Product Manager, Infosys to COO/Product Head, Niveti Systems
“I have been with Infosys almost 15 years, and then decided to embark on an entrepreneurial journey and start Niveti Systems with my co-founders.”
Why Product Management
“India is moving from a service-oriented economy to a product-oriented economy. From an India perspective, not only are we doing products for the developed economies of the world, but also India itself is becoming a consumer country. As companies from across the globe are flocking to lure the Indian consumer, it’s important that product innovation happens in India, so that India can leapfrog in the product space. There are many domestic-consumption products that can be designed by Indians.
For any economy to grow, there has to be a substantial amount of local consumption. Both from the perspective of creating products in India for India, and also for the MNCs coming to India, the skill sets that India offers should move from being service-oriented to product-oriented.”
Motivation to Transition from Project Management to Product Management
“I had been part of Infosys for almost 14 years and transitioned into various roles from a software developer to Program Manager and finally a Product Manager. As teams get more empowered and the ecosystem matures, methodologies like Agile can contribute without a supervisory function. I realised that Project Management as a function would be disrupted and not survive for very long.
The Cheese has moved In very complex projects, the Project Management role is very demanding. That being said, the software lifecycle is also more predictable, so is the technology, and the uncertainties are reducing in the ecosystem. Consequently, the role of the Project Manager is limited to following timelines and schedule. This can be done even in an Agile-like model. “Once technology certainties exist, you can move into a domain where you figure out what the needs are, and that’s how the point of transition to Product Management came. [For me]” “I realised its not about how to build things, or how predictably to build, but what to build. The moment you get into what to build, you move to Product Management.”
“I was already into a product management role when I started looking for a professional course in the product management space. Having moved from a technology role to a product role, I was not a trained product manager. I would come across problems that I would solve with common sense, and sometimes just by the hit and trial method, where you learn only from your mistakes. This was both time-consuming and risky. I started looking for courses that were conducted by practitioners where you could learn from their collective wisdom and experience. I researched programs at IPL, and also at other programs by ISBN, IIMs etc. I found that no one other than IPL provided a focused Product Leadership and Product Management program. Most importantly, practitioners delivered the IPL Program. You know that what people are doing on the field is what you are going to learn. The other aspect - IPL’s pedagogy of Learning by Doing via the Product Labs actually prepares you for the industry. As part of the course, you do a project that involves the entire product lifecycle – conceptualization of the idea to scaling the business.”