Insider Insights from Richa Pareek – Product Manager at Google (San Francisco)

Are you an aspiring product manager looking to gain insights from industry experts? Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Richa Pareek, a successful product manager at Google. In this interview, she shares her career journey, long-term goals, and advice for aspiring product managers.

Transitioning from Program Management to Product Management

Richa started her career as a program manager in the B2B space, handling GTM and PNL for different regions. However, she soon realized her interest lay in consumer internet and made the switch to consumer tech space. She joined Google as a program manager and eventually transitioned into a product manager role.

Richa’s journey from program manager to product manager was not an overnight transformation. It was an organic process that happened gradually. She mentions how her experience and diverse roles in different companies helped shape her into an effective product manager.

Defining Career Goals

Richa believes that career goals evolve as you progress through different phases of life. Currently, her focus is on building simple, easy-to-use products that people can love. She aims to create products that cater to the needs of small businesses and emerging markets. In the long term, she aspires to move from building products to building companies.

Key Traits for Success as a Product Manager

During the interview, Richa emphasized the importance of three key traits that are essential for success as a product manager:

Product Sense:

Having a strong product sense is crucial for a product manager. It involves thinking beyond execution and understanding the broader use cases and impact of the product. It requires the ability to connect the dots and envision how users will interact with the product.

Communication Skills:

Effective communication is vital for a product manager, as it involves collaborating with cross-functional teams and internal selling. Being able to clearly articulate the vision, goals, and benefits of the product is essential for gaining buy-in from stakeholders.

Technical Aptitude:

Although not every product manager needs to be a technical expert, having a solid understanding of technology and being able to work effectively with engineers is important, especially in a tech-driven company like Google. It helps in making informed decisions, discussing technical complexities, and ensuring the product aligns with the company’s technical infrastructure.

Insights on the Interview Process

For aspiring product managers looking to join a tech company like Google, Richa recommends focusing on your product sense and technical skills. Understanding the company’s infrastructure and technologies can give you an edge during the interview process. Additionally, being able to communicate your ideas and thoughts effectively is crucial.

However, Richa advises against solely chasing the title of a product manager. Instead, she suggests focusing on projects and products that genuinely interest you. By taking up projects aligned with your passion, you can make a significant impact and stand out during interviews.

In conclusion, Richa’s insights provide valuable guidance for aspiring product managers. By nurturing key traits like product sense, communication skills, and technical aptitude, and by focusing on projects that align with your goals and interests, you can set yourself up for success in the competitive world of product management.

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