Growing Into a Growth Product Manager

A Growth Product Manager at LotusFlare requires a unique combination of skills, knowledge, and experience. They must understand the needs of the market, work collaboratively with cross-functional teams, and make data-driven decisions that drive growth and profitability. So, we had a chat with LotusFlare Growth Product Manager, Shuya, who shared her career background and gave us some insights and advice for those who may be interested in a similar path.

Hi Shuya, thanks for joining us today. Let’s begin with your background and why did you choose to work in the IT industry serving CSPs primarily.

I come from a very different background compared to a lot of our colleagues at LotusFlare. I started my career working as a Commercial Manager in the energy industry, where I was responsible for preparing commercial proposals and leading contract negotiations. After 6 years in that role where I learned the fundamentals of commercial deals, I decided to join the MBA program at the University of Toronto to think through the next stage of my career. Throughout the program, I was very inspired by a lot of professionals from the tech industry, especially by how passionate and determined they are in solving some of the most difficult challenges across a range of industries. This is the reason why I decided to join LotusFlare. I am very interested in the problems we are solving for CSPs and the impact we can achieve in the telecom space.

Please tell me more about your role in LotusFlare and what are your key responsibilities.

I am a Growth Product Manager at LotusFlare so that means I work with our clients to define business metrics for their offerings to their customers and collaborate with LotusFlare data scientists and engineers to deliver analysis and solutions to drive user growth. In addition, a large part of my work is on internal and external communications. I am responsible for learning about client needs, transforming those into detailed requirements for our internal teams, and making sure we successfully deploy features that deliver on our clients’ expectations.

Lately, we talked with one of your colleagues who worked on re:do the project for A1. You were part of the project so, from your perspective, what were the challenges in delivering a large project? What guiding principles did you try to apply?

In my opinion, the most challenging part of delivering a large project from a PM’s perspective is to have a clear understanding of how our customers value different components of our core offering, LotusFlare DNO Cloud. This guides me and helps me develop a clearer view of the big picture throughout the project, without getting lost in the weeds. 

One principle I always carry when making decisions is to approach it from the client's angle. For example, when deciding which metrics to build on the dashboard for re:do, I would ask myself “What would I like to see if I were the product owner from the re:do side?”, “What decisions would I need to make if I’m the one managing day-to-day product operations?”, and “How can we present the metrics in a way that makes it seamless for the product owner to grasp underlying trends and information?”

In this way, whenever I found myself spending too much time on the details, I would deliberately extract myself from the situation and start asking these questions. This always helped me make sure that our resources are spent on the tasks that create the most value for our clients.

You also have some engineering experience. How do you combine your engineering skills with customer service daily? Is that a key to delivering top-notch results?

Yes, definitely. I think that my combination of engineering and business backgrounds helped me in my current role, probably giving me the opportunity to have empathy with both sides of the business. When I communicate with clients, I can quickly understand their pain points and set clear expectations on how we can help. When communicating internally, I can summarize client needs and break down the problem in a concise way, which makes it easy for our teams to understand and execute. I believe that being able to speak both languages is a critical skill that PMs need to deliver successful products.

Looking over your career so far, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I have received is to choose a career where your interests, skills, and values overlap. I believe it’s very important to take some time to think this through when planning your career, as this would lead to very different results for different people. Don’t just blindly follow other people’s career choices. Every person has their own unique set of “superpowers”, and we need to leverage those, together with our intrinsic drive, to be able to enjoy and thrive at the work we do.

How would you describe LotusFlare to someone considering joining our team and which advice would you have for them?

I believe LotusFlare is a great place for people who enjoy continuously learning and growing. I have been with the company for 1.5 years, and I’m still learning new things every day. One piece of advice I have is to make sure you take advantage of the great learning resources we have at LotusFlare. There are a lot of projects going on here, so be bold enough to ask for opportunities to join a project if you think that will help you develop the skills you want to develop. I like the learning community here. People are very supportive of helping each other grow and succeed at LotusFlare.

Interesting? Learn more!