Vice President – Product Management

Global IT Consulting Firm

One of our clients, an esteemed global professional services firm that makes business transformation real which is investing huge in driving digital-led innovation and digitally-enabled intelligent operations for their clients. They start with design, dream in digital, and solve problems with data and analytics. They have their own AI Platform which is ranked among top3 platforms in the market. They were planning to hire a senior executive in Pr0oduct Management Space who has extensive experience in Product Management methodologies across a portfolio of Products, Practices, and Partnerships.

While it was really hard to find a candidate having good experience in Product Management from scratch It started by, laying out of the roadmap to creating Go To Market strategies of that particular product, we succeeded in attracting a senior executive having 25+ years of total experience with 15+ years of experience in Product Management having a great technical background and having good Industry Analyst relationships with Forrester, Gartner and other niche Industry Analyst groups.

Challenge

Vantedge Search was contacted by one of the senior professionals whom we have placed at an executive level in another consulting firm. This professional services firm was on a hunt to find an executive-level Product Management candidate who comes with the entire gamut of Product Management space. After having a series of discussions with senior-level stakeholders, we were given the task of finding a Senior management folk who can live up to the expectations of the client. 

The client was hunting for a candidate who not only owns & deeply understands the problems associated with the entire domain but also finds out ways to get a solution. The major challenge about this role was to find a person who could drive the Digital portfolio offering (in house products, solutions, partners and practices) direction for all Enterprise, SaaS / Mobile Products and then identify business opportunities, delivering differentiated products to the market and communicating their value through integrated go to market strategies.

This product Management Leader would establish the roadmap for pre-built/pre-trained AI accelerators to integrate with the client’s AI Platform to drive digital transformation leveraging Text Analytics, OCR, Computer Vision, NLP/NLU, Form Analyzer to draw insights from structured and unstructured data sources to drive automation and transformation.

For carrying out the above-mentioned tasks, the professional should not only possess great technical skills but should also have an understanding of their competitors’ latest trends and should be aware of the recent developments in the market.  He should have executive persona so that he/she can represent the client in Tradeshows and write white papers. Should have experience in leading a team for Experience Led Digital Transformation using RPA, Intelligent Automation, Workflows, Experience 360. In this role this executive would be reporting to C Class executives hence we have to focus not only on the technical skill set but also on the executive presence that he would carry.

The next challenge that we faced is about the availability of these senior folks as they only had time in early mornings, late evenings, and on weekends. So we distributed our work in different shifts so as to speak with them as per their availability.

For this role, our client sought a senior executive who had experience and success in creating and marketing of similar products for a professional services firm, and who had a deep understanding of the technicalities involved with an equal understanding of their competitors working on similar platforms.

Strategy

Initially, we tried to build a team of resources who have expertise in hiring for these roles especially focused on the technical skillset required for this role i.e. NextGen technologies, Data, and Analytics.

After having a team of recruiters in place, we first decided to have an understanding of the latest market trends, client competitors, products that are currently present in the market especially with the other professional services firm. We did a lot of research considering Industry Analyst reports from Forrester and Gartner that helped us a lot in understanding about the Leaders, Major Contenders that are doing their best in the products related to AI, ML, Data Science, and Analytics.

After having a good understanding of the market, products, competitors and the latest trends we started targeting the IT Consulting firms that were similar in size or smaller and the companies which were undergoing restructuring or are downsizing as it will be easier for us to attract the best talent from those companies. The question can be there that why we tried to look for candidates from a smaller firm. The answer to this is “As this role is expecting a candidate to start the product from defining the roadmap till creating the GTM strategies for that particular product. So in smaller company’s professionals at the senior level tends to be hands-on acting as a one-man army and are not afraid of getting their hands dirty. Hence they usually cover the entire gamut of Product Management”. But as we wanted to have a good pool of candidates we also considered some folks from bigger entities and we also approached the candidates from the Product Management Organizations as well. After using our database, other recruitment methods, we came out with 15 senior management folks that are meeting our expectations.

Then we started our discussions with these folks, this list of 15 candidates also consisted of C Class executives of smaller organizations having the similar KRA’s. When we started our discussion the candidates were highly impressed with the AI platform that the client had, which is among the top 3 best AI performing platforms present in the market as pet the IFS research.  This AI Platform of our client caught the attention of the candidates of both the smaller organizations and bigger organizations as it consisted of NextGen Technologies such as Automation (RPA, SaaS, and Ambient Computing), Analytics (Big Data, Data Engineering, ML and Data Science) and AI (NLP, NLU, Computer Vision and Deep Learning).

These senior folks were highly amazed about the client’s growth trajectory and about the recent developments that they witnessed in the recent past and the vision that our client carries for the future. As these folks were Industry Veterans they felt quite satisfied with the financial backing of our client as R&D requires a lot of finance and some companies tend to stop their R&D due to lack of finance.

While everything was going as per our strategy, we witnessed some challenges concentrated on location as this role was based out of California as the professionals that are based out of CA are highly expensive and we were running short on budget. To convert the candidate while maintaining the client’s budget was the major challenge.

After speaking with 15 candidates we were able to find 3 candidates that were submitted to the client for further discussions. These 3 candidates aligned with the experience and expertise that was required by the client and these candidates covered the entire gamut of Product Management. 

Result

After multiple rounds of Client Interviews and discussions, we were able to find the quintessential candidate that met the expectations of the client. This candidate came with 20+ years of experience with a strong focus towards Brand and Market Intelligence Strategies, Big Data Visualizations and Visual Analytics, Customer Insights and Sentiment Analysis, Global Enterprise (On-Premise and SaaS) Strategies, Product Licensing, and Upsell Strategies, Data Monetization Approaches, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics, Emerging Technologies (IoT, ML, AI, NLP). In his current profile he was responsible for establishing product vision driving pre-sales and revenue identification opportunities over $ XXXM, setting up innovative licensing models, designed and Implemented solutions linking structured and unstructured data sets. Beyond this, he came with exceptional experience in laying out the partnerships with Industry Analyst groups having being recognized for his leadership skills by top management consulting firms.

With his experience that he brought on the table, he was finally selected by the client for this role. He came with extensive experience with all the traits that client is looking out forward for starting from laying down the Blueprint, roadmap for the entire product, having a deep understanding in NextGen Technologies which can be applied in the product, creating GTM strategies by developing partnerships and laying down Industry Analyst relationships. He also harbored the executive persona and presence required for this role in order to represent the client in Trade shows and seminars. His deep experience and his approach towards the problem would surely make him an ideal candidate for this role which required a candidate who can take this organization to new heights.