Gaurav Dadhich, Associate Director and General Manager, Product Management
Razorpay is India's first full-stack financial solutions company to attain Unicorn status. Gaurav Dadhich, the Associate Director and General Manager, Product Management at Razorpay (Ex: Amazon, Flipkart) shares his journey in the field of Product. He talks about culture, hiring practices, product org structure, and employee life at Razorpay.
Razorpay has a million things going on at every single moment and in the product world if there are a few companies that constantly and pleasantly manage to surprise us, Razorpay is probably at the top of that list!
Every single time we think, okay this is all we can use razorpay for, in no time there is one more thing and we start using it. It has almost taken over our life: we use it for payroll, for payouts to vendors, for collecting payments from paid users, so we use it essentially for everything!
It feels so exciting to just imagine what working at Razorpay feels like, how the product managers function, how they hire, what they are looking for in different roles, the company culture and growth opportunities!
So let’s get started with Mr Gaurav’s own journey and get meaningful insights from his thought process and the way he navigated his career!
Mr. Gaurav’s career journey
To quote Mr. Gaurav, “ I got the first product stint three months after coming out of mba, before that I got a very good consulting job on campus, however the company was wrapping up mumbai and moving to Gurgaon and I just thought that wanted to get into product management and so I decided not to move to Gurgaon.
I did my MBA from IIT Roorkee, and I was doing a lot of alumni connect, so I just sent a DM to one of the founders over twitter saying, ‘hey I'm looking for a product role and I'm right on consulting but I know nothing about product management except that I am a wannabe product manager.’
So he asked me, ‘why do you think you are a wannabe product manager ’ and a small conversation ensued that got me an interview.
I was given an assignment, which I remember very clearly was to build a trip advisor for conferences i.e. how would you discover the right conferences to attend and sort of navigate the whole piece. So ya, I made my pitch, had a couple of interviews and ended up accepting the offer for an APM role.
At that point I already had an offer for a PM role in a non consumer product company, however I was adamant on working with a consumer product company. A big mistake looking back on the part of focusing only on consumer products.
Coming back to my journey, I spent about a year there, some people moved out of the team, more work kept coming my way, I kept executing and grew out of that role very quickly.”
Mr. Gaurav continues to discuss his next role at Craftsvilla and in his own words, “built some of the craziest products till date at a crazy speed, meet some of the best people.”
After that he went on to build his own product in the healthcare domain and founded “Being Doc” which is a professional network for doctors.
Due to what he describes as “nightmarish month”, he really had to decide whether he can continue working on Being Doc or should he take up a job, and as a blessing, he got an offer from Amazon and then there was no turning back for him.
“I joined Amazon, was part of a couple of teams there and built 2 zero to one products, saving them close to 100 million dollars a year! Worked on a big data product and I was learning big data for the first time. I was learning amazon systems and the whole retail business model for the first time, so a bunch of very interesting learnings!
From here I moved to Flipkart, extremely new domain as I joined in
payments, learned payments from scratch and again one of the most phenomenal companies with amazing teams!
From leading a small piece to leading entire payments it's been a one and a half year since my flipkart journey and again I came at a juncture where I felt that the growth at company was happening fast enough but my overall career growth was slow, and the folks at Razorpay had a good offer, which is what brings me here.”
Pretty exciting right!
Want to work in a similar fast paced environment and grow as much as possible?
What do you uniquely look for while hiring for your Product team at Razorpay?
So let’s start with the APM role i.e. the Associate Product Manager.
“For me what works the most at an APM level is the intent of the person. He has to show very strong intent of learning and of navigating things, of preparing themselves for an interview.
A lot of times when you're new to a company we're not testing anyone on domain knowledge rather we see what kind of effort they have put for the interview. If they put an effort, it shows.
That spark in the eye is what we're looking for!
The second part that I truly believe in is that product thinking evolves with time. You can’t have great product thinking on day 0, so we are not looking for that but rather the ability to take directional product thinking as opposed project thinking or the classical software thinking.
The third one being the problem solving skills, so we really try to ask people questions that can let them exhibit their problem solving skills and they vary from you know product problems to non-product problems.
And what not to do in a product interview, you may ask:
“Anyone behaving like they know it all is an immediate red flag for me, the person should have a great attitude to know what they don't know!
Next, how do they hire/ train PM and SPM
“Okay there are two ways of coaching your people: one is to have a structured coaching program which is something that flipkart does really well. They have a very structured apm onboarding program. They bring in weekly or bi-weekly themes and functions to coach on various topics which generally increases their know-how of things.
With Razorpay, the approach is slightly different because of the pace that we operate in, it is more about giving more responsibility at their level and setting them up for success through processes and thus when they start doing their job they will self learn a lot.”
Culture at Razorpay and how do you identify the right culture fits?
“It’s an extremely transparent company and what that translates into is that people should be comfortable admitting mistakes and about communicating what their thoughts are.
They should be able to go and share with people as to what works and what does not work for them, they should be very vocal and assertive about it as these are the traits that will help you succeed in the company.”
How is the Product team org structured & how do you ship so fast?
“I'm going to try to address how you ship so fast and I think that will answer a bit about the org structure. At the very onset there are three business units that have three separate objectives so they operate pretty much independently right from a day-to-day execution standpoint.
Now coming how you ship so fast, we are very clear as to what is the quality benchmark for us in terms of what we ship. If you're clear and when I say clear it means it is a proper documentation as to what quality means and not just output quality but also the input quality. So the product leadership that has been in place for so long and has worked relentlessly works on the documentation.”
How does one break into Product Management today?
“ I actually have charted out four paths :
- You go to a great engineering school and they hire you off the campus.
- You go to a great MBA school and they hire you off the campus.
- You work at a product company in a function that's very close to the product and then eventually grow into product management.
- Get into some of these communities of accelerators like Upraised, where you get an accelerated learning and then grow out of it.
I think one thing that you need to do irrespective is to just solve more problems and attempt to think about more products, try to tear them down more frequently, ask yourself random questions as to what would be the metric for this product.
I have done this in the past and the last one and most underrated that worked for me was interviewing a lot at the beginning of my career.
Don’t do it just to find out various companies that will work out for you but when you interview it's a great tool to learn what the market is expecting and a great tool to learn as to how to attempt product problems and how to be a product thinker and how to get better at problem solving!”
That was an amazing guide as to how someone can not only break into product management, but also what can they expect in the role, what amazing and exciting work they will get to do as a product manager and lastly how they can constantly evolve themselves.
To watch the entire video, click here: How to land a Product Management job at Razorpay? Gaurav Dadhich talks culture & hiring at unicorn
Product management is evolving at a fast pace and with so many startups coming, there is going to be a great demand for skilled product managers.
Here, Mr. Gaurav Dadhich, the Associate Director and General Manager, Product Management at Razorpay shared his journey in detail, led us into his thought process and gave us a glimpse of what it is to be a product manager at Razorpay!