Product Management

Suhas Motwani’s Journey into Product Management and Community Building

We had a chat with Suhas Motwani, who is the co-founder of theproductfolks, an amazing group of product managers and product enthusiasts.
Mahima Arora
12 min to read

Suhas Motwani is the co-founder of theproductfolks, an amazing group of supportive, positive, smart, and emoji-friendly product folks from all around the world, who are product managers and product enthusiasts. The change he has brought with his excellent community-building skills has made things a lot more interesting for product managers.

Let us get to know more about him and his view about product management, community building, Indistrable app (another interesting creation by him), and more!

He is currently working in Pepsico, on a product to drive automation and the retirement of manual reports, replacing them with insightful dashboards with powerful data visualization, available 24/7 from any mobile device and updated continuously with the latest information across all Global PepsiCo Bus.

Starting his career as a consultant, he moved to an early-stage tech firm called pragmatic leaders, where he was one of the first hires, and where his path into product began. As a new employee, he got the opportunity to wear multiple hats.

When given the opportunity to move to Europe, he took it and was able to see the impact on the top line and bottom line as being part of the inside team.

On the side, he got the chance to work with a bunch of volunteers, build the largest product community.

Suhas stresses the growth of India as a country in terms of technology and innovation

India is probably the heart of growth right now in terms of innovation. We have Fantastic products and  need  for product managers to support the skill set.

Indistrable App

He also talks about his App: Indistracble. Everybody talks about digital distraction, they want and need to do it. We are sitting in front of screens the whole day and our source of entertainment post-work also involves screens. So if we are doing so, let us use it in the best way possible.

Indistrable involves a simple, minimalistic home screen to help you to focus on the work. You can stay on top of your day with in-built minimal tasks that you can access on the home screen.

Customize your launcher by adding & removing widgets, changing fonts, colors, icons & more. Also, Customise home screen to show year progress & day progress to Focus on what matters.

When asked, what his experience with internal tools has been like and if he would believe that say internal tools are not sexy, he shares a very fascinating two-part view and learning to the same.

The first one is in relation to b2b.

We can relate to b2c is because we use amazon, swiggy on a day to day bases but the impact as the businesses grow, the impact you can have with internal tools is very large.

He further explains how even if you have a lesser number of users, the delta you can create is bigger than you cannot see from the outside. 5% delta can save the company millions of dollars that you cannot see from the outside.

He also shares his confusion about the same, how he used the question the senior product managers for choosing to work in a b2b startups, work with internal tools over fast-growing consumer startup. But now realizing the impact of internal tools only after he himself went through the journey.

If you look at the biggest of these companies, you will realize that they only came up with it by seeing the problem from the inside.

He also shares his perspective on working in an early-stage startup in contrast to a  Fortune 100 company.

Move fast, break things but also some things take time. Have patience.

Coming to the most interesting he has done in connection to Community building. He explains how the entire goal was “ how do we help more people interact with interesting product managers.”

You want to go the distance, build together.

He explains how he gradually realized that a large number of people are interested, but that the transition is not clear. As a result, offline meetups were started as an initiative with his team. The ultimate result is most likely to be a sense of community.

Today, it has surpassed its previous high point. Everyone is returning to the community, from early businesses to long-time founders. You may learn a lot from the people around you and pick up new skills.

Working in Poland

In the end, he throws light on the product community in Poland, working style, and product management as a whole in the country where he is currently residing.

Poland is very different in terms of culture and also where they are right now. If you want to really be in the epicenter of building interesting products, you need to be in the hub of it. Even though the world is going remote post-pandemic, but looking at things in the traditional way, as a pm, it is super important to stay where things are moving fast. In that sense, Poland is a couple of years out.

On a positive note, he also mentions that the country has great talent and innovation. The market is still lagging but it will catch up with time. In terms of food and people, travel, the country is amazing. The community in Poland is very tiny. In a few meetups, everybody knows everybody.

Lots of opportunities are coming up in Poland and if one wants to transition, one can.

Suhas Motwani’s fascinating journey is inspirational in so many ways. What he has done with community building and bringing in the culture of growing and doing better is exceptional. We have so many product managers wanting to thank him for he has aided so many of us to feel included, assisted, and do better with helping others just like us.

We wish him the best to carry forward his vision to enable the disabled, using technology.

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