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Lavanya Khare
Jun 29, 2022

A product manager is at the centre of the product’s success or failure. They are a part of the product’s journey - from conception to launch.‍ Find out all about this career!

What Is a Product Manager’s Job Description?

A product manager doesn’t work alone. Rather, he has the important job of bringing all the other departments together to ensure the successful launch of a product.

The work of a product manager begins long before the launch of the product. They bring together various departments such as research and development, marketing, sales, and customer support, amongst others, to work together.

The ultimate goal of a product manager is the successful launch of the product - one that meets the customer's needs. They must use their analytical sense to understand market trends and be critical in their decision-making.

A product manager must also be able to analyse prior research and conduct their own research. This will help to understand when the product should be launched and map out the target audience.

What Are the Duties of a Product Manager?

A product manager has many different roles as a part of his job description. These span across departments and areas of expertise. Product managers are expected to take on a multitude of roles and should be able to do so with ease. Some of their duties include:

  1. Working with the research and development department to understand customer requirements and market demands.
  2. Reading and analysing data available regarding competitor products and patterns within the market.
  3. Creating a vision and strategy for the product with regard to advertisements and marketing and ensuring this is brought to fruition with the help of the marketing department.
  4. Planning and executing a roadmap for the product using the different resources and teams available to them.
  5. Running early-stage testing of the product and understanding consumer responses.

What Are the Skills Needed to Be a Product Manager?

A product manager must be, above all else, a team player. They must have the ability to coordinate and communicate between multiple teams and individuals. Their end goal is to successfully launch the product and ensure it is received well in the market. They also require other skills such as:

1. Strong Communication Skills

They should be able to communicate clearly and share their thoughts lucidly with other departments and teams. There is no room for error when it comes to the transmission of information. 

2. Excellent Teamwork/People Skills

A product manager needs to understand customer behaviour patterns and in turn, have expert knowledge of the market. They must also work well as a team leader and not hesitate to take tough decisions when needed.

3. Comfort with Public Speaking and Presentations

It is important for a product manager to be able to present their thoughts with ease and confidence. As they work with teams below them and upper management, they must always be self-assured and have the presence of mind to tackle any hurdles.

4. Ability to Solve Problems

At the time of conceptualising or even later launching a product, it would be foolish to believe everything will be smooth sailing. There will always be issues regarding production, marketing, and customer feedback. No product is ever perfect in its first iteration. A product manager must take such issues in their stride and find solutions in a timely manner.

5. Flexibility

A final product may end up being vastly different at the time of the launch, as compared to its first version. A product manager must decide which feedback to incorporate and where to draw the line. They should be flexible enough to take into account the team’s inputs, but also know when to stick to their original instincts.

What Are the Benefits of Being a Product Manager?

There are many advantages to holding the position of a product manager. Some of these include:

1. Lucrative Salary

A product manager is a mid-level role with a good salary package and the opportunity for upward mobility in the company. With larger companies, the salary package and perks for a product manager also increase.

2. Road to a Senior Position

The role of a product manager is a good road to more senior positions in the company. Most of the skills developed, including mentorship, decision-making, and creative skills, are useful after they are promoted. 

3. Good Exposure

There are few other roles in a company that involve the participation of so many other departments. A product manager’s resume is peppered with an array of skills. Through the role of being a product manager, a person can develop many other abilities and gain experience in other departments as well. This will be beneficial if they choose to shift to another role.

4. A Chance to be Creative 

A product manager’s role is highly creative and comes with the chance to take innovative decisions. As a result, the chances of stagnation and boredom with the role are reduced.

How to Become a Product Manager

When any individual joins a company, they may not immediately be given the role of a product manager. They may have to take on a lower role, such as that of an associate product manager to begin with, before being promoted. Roles such as those of an associate product manager are a good starting point for people learning the ropes of the trade. Here’s a look at the undergraduate educational qualifications needed to be a product manager:

  1. A Bachelor's degree in a business-related field. For example, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com).
  2. A Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Advertising, Marketing, or Statistics is preferred.

Courses Offered to Become a Product Manager

Here are some colleges offering the courses mentioned above:

College Degree
Loyola College, Chennai Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Christ University, Bengaluru Bachelor of Commerce (BBA)
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Bachelor of Economics
KC College, University of Mumbai Bachelor of Mass Media
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Bachelor of Statistics

Entrance Exams for Courses

Admissions for undergraduate courses are granted based on marks obtained after completing Std 12. However, some colleges have individual entrance tests and it is best to inquire before applying.

Specialisations After an Undergraduate Degree

For those who are interested in higher position roles or working with larger companies, it is smart to consider getting an MBA degree. There are many MBA courses out there such as an MBA in Finance, MBA in Marketing, MBA in Human Resource Management, MBA in International Business, or an MBA in Rural Management. For the role of a product manager, it would be best to pursue an MBA in Marketing.

Common MBA Subjects

There are some MBA subjects which are common regardless of the specialisation chosen, such as:

  1. Organisational Behaviour
  2. Quantitative Methods
  3. Managerial Economics
  4. Marketing Management
  5. Market Research

Subjects in MBA in Marketing

The MBA subjects covered in an MBA in Marketing include:

  1. Fundamentals of Management 
  2. Consumer Behaviour
  3. Marketing Research
  4. Advertising and Sales Promotion
  5. Strategic Brand Management

Fees For Colleges Offering Required Courses

Here are the fee breakdowns for some of the colleges offering appropriate courses including MBA fees:

College Degree Fees
Loyola College, Chennai Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) ₹1,39,000 (estimated)
Christ University, Bengaluru Bachelor of Commerce (BBA) ₹2,45,000
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Bachelor of Economics ₹23,361
KC College of Arts, Commerce & Science, University of Mumbai Bachelor of Mass Media ₹98,130
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Bachelor of Statistics ₹23,361
IIM, Ahmedabad MBA in Marketing ₹23,00,000
Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi MBA in Marketing ₹9,80,000

Loans for Courses

There are a range of student loans available to pay for undergraduate and MBA fees. There are a variety of interest rates across banks. It varies based on loan amount and repayment tenure. It is best to do in-depth research when applying for a loan to better understand competing interest rates. Here are some of the interest rates available:

Bank Interest Rate
Canara Bank 7.30% to 9.30%
Karnataka Bank 9.67% onwards
Bank of Baroda 8.85% to 10.85%

There are also private organisations such as Propelld offering 100% digitised private student loans.

How to Become a Product Manager

Lavanya Khare
June 29, 2022
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Shivam Bhardwaj
March 15th 2022

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What Is a Product Manager’s Job Description?

A product manager doesn’t work alone. Rather, he has the important job of bringing all the other departments together to ensure the successful launch of a product.

The work of a product manager begins long before the launch of the product. They bring together various departments such as research and development, marketing, sales, and customer support, amongst others, to work together.

The ultimate goal of a product manager is the successful launch of the product - one that meets the customer's needs. They must use their analytical sense to understand market trends and be critical in their decision-making.

A product manager must also be able to analyse prior research and conduct their own research. This will help to understand when the product should be launched and map out the target audience.

What Are the Duties of a Product Manager?

A product manager has many different roles as a part of his job description. These span across departments and areas of expertise. Product managers are expected to take on a multitude of roles and should be able to do so with ease. Some of their duties include:

  1. Working with the research and development department to understand customer requirements and market demands.
  2. Reading and analysing data available regarding competitor products and patterns within the market.
  3. Creating a vision and strategy for the product with regard to advertisements and marketing and ensuring this is brought to fruition with the help of the marketing department.
  4. Planning and executing a roadmap for the product using the different resources and teams available to them.
  5. Running early-stage testing of the product and understanding consumer responses.

What Are the Skills Needed to Be a Product Manager?

A product manager must be, above all else, a team player. They must have the ability to coordinate and communicate between multiple teams and individuals. Their end goal is to successfully launch the product and ensure it is received well in the market. They also require other skills such as:

1. Strong Communication Skills

They should be able to communicate clearly and share their thoughts lucidly with other departments and teams. There is no room for error when it comes to the transmission of information. 

2. Excellent Teamwork/People Skills

A product manager needs to understand customer behaviour patterns and in turn, have expert knowledge of the market. They must also work well as a team leader and not hesitate to take tough decisions when needed.

3. Comfort with Public Speaking and Presentations

It is important for a product manager to be able to present their thoughts with ease and confidence. As they work with teams below them and upper management, they must always be self-assured and have the presence of mind to tackle any hurdles.

4. Ability to Solve Problems

At the time of conceptualising or even later launching a product, it would be foolish to believe everything will be smooth sailing. There will always be issues regarding production, marketing, and customer feedback. No product is ever perfect in its first iteration. A product manager must take such issues in their stride and find solutions in a timely manner.

5. Flexibility

A final product may end up being vastly different at the time of the launch, as compared to its first version. A product manager must decide which feedback to incorporate and where to draw the line. They should be flexible enough to take into account the team’s inputs, but also know when to stick to their original instincts.

What Are the Benefits of Being a Product Manager?

There are many advantages to holding the position of a product manager. Some of these include:

1. Lucrative Salary

A product manager is a mid-level role with a good salary package and the opportunity for upward mobility in the company. With larger companies, the salary package and perks for a product manager also increase.

2. Road to a Senior Position

The role of a product manager is a good road to more senior positions in the company. Most of the skills developed, including mentorship, decision-making, and creative skills, are useful after they are promoted. 

3. Good Exposure

There are few other roles in a company that involve the participation of so many other departments. A product manager’s resume is peppered with an array of skills. Through the role of being a product manager, a person can develop many other abilities and gain experience in other departments as well. This will be beneficial if they choose to shift to another role.

4. A Chance to be Creative 

A product manager’s role is highly creative and comes with the chance to take innovative decisions. As a result, the chances of stagnation and boredom with the role are reduced.

How to Become a Product Manager

When any individual joins a company, they may not immediately be given the role of a product manager. They may have to take on a lower role, such as that of an associate product manager to begin with, before being promoted. Roles such as those of an associate product manager are a good starting point for people learning the ropes of the trade. Here’s a look at the undergraduate educational qualifications needed to be a product manager:

  1. A Bachelor's degree in a business-related field. For example, a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com).
  2. A Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Advertising, Marketing, or Statistics is preferred.

Courses Offered to Become a Product Manager

Here are some colleges offering the courses mentioned above:

College Degree
Loyola College, Chennai Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Christ University, Bengaluru Bachelor of Commerce (BBA)
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Bachelor of Economics
KC College, University of Mumbai Bachelor of Mass Media
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Bachelor of Statistics

Entrance Exams for Courses

Admissions for undergraduate courses are granted based on marks obtained after completing Std 12. However, some colleges have individual entrance tests and it is best to inquire before applying.

Specialisations After an Undergraduate Degree

For those who are interested in higher position roles or working with larger companies, it is smart to consider getting an MBA degree. There are many MBA courses out there such as an MBA in Finance, MBA in Marketing, MBA in Human Resource Management, MBA in International Business, or an MBA in Rural Management. For the role of a product manager, it would be best to pursue an MBA in Marketing.

Common MBA Subjects

There are some MBA subjects which are common regardless of the specialisation chosen, such as:

  1. Organisational Behaviour
  2. Quantitative Methods
  3. Managerial Economics
  4. Marketing Management
  5. Market Research

Subjects in MBA in Marketing

The MBA subjects covered in an MBA in Marketing include:

  1. Fundamentals of Management 
  2. Consumer Behaviour
  3. Marketing Research
  4. Advertising and Sales Promotion
  5. Strategic Brand Management

Fees For Colleges Offering Required Courses

Here are the fee breakdowns for some of the colleges offering appropriate courses including MBA fees:

College Degree Fees
Loyola College, Chennai Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) ₹1,39,000 (estimated)
Christ University, Bengaluru Bachelor of Commerce (BBA) ₹2,45,000
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Bachelor of Economics ₹23,361
KC College of Arts, Commerce & Science, University of Mumbai Bachelor of Mass Media ₹98,130
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Bachelor of Statistics ₹23,361
IIM, Ahmedabad MBA in Marketing ₹23,00,000
Department of Management Studies, IIT Delhi MBA in Marketing ₹9,80,000

Loans for Courses

There are a range of student loans available to pay for undergraduate and MBA fees. There are a variety of interest rates across banks. It varies based on loan amount and repayment tenure. It is best to do in-depth research when applying for a loan to better understand competing interest rates. Here are some of the interest rates available:

Bank Interest Rate
Canara Bank 7.30% to 9.30%
Karnataka Bank 9.67% onwards
Bank of Baroda 8.85% to 10.85%

There are also private organisations such as Propelld offering 100% digitised private student loans.

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Some FAQs About Becoming a Product Manager

What is the full form of MBA?

The full form of MBA is Master of Business Administration.

What is a product manager salary?

An average product manager salary, according to AmbitionBox, is ₹17L PA.

What are some good product manager books to read?

Some recommended reading for future product managers includes:

  • Marty Cagan - INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love 

Learn More Here- https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/35249663-inspired

  • Nir Eyal - Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Learn  More Here-

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22668729-hooked?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=KeueMeW1lj&rank=2

  • Carlos González de Villaumbrosia and Josh Anon - The Product Book: How to Become A Great Product Manager 

Learn More Here-

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35274263-the-product-book?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=d5loCLRIMj&rank=1

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