A Good Time To Be A Product Manager

Hi my name is Anshumani Ruddra and I am a VP of product at Practo. At Practo I look after a couple of different products including central products which is all consumer facing products and doctor facing products. I will be taking the understanding the user and building artefacts from user research module as part of the upgrad product management course, I look forward to it

So Anshumani what do you think about the product management ecosystem in India and how do you see the demand of product management shipping in the coming?
I think it’s a great time to be a product manager in the Indian product ecosystem. A lot of maturity which is coming to the Indian tech ecosystem in general and product ecosystem in specific. And yea, going forward I see the demand rising for product managers across the globe.

So product managers starting out fresh how does one land a job ?
The two key things that one has to demonstrate one is the ability to be user centric, to look at problems from a user’s perspective, to figure out essentially what user needs are. The other is to genuinely care about products out there and actually be able to deconstruct them. I think this is the only way that somebody who’s a fresher, who has never done product management before can enter the field of product management.

For a fresh product manager, what does career look 3-4 years down the lane?
I think when one starts off in product management it’s fairly executional in nature. You know you’re pretty much a soldier, you’re trying to get things done, you are trying to get a product made up. As you kind of progress you delve deeper into the softer skill side of product management which is understanding user needs, understanding the overall business needs, figuring out not just the executional and technical part but also the strategic side of things.

What are your thoughts about the upgrad management product?
I think it’s a great initiative. It will definitely help a lot of people who are not aware of what product management is and what it involves to give them a great insight into it and will also increase the overall quality of product managers in the country.

What are your thoughts about the must have hard and soft skills that make a product manager successful?
I think that I probably break it down into two hot skills and two soft skills. First [principles thinking] the ability to think of problems from basic principles is I think a key for all good product managers. The second of course is having an experimenter’s mind-set that the ability to look at everything as a series of control experiments and to have a very clear sense of what you’re trying to measure, what you’re trying to validate and actually run it as a clean proper experiment to be able to match the final results; the final output with what your original expectations were and I think on the softer side being user-centric, having empathy for what user needs are. It is very very critical. And of course, second is the ability to work with other people. As a product manager you are pretty much the glue which holds the team together and you have to work with people with different skill sets. So your key job there then is to actually get work out of other people, to work with other people in a way that the product succeeds and the team succeeds.

Anshumani Ruddra - VP Product Networks , Practo
Anshumani Ruddra - VP Product Networks , Practo - A cross-functional team leader who is neck-deep into product development (web and mobile) for the second largest mobile market in the world: India, Anshumani builds products and services from the ground up for mobile ecosystems. Having successfully managed large products and tackled the challenge of creating market-disrupting, high quality mobile games for the Indian market, he is also a mentor and advise a number of startups.
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