Building New Products at a Unicorn

Hello folks: rolling on with yet another addition to the TPF weekly AMA series! This week, we were ecstatic to welcome Maisum Dairkee. Maisum currently works as a senior Product Owner at Revolut.

Maisum is a IIT Gandhinagar graduate, and since passing out in 2012, he has worked in a diverse set of roles. He started off as a growth hacker at Flipkart, before switching to consultancy at EXL, then started up for a year, joining Careem as a PM, and finally, he switched to his current role at Revolut. 

It has been quite a career - one in which he has learnt all there is to learn building products.

So, let us jump straight into it:

The Product Owner Role

There aren’t a lot of Product Owner roles in the PM space, and naturally, a lot of folks at the AMA were curious about exactly what a Product Owner does, and how he is different from a Product Manager.

Here is what Maisum had to say about this:

Different Expectations: Maisum believes these roles were similar, interchangeable. However he was keen to stress that companies have different expectations from Product Owners - rather than just managing the product development, one is held accountable for the outcomes as well.

Only PO roles at some companies: Another trend that Maisum has noticed is that some companies have only Product Owners, while others have only Product Managers. For example, Maisum’s current company, Revolut, only has Product Owners.


Here’s what Maisum had to say about this:

Growth Roles: Growth Managers, according to Maisum, are responsible for getting growth in their markets/products/verticals. They are most commonly focussed on short-mid term growth (with long term growth coming from product changes). So as a growth manager for a market, one is given a certain budget to spend on marketing, promotions, events, PR, pricing etc. and they have to ensure that they get the highest return on volume and value with that budget every month. Sounds quite interesting!

Research and Prioritization as a Growth Manager: Maisum explains that in big orgs, user research is done as per requirements. Product teams are split into smaller squads, each with their own goals and KPIs, and doing their own thing.

As for prioritization, Maisum believes it is a top-down process, with the leadership setting the company goals, and Product teams using them as a guide to prioritize. 

Stakeholder Management

Given his vast experience in various Product roles, a lot of folks were curious about Maisum’s thoughts about Stakeholder Management.

Here is what Maisum had to say about this:

Maisum finds stakeholder management to be very similar to everyday life. He explains that our family, parents, kids, spouse, relatives are all our stakeholders. So, with this perspective, here’s how he advices to go about stakeholder management:

  1. The first step is to know who your stakeholders are
  2. Understand their constraints and incentives
  3. Position your work as a win-win (can be through setting up common kpis, quid pro quo etc.)
  4. Understand the person behind the stakeholder (do they appreciate a more direct approach or they like having a chat about that new series)

How to break into Product Management

As usual, quite a few questions in the AMA were geared towards breaking into Product Management. To all such questions, Maisum had just one thing to say:

Root-Cause breakdown: The most important skill that would help start into product management is breaking down problems till you reach the root of it. 

Anecdote from his first Product Interview - When Maisum was interviewing for his first product role as an associate product manager, the product director asked him to identify what my favorite product was. He said TV. The whole interview later was to identify what are the problems in the experience of using a TV today and why were they problems to begin with!

Want to join the next conversation? We’ll be having another Product Chat soon, get your invite to our Slack community to get all the details. See you inside.

Latest Posts

Come For the Content
Stay For the Community