Today in our Success Story blog, we introduce you to Ranjith Malapaty who is a Senior Technical Product Manager at GE Digital and was a part of the PGPPM, 2021 at INSAID. He shares how he achieved success and applied Product Management skills for his various next generation software products. Learn more about Ranjith and his career transition journey.
Q1. Tell us about your current role and background.
As a Senior Technical Product Manager, I’m responsible for defining, designing and delivering next generation SCADA HMI software products to 1000s of customers within the changing technology landscape of IoT.
I’m an Electrical Engineer with 14 years of in-depth experience in control systems product design and development for power plants and then worked a couple of years in project management.
Therefore, I moved into people management and organisational leadership for two years for a company specialised in the utilities domain. So my background is in the energy and utilities domain for almost 18 years.
Q2. What challenges did you face while exploring a Product Management role?
The biggest challenge was to find product management roles within my domain, energy and utilities, not many companies serve PM roles in this domain within India. Another challenge was to find a better role fitment for my years of experience, as I wanted to change my career path after spending so many years in engineering.
Finally, tailoring my CV for a PM role so that it can get good enough attention by recruiters was another challenge. Most recruiters rely on keywords for screening the candidature. So even though one has the right skills, they are still judged by the availability of role specific keywords in that CV.
Q3. How has Product Management helped you in your new role?
I would say that it helped me right from the interview process itself. I was able to understand the PM role better, especially the mindset of a PM and that helped me crack the interview.
Eventually the flow of work right from discovery to product delivery to user, working in lockstep with the development team, UX and customers to solve pain points has really been an exciting journey so far.
I can empathise more with users while I design the product. And the design discussions with the team and other stakeholders have been more productive, where my team is able to deliver value each time consistently.
Q4. What was the interview experience at your current company?
It was good, especially the interview rounds with core PM skills were really in-depth. For the initial screening round, I created a slide deck about my own fictitious product and defended our vision, mission strategy, competitive landscape, etc. to showcase my mindset as a potential product manager.
The PM role being a very practical role, I thought of showcasing my readiness to be a PM in a creative bay to the hiring manager and it really worked out well. There were many scenario based questions related to how I as a PM would deal in case of ambiguity, dealing with multiple conflicting priorities and creative thinking.
The interviews also have given me very good insights into the role and its responsibilities and gave me a clearer picture of what it would take for me to be successful in that role. The overall experience I would say right from the recruiter’s first phone call through the technical interviews and finally onboarding has been a positive experience.
Q5. Why INSAID? How did it help you?
I really like the way the entire program is laid out by INSAID, which was very practical and easy to navigate each term. The program was very cost effective as it was within my budget.
The online mode of teaching with classes on weekends with very knowledgeable faculty has been a great help for me as a good focus on my work on weekdays and focus on learning PM skills on weekends.
Even if I missed a class, I could access the recordings anytime, I could clearly see a difference in my own mindset as a PM before joining the course and post joining.
In fact, the learning I gained from Term-1 played a major role in my success. We used to have collaborative projects and discussions with our mentors, which is a great way to share knowledge and help each other’s career grow. Overall, I’m very satisfied with the INSAID PGPPM program.
Q6. What advice would you give to Product Management beginners?
A PM role is a very exciting role in which one gets to design and deliver scalable products to solve pain points of users.
All it takes is the right mindset that can empathise with users to understand the pain points to solve on a priority basis. Finally, leadership skills for defining and owning a product vision and collaborating with the teams to get things done are very important skills for any PM aspirant.
We hope you found this success story interesting. If you have any Product Management questions, please fill this form and we will get back to you.