Why This is The Right Time to Develop Product Management Skillset

4 Reasons for Learning Product Management This column is by Mayank Kumar, Co-Founder & MD, Upgrad

Excellent product management is the most crucial aspect in the success of any technology company. Owing to the fast moving technology economy, quality product managers are now in demand more than ever.

There is lack of awareness in the market about the difference between a project manager & product manager. Product management is beyond just a managerial role, it involves technical know how of both the market demand and knowing how to develop capabilities in the product to meet that demand. The role of a product manager involves understanding the scope of innovation in a product and getting it implemented through the technology team.

“Product Management is a great option for both technology & management professionals” says Upgrad’s Co-Founder Phalgun Kompalli. As a professional driven by the desire to do something remarkable in your career, this has become an essential skill to develop & implement. There are very few structured programs available for PM. UpGrad, taking lead in this niche career vertical, has launched a full-fledged program.

Here are a few reasons why it is a great time to be a product manager in India

1. Booming Indian Startup Ecosystem

India is witnessing a rise in innovation happening at different levels. One of the biggest challenge that Indian startups face is the lack of good technology talent. While product development could be partially outsourced in some cases, product management needs to be at the heart of the business. Hence the need for product managers is at an all time high.

“While the concept of product management is new for India, it’s not new for the global companies which are entering India now. Hence there is no dearth of opportunities in this space.” says Sanket Gupta, Program Manager, Google, when asked about the scope of this field in the country.

2. Need for Product Managers Who Understand India

Thanks to the growing digital economy, more product based companies are opening up in India nowadays than ever before. There is a requirement of professionals who understand the consumer behaviour of Indian users, to help deploy their expertise in the products being created in the homeland.

Manish Jethani, Head Consumer Products at Grofers, who was the Founder of food delivery startup Spoonjoy says “India is going online, even the older generation is rapidly adopting technologies like Facebook, Whatsapp etc. Now that a lot of products are being made in India for Indian population, there is a gap in availability of people who understand the user behaviour and understanding of what needs to be built.

3. Requirements Beyond Startups

If you are from a technical background – coding, designing, marketing etc. and are looking to step up your career, this might be a potential avenue for you. It’s not just the startup firms which are looking for product managers, large enterprises are also looking for professionals in this area.

Oracle India’s VP-Product Development, Pramod Agarwal shares that a shift is being seen in the last 5 years. “Earlier for the product development companies like Oracle, Microsoft etc. the engineering shops here were responsible for executing projects, and the product managers used to be sitting in America and giving directions. Now the shift is happening because there is a critical mass in development of software products in India. Even the enterprise companies are heading up product management staff.”

4. It’s a Niche Profession

The role of a Product Manager can’t be defined as that of a project manager as mentioned above, nor is it that of a market analyst. Effective product management involves a combination of varied skills required for the success of a particular product.

It is also a must required skillset for any professional who wants to start his/her own venture as well. Anish Tripathi, AVP Product Design at calls Product Manager ‘CEO of the Product’.

Here is a video from Upgrad’s recently held Conclave on Product Management, highlighting the opportunity for product managers and discussing what it entails to be a product manager.

If you are further looking to add Product Management to your skills portfolio, you can sign up for Upgrad’s upcoming course on the same. The program will involve 1 on 1 mentoring. You will get to work on various projects during the course and then showcase it to potential recruiters. So, are you ready? Sign up by clicking here.

 Disclaimer: This column is powered by Upgrad. The statements, opinions and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual author and not of iamwire and its editor(s).

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