Beer with Keshav Agrawal, product manager for an e-commerce client

Today, we talk to Keshav Agrawal, who is a former senior product manager at Quancast, based in San Francisco, a mid-size big data AdTech company and currently at Deloitte Consulting where he plays the role of a product manager at a big e-commerce client in the bay area. A recent Wharton MBA graduate, Keshav has completed his undergraduate study from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and Masters study from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), both in Electrical Engineering. He has interned at Qualcomm San Diego, Syracuse University, and at a private equity firm, Carpediem Capital Partners, in Mumbai India.

Keshav’s inroads into product management

Product management was not the path Keshav had always dreamt of. During UCLA, he interned at Qualcomm as a system engineer. But over a course of three months internship, he realized that he liked the business element more and wanted a job wherein he could interact with cross-functional stakeholders to create a product vision and shape the customer journey. When he first applied for PM role, it was very challenging for him to get interviews as he only had an engineering background on his resume.

He then spent a lot of time to understand the ins and outs of PM interview using sources like Glassdoor and PM Interview Guide. He did mock consulting cases with friends and read a lot about product design. Even today he remembers the stereotype product design interview question – how to design an elevator?!

This was his starting point into product management. After UCLA, he decided to join Quantcast, a mid-size big data AdTech Firm as an Associate Product Manager. Currently, as a product manager at one of the big e-commerce client, he and his team manages the customer experience right from the customer navigation from an item page to placing the order.

Keshav’s typical day at work

  • 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM: Keshav’s day starts with coffee and checking emails/slack.
  • 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM: Mostly meetings with a small break for lunch. Every meeting is different – some are with his engineering team, some with his product designers, and others with business stakeholders/customers.
  • 5:00 PM onwards: This is Keshav’s time for himself. He creates requirement documents and feature stories. He spends this time thinking and strategizing about his product, future features and roadmap, which also includes creating presentations for leadership updates.

Keshav’s secret of his success as a PM

  • Customer-first –  As a product manager, it is critical to think from the customer’s point of view, to understand the customer pain points and solve them from first principles.
  • Be humble – As a product manager, you work with different types of people. It is important to build a good rapport with everyone. A PM can not be efficient if his/her team is not efficient. It is critical to establish credibility to lead your team without formal authority.

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Keshav’s predictions on disruption in the retail industry

  • The expectation on Order Delivery and Return has changed in the last decade or so. 2-day delivery is no longer a competitive advantage, but becoming more of a necessity.
  • Omni-channel experience is changing how customers shop and interact with retailers.
  • Augmented reality is going to change how we shop

Keshav’s favorite books and TV shows

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About Keshav:

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This post has been published on communities.

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