In this INSAID Spotlight interview, we feature Uday Bhaskar, a Senior Manager-Customer Success with over 4+ years of experience. He is currently associated with SmatBot, Hyderabad . His insatiable quest for knowledge and upskilling led him to enroll in the Global Certificate in Product Management at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
I am a part of the Global Certificate in Product Management, October 2021. I am currently working as a Customer Success Manager at SmatBot where my responsibilities involve:
- Client Onboarding. This involves understanding the client’s needs and mapping the deliverables and conveying the timelines to the client.
- Post onboarding. Any issues or general queries or requirements were handled by a team of associates with whom I closely work.
- Communicating with and mentoring the tech team as to how the clients are wanting the feature to be like or how can the product be made better and more user-friendly.
- Understanding the client’s pain points and increasing the possibilities of selling more features.
- Mentoring and assisting a small size team with their day to day responsibilities.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Product Management?
Starting my career as a Salesperson at Simplilearn in 2016, I had a very strong belief that sales can drastically change my career, 5 years down the line. During this time, I made a few observations.
A salesperson has power, courage and communication but the only thing they lack is Product awareness which is a very big problem for any company.
This made me rethink my career path and I switched to the Customer Success role, which is one of the trending career paths in the market today that solves my problem.
I have worked with startups that do extreme programming. Most of the startups in India have this common problem where the sales team starts selling a product very aggressively and the outcome is wrong.
This is when I came across a fancy term in the job market called ‘Product Manager’. I was partly aware of their profile, but I knew I wanted to be part of Product Management. I researched and found out about INSAID, and joined the program immediately.
Question 3: What all Product Management concepts, frameworks & tools have you mastered in your program at INSAID so far?
The most common thing from all the frameworks of Product Management that I came across is:
- Desire: Who is your customer, what do they want and why do they want it?
- Feasibility: For the selected target group, is it possible to build the features now, or do we carry enough budget to build those?
- Viability: Can a customer afford this and does the MVP solves the problem?
So far I have learnt:
- Defining the Product Vision statement and strategy
- 4P’s of Marketing
- Agile and waterfall methodologies
The tools I have mastered are: glitch.com, marvelapp.com, Miro, usability testing, Click up, Trello, Jira.
Question 4: What are some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Product Management journey and how did you overcome it?
Initially, I had a few apprehensions before starting the course since I was from a non-tech background. When the course started, I could easily relate to my own experiences and a few concepts that I studied during my Masters.
The faculty is full of highly talented people. They not only brought in the real world scenarios but also made us think with the help of class exercises.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from them the most?
Sai Charan Tej. He is brilliant with content delivery. The depth of knowledge that he has is immense which can make a layman easily understand the concepts. Sai takes time and has patience in listening to what others have to say.
Question 6: In your view, what is the goal of product management & how has it evolved in the last few years?
The Product Management field has seen a sudden spike with the startup ecosystem.
For a product to have some differentiating factor from the rest of the competition, companies keep experimenting on unique features, marketing strategy, pricing, etc. while seeking for an increase of customers or targeting new customer segments.
As Product Management evolved from Supply chain, the FMCG companies faced multiple issues by delivering to the wrong audience, endorsing wrong marketing campaigns, etc. with the intermediaries in the supply chain system, leading to increased production costs and overheads. This is called the ‘Bull-Whip effect’.
Companies were unable to understand what is their customer’s behavior across regions and so they started taking feedback which led to the evolution of a new product line for the FMCG companies.
Question 7: Which are some of the Product Management blogs, podcasts, communities & channels that you follow?
I mostly follow Medium and Stratechery.
Question 8: Please tell how your journey has been with INSAID so far and what are the elements that you liked.
- Quality of content
- Well qualified and knowledgeable faculty
These are the elements that I liked about INSAID.
These are also the reason why I have recommended INSAID to my brother, who is currently undertaking a Data Science Program.
Question 9: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Product Management?
My advice to the beginners will be to:
- Keep learning from others’ experiences and read more books, articles, blogs, etc.
- If you already have an idea, better start using a small team and scale it as and when required.
- Don’t have any apprehensions that you will be forced to learn tech, if you are keen on moving to a PM role. As a PM you will be sailing the boat and you need to sync with other teams communicating in their language.
Hope you enjoyed reading this interview. If you want to read more such interesting student stories, check out INSAID Spotlight.