We recently sat down with Vouch CPO, Rajat Kongovi, to discuss the changing landscape of fintech and the balance between delivering quick and enjoyable user experiences while still following regulations. It’s an insightful discussion for any product manager about staying focused while balancing two constrasting candences of product vs. regulations.
Vouch CPO, Rajat Kongovi, and Product Talk host, Patrick Blute, talked about fintech. They also discussed the challenges specific to the industry, and so much more.
On how to balance contrasting timelines in fintech
Being able to stay focused on planning and processes allows product managers to find intersections between the different cadences of product development and regulations.
“And what we really focus on is a lot of our planning and process. What you really want to do is create as many intersections between a rapid cadence of product development and the slower cadence of insurance development. So, you’re always strategically aligned, and stay aligned over time. So for us, that means, you know, good quarterly planning, good monthly meetings, where we talk about what’s important to us and reprioritize. And as we kick off large projects, whether it’s a new insurance coverage, or a new product feature, running those as like pretty well managed projects with good project management is important.”
On why appreciating regulations in fintech lead to better products
Before deciding to break the rules and develop a new path in fintech, it’s important to recognize regulations exist to provide customers confidence and trust in the industry.
“The place to start is to really ask why the regulation exists before you start thinking about how to move fast and break things. So regulators are really there to provide a lot of confidence in the industry by making sure we’re all behaving in a way that means that insurers will be there when customers really need them. So, starting with an appreciation of that is really important because it actually leads to a better product.”
On how to stay focused as a product manager
Always planning for the following week and staying focused on 2-3 priorities helps product managers stay focused.
“I plan my weeks out every Friday. What are the two things that are important to me next week. And I always check to make sure that they are related to our customers and our product, increasingly, and we know, there’s a third thing, which is the team, as we continue to grow, that becomes more and more important for the role that I have. But as long as I can keep myself centered on no more than two to three things that I focus on it, I know that it makes it really easy for me to manage the day to day in the next week.”
On what makes a great fintech product
Two of the most important things that make a great product are being able to focus on one single pain point for a customer. As well as your product being able to solve it like no one else.
“I think a great product is very focused on what they are solving for, for a customer. So they’re not trying to solve 300 different things, but they’re trying to solve one thing really, really well. And that’s true in the early days. And so really understanding what that key customer pain point is. Being very focused on how you’re going to solve it. And solve it better than anyone else is super important.
As you grow, and there are more and more features. It’s hard to keep, like all that like a focus point of view anymore. Because you’re solving a lot of different things, which is necessary as your product grows and your company scales. Then you get really focused on how you’re solving problems for customers. And if you can make that trick happen, then I think you’re building great products.”
About the speaker
Rajat Kongovi is the Chief Product Officer at Vouch Insurance, an insurance company that provides business insurance for startups. Kongovi has been in the fintech industry for 10 years, having founded his own businesses and products. Most recently he served as the Vice President of Product at NerdWallet.