Conversation with Sharad Sharma, Chief Product Officer – Mettl

Sharad in this conversation shares his professional journey of getting into product management as well as share’s his advice for aspiring product managers.

Sharad Sharma

Chief Product Officer

Mettl

Sharad has extensive experience in product management & product development across mobile platforms, web & advertising. Adept at conceptualizing, defining, building, launching, iterating & monetizing mobile products/features in consumer internet space & for smartphone OEMs.

He has more than 18 years of experience and is a graduate of VJTI, Mumbai.

Podcast Notes

How did he get into PM?

Transition was organic. He was working with Samsung in 2007 and collaborated with Samsung product team and other stakeholders in Korea. Subsequently started getting deeper into product management.

Role at Mettl and Product devlopment Process

Leading a team of 10 folks including PM’s and designers. Mettl is divided into multiple businesses. Agile is followed. He has to meet client’s and understand customer’s requirements to see niche business areas, create quick MVP’s and based on feedback build products fast.

What are the challenges faced as PM?

No control over everybody so you have to lead with influence. You have to work with multiple stakeholders who are not reporting to you.

Managing expectations of all stakeholders is also a big challenge. PM’s are not the CEO of the product.

How does a day as a PM look like?

Activities that Sharad do overall are

a. Working on the product backlog

b. Keeping an eye on the competition

c. People Management

d. Resolving conflicts between stakeholders

e. Customer connect – talking to clients

f. Owning product development end to end

Advice for Product management professional

Lot of people especially MBA grads without understanding product management. Have clear understanding and expectations from the product management role. Have a mastery in soft skills as PM’s have to work with multiple departments like engineering, sales etc. PM’s has the job to make product successful through behavioral and people skills.

Product manager has to have empathy to understand customer pain points as well as other stakeholder’s pain point.

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