This is the 67th in a series of business tips from industry leaders that Enterprise Times has interviewed. Enterprise Times recently interviewed Varun Goswami, Vice President of Product Management at Newgen Software.
He spoke about the architecture of Newgen One, the company’s low-code platform. He revealed how the company has developed the platform over the last year and how it intends to continue the development of Newgen Marvin, its generative AI product.
Why move to product management
Goswami started his career at Newgen as a software engineer. He moved into product management a few years ago. I asked him what his motivations for doing so were and what skills someone else considering that move should aim to develop to achieve the same thing.
“Great question. I’ve been with Newgen for 26 years now. I started as a programmer. The biggest change for me came when I got exposed to the business side of software. Typically, as a programmer, you’re sitting behind a desk, somebody’s giving you the requirements, you just code it, build it, and you check-in, and that’s it; your work is done.
“What I found really fascinating is why somebody would actually pay me money to buy that software. What is the value addition that I’m doing to their business that they are able to afford? Because these are enterprise software, they have large ticket sizes. It’s a different ballgame.
“That business side of software is something that really appealed to me, building that value proposition, going out there in front of the customers, trying to convince them why they should buy this product. And why should they buy your product rather than a competitor’s product.
“That was really exciting to me. That’s why I made the switch to product management. I still have one foot on the product side. So I still deal with engineering, DevOps, security, all of those things. On the other hand, I have the other side, which is the business side. I still go and connect with the customers. I try to understand what are their pain areas. How can we build features to solve those pain areas and sell more software to our customers?”
How to move to product management
In terms of a tip for somebody else looking to move to product management, what piece of advice would you offer
“The biggest (piece of) advice that I would offer is to just get over the concept of technology governing everything else. What I mean by that is that whatever you’re building, it is less important as to which technology you’re using; whether you have microservices, or React or Angular. That’s a very good discussion point., but at the end of it, it doesn’t really matter.
“What matters is the value that you’re delivering to the customer. So anybody who’s trying to move away from a programmer into a product management profile, they need to understand that technology is great, and is absolutely an enabler, but technology exists to solve a business problem. Identify what is that business problem, identify the pain areas of your customer, try to solve that using the latest and greatest technology. But please focus on the business problem rather than focusing on the technology.”
Best tip for a product manager
What was the best tip you received about the product management role?
“The best tip that I received was don’t get hung up on building the product first and then taking it to the customers. Get an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) ready, and go out and meet the customers. Try to find out if what you’re building is actually appealing to them or not. I think that’s the best advice that I got.”