A career in Product Management has become one of the most sought after as it offers an exciting career path. Reason being, this is one career that gives the freedom to have multi-faceted learning. In a typical scenario, a Product Manager is sitting among the subject experts and is expected to guide the discussion, ask the right questions, and help the group to reach a positive and viable solution. Amidst all of this, the product manager gains high visibility within the organization which in turn helps him/ her to advance into general management role later. However, the role of a Product Manager depends greatly on the size and nature of the company. Some organizations have well-defined roles and others have roles that are overlapping. Before we understand the career path of Product Managers (PMs), let’s understand the Product Manager’s responsibility that includes:
- Managing concept, designing products, testing, forecasting, costing to the final stage of mass production, and promotion of the product
- Managing and implementing marketing activities
- Achieving market share, revenue, profit and ROI
Apart from being detail oriented, a Product Manager should have basic business sense, marketing knowledge and should be comfortable dealing with numbers. On an average degree in business, computer science, engineering or economics is preferred; however, other graduates in management, marketing, public relations, statistics, and advertising are also in demand. Here are the typical roles that Product Managers find during their career stint
The average salary in India for Product Managers
- Associate Product Manager
This entry level role expects you to have a sound understanding of your organization, product, and collaboration with the Product Manager to define product requirements. It’s important to hear all sides of the story, and assess different perspectives to help arrive at a clear decision. One is expected to be the “go to” resource for other teams and will be the point of contact for anything related to the product. One is expected to provide sound advice on the process, relationships, tactical moves, and should be well-informed by data to support your reasoning. In other words, should be eyes and ears for the project team.
- Senior Product Manager
This mid-career position would ideally look for employees with 5 to 10 years of experience. The manager at this level is expected to demonstrate the ability to think on their own, have a strong decision-making skill that is based on data. Good logical thinking and excellent communication skills are highly expected at this seniority along with leadership skills to lead the team. This role requires deep product and market understanding.
- Director of Product
As a leader, the Director of Product should have the ability to oversee stakeholders for all activities of the product management division. The Director of Product Development is cross-functional in nature and is expected to liaise with engineering, sales, marketing, and design departments. Strong skills set in making a roadmap, product planning, and prioritization are some of the key responsibility.
- Vice President of Product
It’s the VP Product who brings customers to the organization. Hence, it’s the VP who considers the complete product experience for customer’s while designing every stage of product development. Activities and responsibilities include budgeting for the product, ensuring that strategic product decisions align with business objectives portfolio, and making sure resources like staffing, budget, and research are being invested in the areas that will provide the combined beneficial results.
Though a career in product management is highly challenging, however, it provides vast opportunities to learn and be responsible for the organization’s growth and success. The role is quite enterprising and simultaneously it forcing you to take management decisions that has the ability to shape the success of your organization.