The Product Management Center is a hub for knowledge, community, and impact. As part of the Center’s student advisory board, Bahnny Das has taken on the added responsibility as Student Coordinator for the Inclusive Product Management Summit, which will be Friday, May 7th.
Bahnny is contributing by expanding the outreach of the summit and including more diverse and minority groups. Get to know more about product management through a Q&A with Bahnny, a Master’s student specializing in Information Systems at UW Foster School of Business.
Why do you want to be a product manager?
I am a strong advocate of human capabilities but I believe that most of the problems in the world can be tackled if the technology is used humanely. While working as a software engineer in India, I discovered the problem of unaccounted transactions in housing cooperatives and I joined two colleagues to build Eegloo – a platform to solve the issues of coordination in these housing societies. I conducted market segmentation and subsequent user research to understand their problems better and brainstorm new ideas. This analysis helped us prioritize our features and we rolled the alpha version to 100 users in June 2020. Collaborating with diverse people also broadened my perspective of analyzing user requirements, creating an inclusive product and create a long-lasting social impact.
What about your time with UW Foster prepared you to become a product manager?
Joining the UW Foster School of Business last year was a life-changing experience for me. While working over assignments with teammates across 4 different time zones, I realized the difference that determination could bring to a project. I strongly believe that most problems in society can be solved if technology is used humanely, hence, I took up a course by professor Ming Fan on product strategy and started looking at gaps in existing technological products. The case studies and reports I wrote for that class helped me relate academics to real-life projects and be an effective product manager.
What are you studying now?
I am pursuing a Master’s in Information Systems at UW Foster School of Business, specializing in Product/Program Management and Data Analytics.
What is one skill from your past experience that you find useful in product management?
For an early-level product manager, being data-focused is equally important as being customer-focused, even though the job role does not explicitly mention the same. I learned that asking questions that are not backed by data renders an incomplete picture whereas knowing what data is available and what we can really do with it can help a product manager ask good questions and drive real impact.
Why are you involved with The Product Management Center?
My experiences at UW have enabled me to create meaningful impact in roles involving product management, digital transformation, IT strategy, and technology consulting. Through UW, I have been inspired to continue my exploration of product management in multiple external forums. Over the past year, I have attended various product conferences that brought me closer to awe-inspiring leaders with whom I had been interacting on other professional platforms. To give back to the product management community, I am now volunteering with The Product Management Center team to bring inclusivity into their upcoming Inclusive Product Management Summit this May. My goal is to bring inspiring stories of product leaders to upcoming leaders and empower them to achieve more.