It seems like just yesterday that we announced the theme of the 2021 Product Awards, The Age of Product, yet we’re nearly at the event itself. In just a few weeks we’ll celebrate the best product management tools that are leading the market and driving forward digital transformation. In one of the most challenging years for business to date, digital product has taken off like a rocket and this year’s nominees reflect that growth. Check out all the nominees here at Products That Count, but first, let’s get to know the product leader heading up the Collaborate Stage.
Getting to know Nita Maheswaren
Nita Maheswaren is a seasoned product management professional that has served in various product and technical leadership roles, currently driving product strategy as Director of Product at Pivotree. As the Toronto Head of Chapter here at Products That Count, he’s the one to thank for some of our amazing webinars, including last year’s session with Rakuten Product Lead on using lessons to build frameworks.
Nita possessed an impressive background in product, with over 15 years of experience as a product leader. In his own words, his background in both technology and business enables him “to handle complex product challenges and to seamlessly switch between big picture thinking and handling fire-drills all in the same hour.” In our opinion, his response to why product management matters perfectly embodies why he was the perfect choice to head up the Collaborate Stage.
“Product provides the opportunity to collaborate with cross functional teams including customers, development, operations, marketing, sales, finance and legal. This is critical to building a wholistic view of the business that helps drive customer value and success in the long run.”
On choosing the Collaborate Stage
Following our announcement of the theme of the 2021 Product Awards, our CPO James Gray sat down with each of the Awards Advisory Board members to really dive into the different stages of the product life cycle. If you missed the Age of Product series, check out all the episodes on our podcast, Product Talk, on Apple of Spotify.
“The Collaborate Stage has always been something that resonated with me personally. It’s what drives growth and innovation and it gets the right products out there. Focusing on collaborating with a end goal of improved customer experience is a critical part of this stage.”
Accountability in collaboration is a critical capability for a product leader, it’s important for building trust. Especially when folks don’t report to you, the way you get things done is by building trust with them, and ensuring that all are working towards the right vision and mission together. Being detail oriented and communicating at the right audience dollars becomes a critical point of view as well.”
On what makes a great product
“A great product adds value to a customer by helping them solve real pain points they’re experiencing in a simple and effective manner.”
“The last thing you want is the customer getting bogged down in the details of the product that they’re trying to use. That takes away from the actual mission that they’re trying to accomplish, so for me, a great product is synonymous with great customer experiences. It needs to give our customers access to capabilities, innovation, and the right level of technology for their need.”
On what makes a great product manager
“There are many important skills – one of the top ones for me is being a good listener. This is important to help us really understand complex customer challenges, different points of view, and to get to a winning solution.”
“There are a lot hallmarks to a strong product manager, but for me, the one that differentiates a good product managers from the ones that become product leaders, is a focus on “we” rather than “me”. It’s the people that focus on not just being an outstanding product manager, but also build up great teams through mentoring, giving opportunities, and building trust. Those are the folks that can really deliver great results. Because no one can be a one man army.”
What are you most excited about with the 2021 Product Awards?
“Finding out more about the great products that can help drive improvements to how we do product management!”
Join us at the 2021 Product Awards to discover the best product management tools that are actively driving the acceleration of digital product in our new Age of Product.
About the speaker
I'm passionate about taking new products to market, driving product strategy and winning in a competitive market. Complexity just adds to the fun! I've served in various technical and leadership roles in my past decade at IBM and Pivotree. My background and experience enable me to seamlessly switch between big picture thinking and handling fire-drills all in the same hour.