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Product Management Guest Lecture at SIDTM

A Guest Lecture on Product Management – Mr. Rohit Mahto

It was a weekend worthy evening of November 8, where Symbiosis Institute of Digital and Telecom Management organized a guest lecture of Mr. Rohit Mahto on, Product Management. Mr. Rohit Mahto is currently working at Roku Inc, San Francisco, United States of America’s best streaming platform as a Director of Product Management. He has expertise in bootstrapping new product areas and evolving established revenue-generating products to the next level. Sir is a respected alumnus of SIDTM of Batch (2007-09). He was engaged with many companies such as Yahoo, Tata Teleservices, Essar, and Reliance Communications.

Interactivity is Preferable over a Presentation

As a quote by Colin Powell, “There is no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers”. Sir insisted to keep the session interactive and to ask whatever questions the batch has. He also said that interactivity is always preferable over presentation. Firstly, he told us his journey from graduation to the current point and how each company or each institution has made an influence on his thinking one way or another. He specifically mentioned which kind of qualities he has gained from which part of his life and what kind of influence that time of period got to him. From Symbiosis International University he mentioned Humility, Understanding of Technology, Data Management, and Analysis skill, etc. He explained how big data and data analysis are the main ocean of interest for him.

Takeaways from Life

We always can get some lessons from someone’s life, maybe it won’t save us from something but at least it can protect us! Just like this, sir gave some takeaways to batch from his life journey up-till now. Leadership and life are having a secret factor of humility and it plays a vivid role in each step of our life and he told not to underestimate humility. All you need for success is a general direction plan and a good amount of push and there is no need to overfit career plans. I think there are many risk-takers in critical situations and sometimes risks should be taken but sir suggested not to block any kind of decision in your mind and have a nice framework to take risks. He also insisted not to stop learning good skills and horizontal skills always pay off in long run, which I completely agree, every skill you have, you develop or you learn pays you off one or another way, maybe not now but at some moment. I think there are two things, influence, and power, sometimes you have either of them, sometimes you have one of them. If you don’t have power, you can influence the concerned ones by empathy and connection. Sir pointed the same thing of not being transactional, investing in building EQ (emotional quotient), and empathy. These takeaways are truly relatable and applicable in most situations.

Growth of the Business Depends on the Happiness of Customers

Customer mindset is one of the most important parts of product management and it would require an ocean of data in consumer-facing products. Sir explained product management as a business function, which is focused on increasing business value from a product. A product is mainly dependent on 3 factors – business, data, and design. He connected data analysis with marketing with consumer mindset with product management with a live example of Roku that recommendations play a vital role in customer satisfaction and it is nothing but data, data, and data! The decision-taking factors of a particular product are basically time, cost, and quality. He also navigated us through business and political complexity. If you are into data management, you are automatically into the customer mindset, a growth of a company depends on the happiness and satisfaction of the customers. Sir was also addressing questions from the batch and tried to give answers as elaborately as possible, keeping the complexity of answers in mind.

Product Charter and Product Management Skills

Product management is something beyond the consideration and mindset of the customer. As Henry Ford said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” this explains how customers are sometimes unaware of their expectations. This also explains the exact difference between need and want. Product management is there to give priority to need over want. Sir defined content product charter for product management as Product Vision, Product Mission, Product Discovery and Prioritization, Product Planning, and Product Execution. Product charter is the heart of any organization. Product management is a combination of data analysis, marketing, advertisement, customer mindset, etc. He explained relevant skills for product management from his experience in Strategic Thinking, Planning and Execution, Leadership and EI (emotional intelligence), and Functional or Technical domain knowledge and explained all of this in detail. Some relevant life tips were also given such as how every person has a unique journey and no one is coming in between anything or anywhere. Just find yourself and simplify everything as much as you can. I think all the suggestions and tips would be so useful in one or another way in every student’s life!

Vote of Thanks

The students imbibed a lot from this interactive session and are thankful to Rohit Sir for taking out time out of his busy schedule and taking a very insightful lecture at 6:30 in the morning (USA timing). We are so grateful to have great alumni and looking forward to more such insightful lectures.

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Rahi Jobanputra

Ad-hoc Member, BlogSoc

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