Is product management the right career for you?

A product manager works at the intersection of people, finance, and technology. They play a central role in bringing new products and services to market.

Often called the “CEO” of the product, the role of the product manager is undoubtedly attractive. But is product management the right career choice for you?

First, a product manager must be comfortable working with and across people from different functions, departments, roles, etc. Bringing a new product to market requires bringing many people together.

A product manager must also have the ability to understand and leverage various functions within the organization. This includes functions such as marketing, sales, finance, supply chain, and R&D, among others.

The person must also have a very thorough understanding of the markets and customers for which the product is intended. If this understanding is flawed, the final product or service developed will also be flawed.

Finally, the product manager must be very comfortable with technologies of all kinds. And of course, the type of technology depends on the type of product or service that the organization wants to launch in the market.

If you are passionate about these dimensions, product management might be the right career choice for you.

But is there a real career in Product Management?

Product Management is very rewarding. A beginner currently earns an average total compensation of INR 13 lakh per year, while a senior product manager can expect around INR 57 lakh per year. Moreover, big IT giants like Amazon, Google or well-funded startups offer industry veterans an annual package of over INR 1 crore.

The number of vacancies for product managers is increasing almost daily. Today, they are at the heart of all business strategies. Their work is essential and business owners understand that a good product manager can do wonders for the success of their business.

Currently, in the country, there are over 46,000 open product management jobs available on LinkedIn alone. These figures indicate that now is the best time for aspiring product management to pursue a career in this function.

Career opportunities

Product managers can choose to become entrepreneurs who start their own business. On the other hand, if a person wants to continue building a career within the organization, this might be one of the best paths to become COO or CEO.

You start your career by taking responsibility for one or two simple features of a complex product. Over time, you are given responsibility for complete subsystems or single products. Once you have proven yourself at this level, you are given responsibility for complex products that have multi-crore budgets. This is when things get really exciting and you can really prove that you are the CEO of the product.

Working as a product manager helps you hone required leadership skills and helps you become a successful leader. Imagine billions of people using your brainchild to solve their daily needs. It’s an incredible motivation to get up, out of bed, every morning.

(The author is the academic director of an online learning platform)