Abhilash Verma

Vice President-Product Management, Citrix

How do you approach problems in the Product Space?

There are different approaches to solve a problem. For instance, if there is no growth in the revenue from the product, one method could be evaluating the market while the other lies on public preferences in design and technology. As Product Managers, they should look for innovative solutions as it is important to grasp the shift in trends and meet customer needs and expectations.

How do you stay abreast of the competition?

In my journey as a Product Manager, I don’t make my product directions looking at what competitors are doing. Rather it is wise to stay two-steps ahead of competition so that, they follow you. If you are the one following the trail, you will end up in a to-and-fro battle where you will be mostly standing on the losing proposition. The real key to stand out is by understanding the market, customers and shifts in technology which will increase your success meter.

Any advice to newbies in Product Management?

My key advice for them is to remember that there is never a ‘no’ as the answer. As budding Product Managers, they should understand functions such as business prospects, sales expectations, internal engineering and customer requirements. On the other hand, they should also be clear to what they are saying a ‘yes’. As growing Leaders, understanding the ‘why’ of a Product becomes crucial and should work on it before accepting the offer. Once the ‘why’ gets answered, the Product Manager gains more clarity and becomes successful.

What is your opinion on Institute of Product Leadership (IPL)?

IPL has created a norm in the industry where it focuses on building Product Leaders and not Managers. The institute is called as Institute of Product Leadership (IPL) and not Institute of Product Management which makes it stand out from the rest of the B-Schools. While every other B-School is focused in building Business Associates, Managers and Professionals, IPL concentrates on building Leaders in the industry. I personally look at IPL as an institute that brings value to the society and to the Business domain.

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