In this INSAID Spotlight interview, we feature Amit Sharma, a Team Lead with over 12 years of experience. He is currently associated with TSYS. His insatiable quest for knowledge and upskilling led him to enrol in the Global Certificate in Product Management program at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Amit: I am from the GCPM program, August 15, 2021. Currently I am a Team Lead at TSYS, a Globalpayments Fintech Company in the U.S. This is a product based company.
They are known for their Card Program Manager called PRIME which is deployed in banks all over Asia, LAC, EU, CEMEA and CIS region, to handle the Credit and Debit card portfolios.
My roles in this company are to provide solutions to the banks, mandated from Payment schemes like VISA, MC, AMEX, etc. which are then developed and incorporated in the Card Program Manager.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Product Management?
Amit: I have 12 years’ experience in the IT industry and I have played various roles from software engineer, compliance SME to Team Leads in different companies. I have worked at HCL and TSYS.
I was fortunate that I have been in the Fintech domain which is now a buzzword everywhere. I have been a part of many projects out of which some highlighted projects were Card Tokenization and MasterCard 3d-Secure.
There are prominent reasons why Product Management attracted me. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and land in the same industry but in a different vertical. I have a technical understanding of the Fintech world like how transactions are processed, how they are authorized, cleared and settled, etc.
I have been working the same profile for the past 11 years and now it seems this is it.
To be honest, Product Management is all over LinkedIn and provides great opportunities. But how can I make this happen, was only possible by joining the PM course at INSAID.
Question 3: What all Product Management concepts, frameworks & tools have you mastered in your program at INSAID so far?
Amit: I have gotten familiar with many concepts like, creating Metrics, roadmap, etc. This is the most common question I have been asked at my previous Interviews by CTO’s. I am still learning as the day-to-day scenario is different.
Frameworks like Storytelling 5W HEART and tools like JIRA are also in my repository.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Product Management journey and how did you overcome it?
Amit: Initially things seemed like it was similar to MBA classes, which were boring because all was theory and there were no practical applications. But gradually assignments and case studies made me feel comfortable and I started applying my thoughts to the real-life examples.
There are some terminologies that I was happy to learn about because these will help you crack down the interviews.
Question 5: Who is your favourite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from them?
Amit: Sai is my favourite faculty. I liked when in Term 3 he demonstrated the AB testing and Product development journey.
Question 6: In your view, what is the goal of Product Management & how has it evolved in the last few years?
Amit: The goal of product management in simple words, is making ‘The Brand’.
Product Managers have now become true operators, they focus on all parts that are connected with the product to create successful outcomes for the business. In the future, probably the Product Manager will sell the product directly.
The Product Management definition has changed over the past few years. Now the Product Manager decides:
- How their decisions and goals contribute to revenue
- Whether the pricing model is viable
- If the customer acquisition channels are working effectively
- How we’re supporting our existing customers
- What levers the teams can pull to not only create a great customer experience but also a long term sustainable business.
Question 7: What are the current trends in Product Management that you are most excited about?
Amit: Digital products are shaping the current trends in PM, and as I said earlier, I belong to a fintech company as well. COVID situation should be the main cause probably in changing the trends in PM, as most of us rush to E-commerce or Mobile Apps to order or make purchases. The PM role will be diversified.
Question 8: Which are some of the Product Management blogs, podcasts, communities & channels that you follow?
Amit: I follow some blogs from Medium, some articles from LinkedIn and with colleagues who are already in the PM role.
Question 9: Please tell how your journey has been with INSAID so far and what are the elements that you liked.
I cannot blame anyone until I experience any issues. The PM course at INSAID is designed in a way that will help many aspiring candidates to achieve their dreams of becoming a Product Manager.
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Product Management?
Amit: My advice for freshers will be-
- Introspect yourself.
- Understand what you are getting into. See the core of PM.
- Be Serious.
- Make sure to communicate well.
Hope you enjoyed reading this interview. If you want to read more such interesting student stories, check out INSAID Spotlight.