AMA session on Skills for becoming a great Product Manager by Jery Althaf

Traditionally, product management was considered a function of marketing. However, as this role began to evolve, it became important to understand the end-to-end life of a product to establish winning strategies that gave a company a competitive edge in their respective industries.
A new role of Product management came into existence and lots of Product Managers like Jery Althaf came to shape this sector.

Jery Althaf’s Journey so far

Jery Althaf started his product management journey by joining GSF Accelerator running accelerator program for early-stage tech product startups where he worked with start-ups on Product Strategy, Go-to-Market, Business Development and Fundraising.

From here he entered in entrepreneurship journey and co-founded a company the amazing factory – an online marketplace for 3D printable designs.
Gaining a lot of experience in product sector he worked with various tech-based startups including Awzly– personal shopper for daily needs, Voonik– personal stylist app for women and currently working as a product manager at Go-Jek-app for ordering food, commuting, digital payments, shopping, hyper-local delivery, getting a massage and two dozen services.
Seeking his 5+ years of experience in product sector we caught up with Jery Althaf for a Live AMA session with Pragmatic Leaders on Skills for Becoming a great Product manager for all those who’re passionate about the industry and want to know all about it.

In The Session:

We started with the basic discussion on specific scenarios on understanding skills required for a great product manager. Jery told context and expectations from product managers varies from organization to organization.
There are two categories of skills expected from PM within the organization but at the same time, he said ”This is just framework don’t get too attached to the framework. It just gives you a lens to view and improve.”
Let’s look at how does product manager role play out within an organization?
Jery believes, Product managers “win games”. Product managers typically have a goal and his role is to ensure the goal is achieved. The simplest and best way to evaluate a product manager is based on his performance in achieving goals itself.
We asked Jery what are the two categories of product managers as he stated before?
According to Jery, the goals assigned to a product manager should be really thought through.
The first skill which he explained was Product Strategy and execution skills (Soft Skills)
Here he came with an example of a food delivery app where a Product Manager is responsible for improving app GVM of a food delivery app to 25%.
The method he took was simple and quite amazing,

  1. Reduce checkout steps-10%
  2. Start a subscription offering-10%
  3. Integrating a new payment gateway-5%

But when asked do you think these skills are enough to create the right strategies for a great product?
Here he came towards other important skills that are analytical skills or we can say problem-solving skills and communication and Interpersonal Skills that are required before execution process starts.
But the most important point we left here was the quality of the product contradicting to which he mentioned quality as an attribute to everything that you do as a product manager.
Then moving forward Jery came towards second skill i.e. Domain Skills – Data, Technical, Design, Business (Hard Measurable).
Further, he also believes that a lot of specialization is happening around, which means a tonne of big opportunities for many product management companies in India.
So, here is Jery Althaf’s advice: focus on skills and attributes, no matter you are tech or a nontech guy just focus on skills and there are tonnes of them with lots of opportunities coming along in the future.

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