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Everything That’s In Store For PMs At The Makers Summit 2021

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This article is part of Inc42 Plus’ upcoming conference — The Makers Summit India’s largest product conference scheduled for 12th-14th March, supported by Netcore, Amplitude and HPE. Click here to know more.

The success of every tech startup depends upon how soon it manages to find the product-market-fit (PMF). While some hit the bull’s-eye quite early, there are others who spend years cracking this code.  Over the years, Indian startup ecosystem has produced world-class products creating a legacy of learnings and experiences that will serve posterity. 

That’s why The Makers Summit 2021, India’s largest product conference, will bring together 10,000+ makers from the product, marketing and design functions of India’s top product startups to share knowledge and understand each other’s best practices.

TMS will witness veterans from all three domains layout their playbooks and reveal their personal experience of being a ‘maker’. They will explain their theories with specific growth models and market examples in Masterclasses, debate the frameworks best fitted for the Bharat context in star-studded Panels, take a dialectical approach for product creation in Fireside Chats and track the most exciting trends emerging from the product horizon in Keynotes. 

As the conference would be spread over three days with over 50 sessions and more than 100 speakers, we think it would be right to streamline the agenda for you. So, we are consolidating the masterclasses, keynotes and firesides sessions by unicorn founders separately for your benefit.

In this article, we take a look at everything directly related to product managers that has been planned for the conference.

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Using Powerful Product Positionings To Scale Products For Bharat

What strategies and experiments built the foundation of Dunzo, Urban Company and Just Dial? What does it take to build a value proposition for Bharat? What are the secrets of retention in the Bharat market?

In one of the most-awaited panel discussions of The Makers Summit, Brijesh Bharadwaj, director of product management, user products and growth at Dunzo; Gunjan Suyal, head of products, JustDial; Ankit Khanna, chief product officer, MakeMyTrip and Shivangi Srivastava, general manager heading new initiatives at Swiggy, will speak about how to build for Bharat. The session will be moderated by Vaibhav Agrawal, partner, Lightspeed India.

The key takeaways for the audience from this panel will be: how to scale organically to profitability in Bharat, the marketing strategies and user acquisition channels that work in the market, cracking the puzzle of defining a core loop for the Bharat user in the MVP (minimum viable product) stage and monetising it later.

Scaling Product Teams From Pre-Product Market Fit To Hypergrowth

“Growth was not about hiring 10 people per country and putting them in the 20 most important countries and expecting it to grow. Growth was about engineering systems of scale and enabling our users to grow the product for us,” reminisced Andy Johns, former product manager at Facebook, in a Quora post.

Like Facebook, it’s imperative for startups to engineer the right product teams with the growth mentality to scale up at a fast clip right from the point when  the product-market fit becomes clearer. That’s why we will have a panel that will help you understand the right architecture of product teams at each stage — pre & post PMF, growth and hyperscaling.

The discussion will dwell upon navigating the shift from engineering PMs to revenue PMs, the best structure of product organisation, OKRs at different stages of growth and composition of product pods.

Snehal Patel, director of product, BrowserStack; Vijay Arisetty, cofounder & CEO, MyGate; Sidu Ponappa, SVP Engineering, Gojek; and Nikhil Kamath cofounder & CIO, Zerodha are the panellists while Miten Sampat, who looks after corporate strategy at Cred, will be the moderator.

snehal patel

User Science: A Product Manager’s Superpower

What does a product manager do? It won’t be wrong to say that the two most important things in a PM’s job description are understanding user needs and tracking user behaviour to build a better product. 

These are exactly what the tools and techniques of user science are geared towards. In a Masterclass session, veteran product leader Shesh Vasudevamurthy will show how to use A/B testing, surveys, focus groups etc to decode user needs and feedback. Further, he will show how to set up user science frameworks, usability tests, 1:1 interviews and explain how to combine insights across multiple test types.

Managing Your Team Like A Product 

The product team lies at the centre of any product company — from harnessing the right customer acquisition channels for 100x growth to iterating features by analysing user feedback. While there’s rightly a lot of focus on achieving product market-fit and blitzscaling for hyper growth, the mechanics of managing a product team hardly surfaces in discussions.

Dinesh Varadharajan, vice president of product management at Saas company Kissflow, will hold a Masterclass session to help founders and product leaders at early stage startups understand the ins and outs of marshalling the product function effectively. You can look forward to finding actionable insights on how to link product metrics to performance metrics of the product team, the architecture of high growth product teams, creating a culture that thrives on ideating 100x bets and a lot more.

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Finding Product-Market Fit In India

Achieving product market fit is the holy grail for any tech startup. But everyone has their own view of what the term means — some say it’s when demand outstrips supply, others say PMF is reached when a product metrics such as traction, net promoter score, retention and conversion hit specific thresholds. That’s why The Makers Summit will have a panel discussion that will probe into what PMF means in the Indian context.

Starting with the reasons why finding PMF is harder in India compared to elsewhere, the speakers will dive deeper into how to make the frameworks for PMF iterative and scalable. They will also shed light on aligning features and UX with core value proposition to drive PMF and discuss the reasons most products fail to hit PMF in Bharat.

This panel comprises Vikrama Dhiman, Head of Product, Gojek; Sairee Chahal, Founder & CEO, Sheroes; Raghav Chandra, co-founder & CTO, Urban Company; Ranjeet Pratap Singh, cofounder & CEO, Pratilipi; and Aviral Bhatnagar of Venture Highway. 

Finding Product-Market Fit In India

The Product Journey To One Of The World’s Most Valuable Edtech Companies

The founder of BYJU’S will take us through the inflexion points of the edtech giant’s product journey, right from its transition from offline to online to the pandemic year when it hit several milestones in a matter of months — amassing a student base of 50 Mn, reaching a valuation of $10 Bn and emerging as the most frugal edtech startup in India. 

In a country obsessed with taking down notes in the classroom and reproducing answers in tests, Raveendran will reveal the secret of selling a self-learning product. The fireside chat will be moderated by Sandeep Naik, head of India and Southeast Asia of General Atlantic. Naik has spearheaded the private equity firm’s mega rounds of funding in the company — an INR 400 Cr+ infusion in 2018 and $200 Mn in 2020. 

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Unlocking India’s Crypto Economy 

We discussed and debated a lot about what the opening keynote of The Makers Summit 2021 should be about. In the end,  it was clear that the immense possibilities using crypto as a base to build products is something that the ecosystem is craving to discuss.  Even as there are talks of the government banning cryptos, it is more important now than ever, to discuss its future and possibilities of evolution into becoming something that doesn’t scare the government. 

And who better to talk about the future of crypto than Balaji S. Srinivasan? The former Coinbase CEO is one of the most notable crypto evangelists. His grounding in products as a veteran angel investor and his stint as a general partner at storied Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz makes him the most sought after personality in the world of cryptocurrencies. After Srinivasan sets the ball rolling with the inaugural keynote address, Balaji will be a part of a fireside chat on the crypto economy with Nischal Shetty, founder and CEO of crypto startup WazirX.

From Crypto Evangelist Balaji Srinivasan To Notion’s Akshay Kothari, Here Are The Keynote & Fireside Speakers For The Makers Summit 2021

Notion’s Moby Dick Playbook For Product Growth

“‘Moby Dick’ is written by one person,” says Notion founder Ivan Zhao. “Adding another person doesn’t necessarily give you a higher-quality ‘Moby Dick.’ It doesn’t even necessarily make it faster.” At a time when startups are always on the lookout for funding, the collaboration SaaS company frequently turned away investors until the pandemic hit. Then it picked up $80 Mn at a valuation of $2 Bn.   

Notion chief operating officer and former LinkedIn product head Akshay Kothari will be at The Makers Summit to help the audience understand the product roadmap and growth strategy. 

In a fireside chat with Charts.com founder Pallav Nadhani, the Silicon Valley executive will shed light on the product marketing hack that led to 4x growth in a year, differentiating in a crowded market, and  building with a lean team. 

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The Growth Mindset: On 10x Experiments & Finding PMF

The CEO of edtech unicorn Unacademy is a rare founder who blogs on products. Gaurav Munjal’s fireside chat with his former boss and Flock founder Bhavin Turakhia is a discussion that no product person would like to miss. Interestingly, the edtech company also acquired Turakhia’s educational initiative for computer programmers called Codechef last year.

In an impromptu conversation, expect the duo to cover a wide array of topics, including product ideation, product-market fit, design thinking and more.

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Scaling 10x In A Frugal Manner: Decoding Ixigo’s Product Pivots

What were Ixigo’s inflexion points in its product journey from a meta search platform to Ixibook to a full stack  OTA? Why did the unicorn playbook of cashbacks and discounts didn’t work? What were the inexpensive growth hacking strategies it adopted? 

In a keynote presentation, CTO and cofounder of Ixigo Rajinish Kumar will dwell upon the secrets of building a new customer experience from scratch after a decade of starting up, the playbook of rebuilding a broken core loop in the product and the roadmap of scaling 10x from 3 Mn to 30 Mn monthly active users in 5 years.

Engineering Bharat’s Social Engine – Products Build On Network Effect

Unlike most social media startups, the first challenge for ShareChat did not involve the interface or the features. When the app came up in 2015, smartphones had penetrated the hinterlands but had not become mainstream. Moreover, the cheaper variants scored low on technical specifications and could not stream high-definition videos without buffering. At The Makers Summit, CEO and cofounder Ankush Sachdeva will outline what all went into creating a social engine for Bharat, from building a flywheel of features to drive user engagement to developing monetisation models that could work for the demographic.

Decoding The Product Engine Behind India's Gaming Moment Mobile Premier League CEO and cofounder Sai Srinivas has been a product guy all along. Starting as a product manager at Zynga — the fountainhead of many product leaders in India — he went on to head several verticals at Airtel-owned Hike. In July 2018, he struck out on his own, started MPL and eventually found a backer in Virat Kohli. At The Makers Summit, we look forward to Srinivas revealing the product secrets which helped the company grow 4x in six months and hit the coveted billion-dollar GMV mark.

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