In talks with Ajay from Open Text

Ajay

In this INSAID Spotlight interview, we feature Ajay Mehta, a Senior Manager with over 15 years of experience. He is currently associated with OpenText. 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? 

Ajay: I am a part of the Global Certificate in Product Management, August 2021. I am currently working as a Senior Manager at Open Text where we basically develop digital solutions for the B2B industry.

Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Product Management?

Ajay: Regarding this I want to split my answer into 2 parts. Firstly, I started out in 2007 in the software testing industry for one of the investment banking projects. From there onwards I moved to the new era of Automation and Ethical Hacking

I worked for a few years and around 2016 I moved to the supply chain domain and became a client management expert for the B2B industry. Only recently I was promoted as a Senior Manager in my company. 

Along with the Product Management skills I am managing people and interacting with the sales and marketing team

Secondly, I was interested in PM because me and my team wanted to make a product that would solve business related problems in the B2B industry. We were already working on solutions for many clients but wanted to move it to the next step. 

That is what drove me to pursue Product Management.

Question 3: What all Product Management concepts, frameworks & tools have you mastered in your program at INSAID so far?

Ajay: I am able to leverage a lot of frameworks, tools and concepts. Like how to define the product vision, what is the product’s goal, what is the market research required, how to create user empathy maps, etc. 

Question 4: What are some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Product Management journey and how did you overcome it? 

Ajay: Initially I faced many challenges. The main challenge was to figure out how I can shift the hat of a Project Manager mindset to a Product Management mindset. This was very critical for me. 

Ensuring the right vision as per the current market needs and standards. The other challenge I faced was trying to understand how to create a bridge between Engineers, UX team, Product team and the Sales team

Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from them the most? 

Ajay: This is a difficult question to answer. It is hard to choose! But, Sai is my favourite faculty even though others are very good and I have learnt alot from them, Sai is basically very attuned to my needs. He guided me to overcome my challenges and has helped me grow further. 

Question 6: In your view, what is the goal of product management & how has it evolved in the last few years?

Ajay: In my view, the goal of Product Management is to find a solution very quickly, similar to how we as Indians are known for being jugaadu. But the challenge is always limited to the solution for me, which is not long term.

Now people are realising that, if there is a problem or pain which exists commonly for all, it is always better to make a product. This product should have a potential to integrate a long term solution.

Question 7: What are the current trends in Product Management that you are most excited about?

Ajay: The new innovations and solutions which are coming into the digital market space due to the pandemic, is exciting. This is showing the immense talent we Indians have and I am proud of it.

Question 8: Which are some of the Product Management blogs, podcasts, communities & channels that you follow? 

Ajay: Frankly speaking, I had never followed any Product Management blogs or communities until I joined INSAID. After which I began interacting with the different mindset of the Product Manager. So Shark Tank India is a show I watch regularly that keeps me motivated and excited.

Question 9: Please tell how your journey has been with INSAID so far and what are the elements that you liked. 

Ajay: My journey with INSAID is full of challenges, but I like the way the course is so well structured. Each distinction is important for a new participant to understand. This also helped me plan my assignments and projects perfectly.

INSAID has enabled me to use real life examples and come up with solutions during sessions. This has helped me as a Product Manager.

Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Product Management?

Ajay: My advice to the people who want to start a career in Product Management is that if you have a mindset which is more towards solving a problem that is common for many people, then you are the right candidate for the Product Management role. A lot of presentation and people skills are required as well. 

I wish everyone the best of luck for their new journey into Product Management. 

Hope you enjoyed reading this interview. If you want to read more such interesting student stories, check out INSAID Spotlight.

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