. It is also a confluence of three broad elements – business, technology and design. A good product manager triangulates all product decisions around business value, technical feasibility and user desirability in order to delight customers AND drive profitability. Managing the trade-offs can be often tricky and sometimes complex.
Product Management is seen to be a critical skill for several organizations and there is a huge gap between demand and supply right now. Part of the problem is due to the overflowing success of the services sector in the past three decades. The mindset needs to go beyond simply taking requirements from clients to understanding what the customer wants. Understanding what customers want is a $1B question! Secondly, MBA universities emphasize more on marketing than building and creating products. Some universities are adding courses to address this gap. Third, India has been bitten by the startup bug. There are more and more engineers creating or joining product companies. Engineers are trained to solve problems. They need to go beyond problem solving to defining problem statements, which in turn can be used to define business opportunities. Good product management distinguishes between solving a real need versus finding a problem to a cool solution.
Considering these challenges, NASSCOM and IPMA have joined hands to launch a series of workshops to spread awareness of product management. Each of the series has a particular area of focus. The first area of focus dubbed the Market Platform aims to emphasize market driven needs and provide an overview of product management careers. The second area of focus dubbed Growth Platform emphasizes on product strategies to drive sustained growth. The third area of focus is called Value Platform and emphasizes on creating value in the markets and effective Go to Market strategies. The fourth area of focus is called Experience Platform. The Experience platform focuses on user experience through product design and engineering scalability aspects.
The first of the series of Market Platform day long workshops was launched in Bangalore on May 16th at the Hyatt Hotel. The next workshop is in Delhi on May 23rd and in Pune on May 30th. To register for an upcoming workshop in your city or to find out more information about the Product Management Express visit http://product.nasscom.in/Product-Management-Express.php or www.indiapma.org.
The author Ravi Padaki, is a Product Management and Marketing consultant. He is also the co-founder of IPMA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.