Thursday, July 7, 2022
HomeProduct ManagementGoing from Entrepreneurship to Product with Zalando Head of Product

Going from Entrepreneurship to Product with Zalando Head of Product

Final week, Product College hosted Ravi Shankar Mishra, Head of Product at Zalando for a particular #AskMeAnything session. Ravi spoke about switching from entrepreneurship to Product, his expertise at Amazon, and what he appears for in nice PMs.

Meet Ravi

Ravi Shankar Mishra, Head of Product at Zalando

Ravi Shankar Mishra is presently working because the Head of Product at Zalando. There he leads the PM crew for funds and danger administration. Earlier than this, he labored as Director of PM at Tata CLiQ the place he led the MarTech crew as they labored on quite a lot of options and the shopper expertise.

He has additionally labored as Head of Product for Amazon’s belief PM crew in India. He additionally has expertise as an entrepreneur, having based his personal firm, Medinfi Healthcare, which was rated probably the most engaged healthcare content material web site in 2016 and 2017.

Might you elaborate on what it was like switching gears between entrepreneurship to product? What key expertise transferred, and what didn’t? What did you study from the expertise?

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I’d say the whole Product Growth means of validating the shopper issues, defining options that are differentiated, and measuring impression was one thing very worthwhile. This was very helpful to me as I began my health-tech enterprise after studying these expertise at Amazon. Additionally the method of aligning stakeholders utilizing Press Releases / Ceaselessly Requested Questions (PR/FAQs) was equally worthwhile as a Founder. Solely distinction being the stakeholders modified from engineering, advertising, and operations to co-founders and traders.

I realized that many of the stakeholders like to study actual buyer issues, need to get satisfied with knowledge, and are prepared to decide to the product / startup imaginative and prescient for those who current the whole story which is buyer backwards and validated with related knowledge factors.

Learn subsequent: The Distinction Between Startup PMs & Huge Company PMs

What’s the answer if the utilization of the launched product is beneath the expectation?

I’d advocate to analyse the info within the buyer journey and perceive the place the hole exists. It will be even higher to speak to actual prospects and perceive their ache factors.

two people stand by a wall covered with paper and colorful post-its with writing on them. They are both looking at the wall and reaching out an arm to grab a post-it

What qualities are you on the lookout for in your crew of PMs? What would you say differentiates a terrific PM from one?

I usually search for clear validation of the shopper downside earlier than constructing the answer, aside from clear definition of success metrics for the product. These two attributes stand out for me in PM and I’d counsel to practise this by writing Press Releases / Ceaselessly Requested Questions (PR/FAQs) on your present product and options that you simply is likely to be engaged on.

For extra on this, learn: Traits of Distinctive Product Managers

What do you counsel for merging corporations/merchandise with related merchandise however totally different approaches to UX/options? How can we retain options that shoppers have come to like throughout all techniques with out making a monster of an utility that tries to cater to all customers?

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This can be a powerful state of affairs to be in. Throughout my Amazon days, we had acquired a couple of fin-tech startups and confronted related challenges whereas integrating the merchandise. That is usually a time taking course of earlier than the groups and visions align to the tip buyer. What may make it quicker is to go to the drafting board and reply fundamental questions like:

  1. Who’s the goal buyer?
  2. What’s the buyer downside we are attempting to resolve?
  3. How do we all know the shopper has this downside?
  4. What’s the potential answer (person expertise) for this downside?
  5. How can we measure the success of this answer?

It will be good to maintain this quick at first (1-2 web page max) and use it to drive brainstorming discussions and steadily align everybody to the identical understanding of the issue, answer, and impression.

What’s the distinction between being a Product Supervisor vs a Program Supervisor vs Challenge Supervisor?

Thanks for the query. This can be a powerful one and will differ quite a bit throughout organizations.

Based mostly on my expertise, I’d say Product Managers are usually in tech-product organizations liable for the whole Product Growth course of which additionally consists of steady Product Growth, together with future iterations on the product foundation success metrics. Challenge Managers are usually in service-based organizations, liable for one-time supply of the challenge and is probably not concerned in defining buyer necessities or future iterations. Program Managers could nevertheless concentrate on the tip to finish supply of packages which can not contain as a lot engineering effort.

Try: The Distinction: Challenge Supervisor vs Product Supervisor

How do you suppose is a journey from a Machine studying engineer to the Product Supervisor with out attending a B-school?

I’d agree that it’s potential to transition into Product Administration from a software program improvement or Machine Studying improvement function. It isn’t essential to study this solely at a enterprise college. I can say this as I studied HR in my enterprise college :).

I’d say studying by doing will help, together with teaching from a mentor on Product Administration strategies and instruments. The important thing issues to study are the steps earlier than and after software program improvement which is to outline buyer necessities utilizing analysis and measure the impression for future course correction within the product. That is the place platforms like Product College can certainly assist.

Is it vital to do Masters for PM function?

The quick reply is No, it isn’t essential to do Masters for being a Product Supervisor. Nevertheless, we want to pay attention to Product Administration strategies and instruments like PR/FAQs and practise them like every other expertise to be good at it over a time frame.

Any ultimate recommendation?

My ultimate recommendation can be to consider Product Administration as every other ability you need to be good at. Mastery will include observe and by defining the shopper issues, options, and impression very clearly for stakeholders, again and again. 

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