We recently had the opportunity to interview our Growth Product Manager, Tushar Hegde, to learn more about his interests, experience working at Sorcero, and future aspirations. Here is what he had to say.
Elizabeth Venafro (EV): I was hoping you could start out by telling us a little about your background prior to working at Sorcero.
Tushar Hegde (TH): Prior to working at Sorcero, I was at Microsoft Global Services India as a technical consultant. I was working with customers on implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP.
EV: How did you find out about Sorcero?
TH: I found out about Sorcero through the UCLA Applied Management Research (AMR) program. The UCLA AMR program is basically the capstone project for all second year, full-time MBA students at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. What happens is students from teams are paired with companies from a variety of industries. We can choose which company we want to work with and, once we are paired with a company, we solve their issues ranging from market entry to definition of operations and so on. I found out about Sorcero during the bidding process. There were several tech companies that caught my eye, but Sorcero was at the top of the list for three reasons -- 1. It involved AI, 2. It involved NLP, and 3. It was a startup, so I thought they would have much more interesting challenges to solve.
EV: What made you decide to then join Sorcero as an employee?
TH: During the six-month interaction with Sorcero through the UCLA AMR program, I worked very closely with the CEO, Dipanwita Das, and the Chief Commercial Officer, Richard Graves. Through my interaction with them, I saw how passionate they were about the company and the product, and I really like working for people that are ecstatic about what they are trying to build. I also saw that the company was constantly evolving. I had a bit of interaction with the engineering team, and I saw how hardworking and committed they were to the goals of the company. Additionally, as part of my research, I accompanied Dipanwita and Richard to the 2019 Plug and Play Conference and I saw that people were literally lining up to talk to representatives from Sorcero. It was fun talking to all the potential clients and seeing the interest in the company. It really made me feel like Sorcero was going somewhere.
EV: Tell me a little about what you do on a day-to-day in your role at Sorcero.
TH: As a growth product manager, there are three main areas in which I am working on a daily basis and that is, first, maintaining and building out a road map. I work with the VP of Product, Ketan Shah, to identify what areas we can go into. Second, the more granular details of building our product by interacting with the key stakeholders of each and every project, understanding their requirements, and translating them into very clear and concise specifications that the engineering team can understand. Finally, the execution, which is understanding what the engineering team needs and facilitating the entire process. In short, the job of a product manager at any startup is to make the jobs easier for everyone around them.
EV: You talked a little about the various stakeholders -- Why is it so important to have someone that communicates with both the customer and the internal engineering team?
TH: First of all, a lot of the customers we interact with know what their problem is, they know what their pain points are, and they know what their end goal is. To flesh out the details, they can't provide all that information to us in one go. It is an ongoing process to be in conversations with all the key stakeholders, know exactly what they need, and translate that into technical requirements. It is a lot for the engineering team to be expected to extract all the requirements from each of the stakeholders, so this is where the product team comes in as the middleman. We understand the requirements from the customers and basically make it easier for the engineering team to rapidly deliver with as little delay to the customer as possible.
EV: What would you like to be doing five years from now?
TH: I would love to be managing product managers in a way where I help them achieve their goals and help guide them in being the best product managers they can be.