In conversation with Swathi from Rakuten I Accredian Spotlight

In this Accredian Spotlight interview, we feature Swathi Chandrashekar, a Product Manager with over 10+ years of experience. She is currently associated with Rakuten Enterprise Pvt Ltd. Her insatiable quest for knowledge and upskilling led her to enroll in the Global Certificate in Product Management at Accredian.

Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at Accredian & tell us more about your current work profile?

Swathi: I am part of the GCPM Program, August 2021 Batch. I am working as a Product Manager for Japan’s largest e-commerce company Rakuten.

I work in collaboration with the Business stakeholders in Japan for onboarding development projects to deliver Advertisements (Ad) on the Rakuten marketplace, by displaying Creatives (Ad content/Images) from the Manufacturer.

I also oversee the complete product development life cycle support and services to the Business/End users while working on a Product (RSAD – Rakuten Super AD) to support E2E Ad operations. This mainly includes: 

  • Ad Preparations
  • Transaction
  • Distribution
  • Analysis
  • Analytics (Reporting)
  • Sales Revenue enhancement

Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Product Management? 

Swathi: I joined Rakuten as a Technical writer with Japanese language skills to assist the developers in projects, my proactive communication with the Business stakeholders and working closely with the product team internally made me shift my focus into Product Management. 

Now I am working as a Product Manager for the Advertisement Platform.

Question 3: What all Product Management concepts, frameworks & tools have you mastered in your program at Accredian so far?

Swathi: With Accredian, I was able to understand the core values of Product Management insights. 

A lot of concepts like Planning & Strategy, Developing Product Roadmaps, Product Vision/Goal and Product Testing and Product launch

These were driven by SWOT analysis Agile framework to have the complete understanding of owning a Product, and also I got a chance to explore tools like JIRA, Miro visual collaboration Product board for capturing deep user insights and strategic planning.

Question 4: What are some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Product Management journey and how did you overcome it?

Swathi: During the initial times, It was hard to adjust to the pace of the sessions and a lot of information at each session was like over the head, without the basic understanding of the initial concepts it was challenging to get the overall discussions.

However, in due course of time when I started mastering the basic fundamentals of PDM concepts I was able to get the attention of what was being taught and how to apply it at work with a lot of value added to it.

Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at Accredian and what did you learn from them the most?

Swathi: About the faculty, all were different in their terms of teaching and I believe all of them have immense experience and knowledge about Product Management. 

However I really enjoyed all the sessions conducted by Sai, he was amazing at driving things at its pace, with a whole lot of real experiences added to it. I have  learnt many things about AB testing and Analytics from his sessions.

Question 6: In your view, what is the goal of Product Management and how has it evolved in the last few years?

Swathi: Product Management has evolved drastically across different domains and across the globe. Product Management drives a company to achieve their goals and expand further to build a strong ecosystem

The goal is to clearly define product strategies, planning, customer pain points, sales, go to market, designing and many more to evolve new products and satisfy end customer needs in the current market space.

Hence businesses keep progressing due to Product Management in a company.

Question 7: What are the current trends in Product Management that you are most excited about?

Swathi: Product Management has always had a need to come up with new things, as the customer’s needs keep growing on a daily basis. I am excited about:

  • How Digital products will be key to business growth
  • There will be an increase in specialization of product roles
  • We’ll witness a rise of the Product Operations Manager
  • Product management tools will evolve faster than ever
  • Building meaningful customer connections will get more critical than ever

Question 8: Which are some of the Product Management blogs, podcasts, communities and channels that you follow?

Swathi: I follow some blogs of Product Management like:

  • Product Talks
  • Product Development and UX leaders
  • Product Board

Some Podcasts that I follow are:

  • Fearless Product Leadership
  • Accelerate

Question 9: Please share how your journey has been with Accredian so far and what are the elements that you liked.

Swathi: Accredian  has been a great player in my Product Management learning curve. Here I have learnt all the concepts from the very basics with a lot of actual experiences. 

With this course I am able to add more value to my current role as Product Manager and be more confident about many concepts which were not known to me. 

I have enjoyed learning something new in each and every session which made this journey very interesting.

Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Product Management?

Swathi: My advice would be very positive towards this field. 

Since Product Management is evolving globally, there will be a lot of opportunities for people to take up this as a career front. 

Also it’s a very interesting and value added area to the company you work for and a lot many things to explore in new different products and domains will keep emerging.

Hope you enjoyed reading this interview. If you want to read more such interesting student stories, check out Accredian Spotlight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts