About the speaker: Ashwin Pingali is an active hiker and he loves playing football. He has 5+ years of experience in Product Management. Currently, he is working as a Principal Product Manager with the Amazon Business team within the replenishment and risk management space. Before Amazon, he worked with various brick and motor retailers and also a few startups.
We recently invited him for a product talk on “What do all the best Product Managers have in common?”
He started his talk by sharing his product journey at Amazon which he treats as a combination of product manager and project manager. Ashwin started his career at Amazon with the customer service team where he launched some regional support channels for Amazon, launched the suite of procurement tools and is currently working to overhaul the working of the supply chain team.
He started with the very basic question ” What do Product Managers do?”, explaining that a product manager either solves for a customer pain point or creates a new business opportunity using various mechanisms. Product Manager’s major goal is to align team to work towards a common goalkeeping focus on customer requirements. He further explained this, using multiple examples.
Next question asked was, ” What differentiates the different product managers?” He explained this with an example of Kirana store at Amazon, followed by a design thinking process where he explained that product managers use different frameworks for different design requirements, so there is no universal framework. He further explained that the framework he followed at Amazon was a cyclic framework where he would start with customer requirements followed by defining prototypes and take it to the ideation stage i.e. brainstorming and finally move to the testing phase.
He believes product managers are really good at articulation. He believes in a simple approach where a product manager should focus 50% on getting the right product and another 50% on its execution. He recalls, “during my product journey most of the make and breaks moments in a product came out when I wrote a well defined articulated document.”
He concluded by explaining how a good business document should look like, a good customer document should have the ability to call out the customer need and opportunity up front, call out the benefits to the organization, should be able to explain what’s the difference, how does it work, how do vendors use the features and should be able to address all the requirements clearly.
Check out this exclusive video with Ashwin Pingali to know more.