What are the top tech trends & industries today? In this episode of the Product Leaders to Watch series with Cognizant Product Director Chenny Solaiyappan, Amazon Head of Product Rekha Venkatakrishnan speaks on her background in product management and engineering, emphasizing the importance of customer centricity and simplicity. She shares her views on exciting industries and tech trends, including fintech, healthcare, sustainability and more. Rekha provides a framework for evaluating great products based on functionality, psychological impact and economic factors.

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Show Notes

  1. Customer centricity, empathy and simplicity should be at the core of product design.
  2. Products should prioritize usability over documentation.
  3. Exciting industries to watch include retail, fintech, healthcare, sustainability, tourism and food tech.
  4. Emerging technologies like AI, IoT, AR/VR, quantum computing and robotics have potential across many sectors.
  5. Industries and technical trends often intersect and advance each other.
  6. Loneliness is a health issue that technology could help address for seniors.
  7. When evaluating products, consider functionality, psychological impact and economic factors.
  8. A balanced mix of hard and soft skills is important for product managers.
  9. EQ and IQ are both crucial qualities for product leaders.
  10. Willingness to take risks and learn from failures helps product growth.
  11. Products should aim for “great” rather than just “good.”
  12. Intuitive, easy-to-use designs can elevate products.
  13. Deep understanding of customer needs is key.
  14. Build for passion, not just directives.
  15. Iterative learning occurs over a career, not overnight.
  16. Mentorship benefits the development of new product talent.
  17. Industries and trends intersect in addressing real-world problems.
  18. Psychological connections increase product loyalty.
  19. Products should drive meaningful impact or savings.
  20. Simplicity is a form of creativity in product design.

About the speaker
Rekha Venkatakrishnan Amazon, Senior Manager, Product Management Member

Rekha is a product evangelist and technologist with a solid background in product management, strategy, and engineering in leadership roles. Rekha is seen as a product leader with high energy, strategic thinking, a data-driven approach, creativity, and leadership qualities. Her experience includes but is not limited to building B2C and B2B products using the latest technology stack and managing large complex cross-functional teams. She believes in making simple yet delightful products with a seamless experience that helps win customers and business. Rekha is a strong advocate of Women in Tech, Data, and Product and runs mentor circles to advance women in different functions. She holds an MBA from the University of Arkansas, United States, and a Bachelor of Technology from Anna University, India.

About the host
Chenny Solaiyappan Cognizant, Product Director

Chenny Solaiyappan is the Director of Product Management for Cognizant Trizetto's Government and Quality Solutions, and a founding member of the ClaimSphere suite of products, encompassing quality, HEDIS ®, CMS Stars, and clinical solutions. An accomplished Intrapreneur and Lean Startup Practitioner, he plays a pivotal role in shaping the overall product strategy and serves as the HL7 DaVinci Business Co-chair. With a notable track record, Chenny has provided consultancy to over 30 health plans across the nation, consistently raising Quality and Star ratings in Medicaid, Medicare, Federal Employees Health Plan, and Commercial health plan sectors, collectively supporting 30 million lives. His outstanding leadership and innovative contributions have earned him prestigious awards, including the 2023 Top 20 Global Product Manager Award by Products That Count, as well as the 2021 and 2019 Product of the Year awards by Cognizant Trizetto.

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