Many product managers discover their roles almost by accident and then fall in love with what they do. Current product managers, VPs, and CPOs are mentoring the next generation of PMs to be added to teams at product-led companies. How can aspiring PMs begin a successful career and break into product? Flutter Entertainment Sr. Product Manager Vinay Aradhya shares his experiences and how to build a successful product career.
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On what product management is
Due to the pandemic, the age of product has been revolutionized. Companies across the globe are hiring product managers and leaders, and getting on board with the digital transformation. Because of this, many there are many new product career opportunities. But it is important to know exactly what a product career entails to know if it is right for you. Check out what Vinay had to say about the role of a product manager:
“You’re customer-wise, you empathize with customers’ problems and understand what problems they’re focusing on or going through. And what problems do we have to solve it to achieve the business goal? That’s one of the things that’s the intersection between customers and the business.”
“And also bringing the technology. Is it feasible? Can we do that? And how can we bring UX and technology? That’s the intersection is where the pm stands.”
“Product managers are involved in discovering what [the customer pain point] means, all the way to the execution side of things.”
On the different types of product careers
You can build a product career in many different professional fields. Unlike other professions, product management is broad, and you can do it almost anywhere. In fact, no matter where you work or what you do, there is probably someone whose job description matches that of a product manager. Because product management is so universal, the exact role of a PM differs from company to company. Here are some of the different types of product careers:
“So, product management differs in different companies and industries. If you start on a hardware product, and transition to a digital product software product, there is a different spin to that in the skill set required or even the role of that product manager.”
“B2C is business to consumer product management, and B2B is business to business product management.”
“Platform [product management] is something mostly technical oriented, like the architecture, the infrastructure, how can you scale that, an API as a product, managing those things comes under platform product management.”
On key skills to excel in a product career
Building a product career requires certain skills and abilities. Product management requires leadership and interpersonal skills, creativity, problem-solving, and so much more. But most importantly, a PM needs to know how to grow, change, and learn because the market and customer needs are ever-changing. These are some of the skills necessary to build a successful product career:
“First of all is framing the problem. You want to solve that problem by understanding the problem. It’s not just jumping to a solution.”
“PMs need curiosity as a trait. You need to be understanding, actually asking questions, why does this work this way? Why are users doing that?”
“Curiosity will drive you to learn more, which will help you in product management and user empathy. You’re solving this problem for the end user, you need to understand what frustrations, what problems are they facing.”
On the product career path
We all have to start somewhere. And the very beginning of the product management career journey begins with mentorship and leads to junior and then senior level product management job opportunities. If your goal is to build a product career, you need to be familiar with the journey. Having an idea of where you want to be in your career will help keep you on track toward your goals. This is the product career path:
“There are a lot of associate product manager roles available in many companies, Google is one of them. I’ve seen Google APM roles and Facebook has a similar concept of APM.”
“The second thing is to build something. Understand that problem space, and talk to your friends and family, and customers. See what domain which interests you, what industry excites you, and where you have that skill set and knowledge. Find that user base where you’re targeting, understand their problem, come up with a product or a solution, and start from scratch.”
“You can job shadow can reach out to product managers assist them in things they are working on. And learn what they do how they do it.”
About the speaker
Vinay Aradyha is a seasoned product leader at Flutter Entertainment, a global sports betting, gaming, and entertainment provider. He began his professional career as a co-founder of Apex Infotech, a web hosting firm in Toronto, Canada. He oversaw the whole product development process. He also helped code a few online apps. Vinay later worked in the telecoms and Fintech industries as a product manager.
About the host
Elysse is a talented and dedicated writing professional with 6 years of experience creating, editing, and coaching professional and creative writing. She is an expert at managing productivity and producing concise written works. And has extensive experience writing in both professional and narrative styles.