Life before I aspired to become a product manager
I started off as a typical IT professional, fresh out of engineering college and good at what I did. Slowly and steadily, I climbed up the corporate ladder as a software developer, moving towards Project Management role. It was a comfortable life professionally and personally as part developer and part Project Manager.
I got interested in product management
But then in year 2012 something changed for me. I was developing software for a client that was focused towards improving the health of its customers. In this project I got an opportunity to play the role of a technical product owner for small duration. That was the time I got to see the impact technology can make on business, and it sparked in me, an interest towards developing and managing product ideas. It became clear to me that Product Management was what I wanted to do. But I also realized that the journey from tech to management was not going to be an easy one.
So, I started with understanding more about the role through reading books on product ownership. I also took up assignments that involved partial Product Management roles. On the sides, I also assisted a couple of startup ideas, with my limited knowledge of product management. However, all this was just not enough for me to take up a full fledge plunge into this area. I was still lacking the business perspective, which was critical to move into the full time product manager role. So, I started looking around for executive management programs, which could give me that without leaving my job. I was never a theoretical, concept oriented guy and most programs focused on just that that is till I found Sunstone Business School. I did all due diligence, from talking to alumni to researching their approach, before deciding to join their program. And it turned out to be a good decision as whatever I learned there, was applicable in the work I did later.
I took risks and I won !
In addition, I took some risks and made a move to OLX as a Process Manager, with a promise of gradual movement towards product management role. This gave me more hands on experience. But when I got an opportunity to test waters early with Paradigm Creatives in Hyderabad, I took that bigger risk and moved there as Mobile Product Manager. Hence my full fledge shift to Product Managerial role happened with a new organization in a new city. That bet, and the following hard work, paid off and today I’m back at OLX, to my own city, as a Product Manager pitching and getting buy-in for my ideas.
Truly am living the dream that began in 2012!