Coffee with Anup Dhalwani, PM at Uber

This week we spoke with Anup Dhalwani, product manager at Uber.

What makes Anup a perfect product guy?

After completing his B.E. in Computer Engineering from University of Pune in India, Anup worked in the tech industry for some time at organizations like IBM and Tata Research and Development Center. He then pursued his MBA at Kellogg School of Management and did consulting for a bit at McKinsey before coming back to tech in a product manager role at Linkedin. He wanted to be close to the business strategy but also not move far from engineering. This motivated him to become a product manager. He had also considered design as the other option, but felt that product management would fit better. Successful product managers often experience such a full circle before landing into PM. After Linkedin, he led products at Facebook and Snapchat and as a co-founder at Ospinet before getting into his current role at Uber.

How does Anup’s typical day as a PM at Uber look like and what is his secret recipe of success?

At Uber, he is working on growth type of products. About 70% of his time at work involves looking at innovative new ways to unlock or create demand and 30% is spent on improving existing experiences. His typical day is a very fast moving one and he feels that time goes by very fast. It is mostly made of meetings and driving alignment across teams. And then he spends the remaining time to carve out time for individual contribution work and get things done.

He segued into product management primarily through trial and error. It was really an apprenticeship model and he got his first real gig in product management when he made the switch at Linkedin. He has seen successes and failures both as a PM and believes that a good team is the #1 way to succeed. There are many ways to fail, especially not taking people along is the easiest way to fail.


Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

What are Anup’s predictions on disruption in the B2C industry?

Over the past few years as a product leader in the B2C space, he has seen disruption everywhere. He bets big on small motivated teams. According to him, these teams can be dangerous and create innovation if they have focus, are repeat founders and are a solid team. But to see traction and success, he feels that they also need to be backed by strong VCs.


Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

About Anup:

Prior to his current role at Uber, Anup was a product manager at Linkedin, Facebook and SnapChat. He is an ex-McKinsey consultant and has been an engineering lead at IBM. He has also been a founder at a startup called Ospinet and an investment banking intern at UBS. Anup did his B.E. in Computer Engineering from the University of Pune in India and his MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

In his free time, he mostly likes to invest in exercise but it is not always possible due to his busy schedule. He is an avid reader and these days, reading a lot of Taleb.


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