With technological innovations rapidly popping up to the fore, there arises an urgent need for companies to restructure their product management strategies so as to launch innovative and pioneering products in the market. It is this need to constantly innovate new products and recreate old products with a new dimension that is pushing the magnates of the business world to invest in highly trained and skilled product managers. Also, with the industry inclining towards data-driven decision making and laying an increasing stress on customer experience and product design, product manager jobs are on the rise.
In the past, product managers had two core responsibilities – planning and executing the product development and management strategies and ensuring that all the projects deadlines are met with efficiency. However, today, the product manager job has become much more versatile and complex at the same time. According to a McKinsey report, product managers are now evolving as “the mini-CEO of the product.” In fact, the same report opines that product management has become the “new training ground for future tech CEOs.”
The following article talks in detail about the product manager’s roles and responsibilities. It also sheds light on the importance of product-based companies and the various product based IT companies in India.
What is a Product Manager?
Before we delve deeper into the various product manager roles and responsibilities available under product based IT companies, let’s first understand the basics. A product manager typically refers to a person who is responsible for identifying the customer need and the business objectives that a product will fulfil. This also includes spearheading a team to turn their innovative visions into reality. To put it simply, they are the ones who oversee all the technical aspects and innovations behind a product and are also responsible for fulfilling the customer’s needs and demands in the marketplace.
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What Does A Product Manager Do?
A great product manager is someone who has extensive knowledge about the industry and business associated with their line of work. By combining design, development, marketing, and customer support, a product manager strives to innovate such products as will create optimum utility for the end consumer. While functioning as the advocate of the consumer, a product manager must always keep an eye out for the latest market trends and advances in technology and must try to find ways to incorporate such necessary inclusions in the company’s product management strategy.
So, what exactly does a product manager do?
Here are some of the basic product manager roles and responsibilities.
Conduct Market Research To Identify Target Audience
Every product is created to serve a particular purpose and to cater to the needs of a particular audience segment. It is a product managers responsibility to devise strategies to help identify the primary customer segments that can be targeted and to understand the pain points of the various customer segments. This requires extensive research on the market and consumer behaviour by both qualitative and quantitative techniques such as leveraging data, conducting surveys, employing MVPs (minimum viable products), and so on. Once this is completed, a PM needs to carefully design the value proposition for the product, clearly stating the purpose of the product, how it can generate value for the end customer, and listing the reasons why people should purchase it.
Since the end goal is to create products that can optimize customer satisfaction, PMs need to conduct competitor analysis of your rival firms to better understand your strengths and weaknesses. By doing so, they can reposition the entire product management strategies to boost the utility quotient of the various products.
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Build A Product Roadmap
Developing a well-designed product roadmap is one of the primary prerequisites for all product manager jobs. A product roadmap imparts greater transparency and visibility to the product development team, thereby allowing them to build quality products. The product roadmap has to include things like the value proposition of the product, metrics and KPIs, the complete list of deliverables, and their timelines and launch dates.
Also, while underlining the product roadmap, PMs must never lose sight of the financial aspect of the product. To ensure that a product is sustainable for a company, that is, it is continually creating value for the business, a PM must develop a concrete financial plan for the product. He/she has to ensure that all the set goals are met and monetized adequately.
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Enhance User Experience
Optimising the user experience (UX) is essential for a product to stay relevant in the market. A part of a product manager’s job responsibility is to chalk out the desired customer experience by correctly identifying the buyer personas, describing their features and demands, gathering and elaborating on the user interaction, and building the visual design of the product by building and collaborating with a cross-functional team. Thus, a PM should be adept at creating various business scenarios, flowcharts, diagrams, consumer story maps, and user interface mockups, etc. Also, a PM should possess the requisite skill set to conduct product demos, A/B tests, usability tests, and all such UX testing processes associated with product development.
Product Manager Responsibilities
Here are some of the basic product manager responsibilities mentioned in the list below.
- Analyse and manage customer requirements
- Maintain close relationships with other departments to ensure customer satisfaction
- Understanding the current market trends, and devising necessary solutions.
- Define product strategy and vision.
To put it simply, the product manager roles basically include managing a product throughout its entire life cycle, starting from conception, up to the end of life. With that said, let’s take a look at what exactly is a product-based company, and what benefits you can derive from it.
Why Should You Choose A Product-Based Company?
Before delving into the list of product based companies, that are mentioned below, let’s take a look at what exactly the difference is between a product-based company and a service-based company and why is the former one considered to be better than the latter.
Product-based companies, as the name itself, suggests, refer to those enterprises that have their own products to sell. Some examples might include Google, Facebook, and Adobe, among others. Service-based companies, on the other hand, may or may not have their own products that they wish to sell. They primarily offer service, which includes working with product-based clients. Some examples of service-based companies include Wipro, Cognizant, and Infosys, among others.
With that said, here are a few reasons why you should consider going for product-based companies over service-based ones. Product-based companies tend to provide much higher salary packages when compared to service-based companies. Furthermore, they also provide you with flexible office timings, something which you can’t always experience in service-based companies. Last but not least, contrary to service-based companies, product-based companies offer high job security.
Some of the top product based companies in India include Adobe. Amazon, CISCO, Amdocs, and Microsoft, among others.
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Increasing Demand For Product Managers
As we mentioned at the start, companies across various parallels of the industry are now increasingly investing in top-notch product managers to add value to their organisations. Product manager jobs have now taken a broader turn and are now entrusted with the responsibility of handling not only the product development side of things but also in seeking out key business partnerships, enhancing the entire developer ecosystem, and bringing in a certain level of ingenuity to the overall functioning of a firm. Here are the top five companies that have a highly creative product management team to thank for their success:
Amazon’s speedy delivery and well-curated list of products aren’t magic – it is the results of the efforts of Amazon’s super efficient product management team!
Qualifications Required for Product Management Role at Amazon –
Master’s degree in Business Administration/Management, Finance, Marketing, Engineering with nearly 2 years of experience as a Business Analyst, Product Manager, or any such related job role.
At PayTM, product managers are expected to take control of every minute detail of the product development strategy. Also, they are expected to be obsessed about technology and product innovation with a flair in communicating not only with the insider team but also with the outside world.
Qualifications Required for Product Management Role at PayTM –
Bachelor’s degree in Engineering with over five years of experience in product management and at least 2 years of experience with the Internet.
Online fashion platform Myntra is supported by a team of dedicated and passionate product managers who strive to maximise consumer satisfaction by creating a solid product roadmap and product development strategies that never fail.
Qualifications Required for Product Management Role at Myntra –
Bachelor’s degree in Engineering/MBA with over 7 years of experience in product management (specifically supply chain). Should possess excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as analytical and data mining skills.
At Microsoft, the product manager essentially focuses on the ‘big picture’ of things by collaborating with the entire developer team to assess and streamline the best course for product development and UX.
Qualifications Required for Product Management Role at Microsoft –
With a serving network of over 600 cities across the globe, Uber has come to be a premium cab service today. Product managers at Uber are required to chalk out heavily data-driven product development strategies in sync with the mission and vision of the company to continually expand its market reach.
Qualifications Required for Product Management Role at Uber-
Degree in Computer Science or Engineering with at least 5 years of experience in product management. Apart from this, a candidate should possess excellent communication and collaboration skill as well as strong technical and analytical skills, such that he/she can transform data into an actionable roadmap.
Google is one of those few companies that needs no introduction. Be it their unconventional work style, or the extravagant benefits, Google has quite easily made its way to the list of product based companies in the world. At Google, product managers get to explore the various areas of business, while simultaneously, implementing their own analytical skills to understand the metrics and impact of the same, on business. Apart from that, product managers at top product based companies like Google also get to enjoy several lucrative benefits, such as great compensation, and work-life balance among several others.
Google recruiters are always looking for candidates who are technically savvy, analytical thinkers, and strategic by nature. If you think you have all these above-mentioned qualities, then why not try your luck at this prestigious enterprise?
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Product managers indeed play a crucial role in driving a company towards success and glory. They are the link between the product development team and the management, IT, and other small teams that together comprise an organisation’s core. Due to the ever-changing infrastructure of the market and the dynamic evolution of consumer trends, today, product managers have to juggle with advanced technologies and business models alike. upGrad Post Graduate Certificate in Product Management is a great way to kickstart a career in this field.
What is the salary earned by a product manager?
Qualified product managers earn up to INR 16 lakhs per year on an average in India. With added experience and regular upgradation of one’s skills, the salary can also cross INR 30 lakhs per year. However, the salary level one can expect at the beginning of their career depends heavily on their qualifications and the ranking of the institute they graduated from. For instance, engineers with MBA or PGDM degrees from top institutes can get more than INR 20 lakhs per year as starting salary. Candidates with an excellent experience in software development can also pursue product management courses and get coveted roles with ever escalating salaries across industries.
Is a job as a product manager good for my career?
Product managers are highly coveted in India today, across almost every industry. This is primarily due to the vast explosion of digitization, the importance of which was made even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. As organisations scramble to digitize their products, services, acquisition channels, and internal systems; there is a huge need for skilled professionals who are able to understand business objectives, relay the requirements to product developers and other personnel involved in development, manage cross functional teams, and be responsible for the product’s performance in the market. Thus, a career as a product manager is an excellent career choice.
What is the best way to become a product manager?
The best way to get into product management roles would be to have an engineering degree and bolster that with an MBA degree from a reputed institute. However, if you do not have a technical background or good coding skills, you can always pursue part time courses to develop the required skills. There are also plenty of certifications available these days for Agile and Scrum which are affordable, and can be attained through online training. If you already have good coding skills, you can pursue a part time course in core business management skills such as financial modelling and analysis and then look for jobs as a product manager.
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How much is the salary of a product manager in India?
A product manager plays a vital role in shaping the success of a company. Top organizations are always scouting for proficient product managers and also offer handsome salaries to those who have suitable skills and experience. Efficient product managers are in great demand across all industries. The salary drawn by a product manager in India can be anything in the range of INR 5 lakhs to 35 lakhs per year. Product managers in top companies earn approximately INR 16 lakhs per year on average. Of course, this is not a fixed figure; the average earnings will vary according to location, overall work experience, skillset, certifications, and several other parameters.
Can you be a product manager without any experience?
As a product manager, you have to work with several teams to get the product designed, developed, and delivered. You have to take care of tasks like roadmap maintenance, product backlogging, interfacing with customers, coordinating with stakeholders, and managing multiple teams to attain certain common goals. While there are no prescribed qualifications for becoming a product manager, having a formal degree is helpful; it makes you more industry-ready while you are job-hunting. There is no precise roadmap to gaining experience in product management. The best way is to be present and work and learn from experienced product management professionals.