In the first of this new series – Stories From the ProductTank Community – ProductTank Pune organiser, Sanchi Gupta, explains how their community has seen awesome growth since launching in 2019 – and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down!
What is it that motivated you to run ProductTank?
The idea of bringing ProductTank to Pune was to build a platform where people could share knowledge and grow together in the community of Product Managers. When I see aspiring Product Managers transitioning to product roles, it motivates me further.
Who does ProductTank Pune have to thank?
First and foremost my co-organiser Amit Godbole who runs around and drives things forward across the board.
Additionally, growth in our community would not have been possible without the continuous efforts of the amazing volunteers we have on ground at ProductTank. These include Anish K, Abhijeet Choudhari, Naveen Suravarpu, Bansidhar D and Prashant Kadam.
Our volunteers do so many things to run the community efficiently. For example, to encourage engagement they’ve created social media pages to stay in touch with community members and frequently post at least two articles per week on our LinkedIn page. They organise a newsletter which features interesting articles (those published on Mind the Product or by our community members), market trends, job postings in Pune, product meetup photos etc.
They also create beautiful banners to post on social media and curate material about the meetup and speakers. Sometimes, they even call to personally to invite all the community members and to ensure that they are aware of the venue and agenda.
Before any meetup, they coordinate with the venue and sometimes arrange goodies for our speakers and members (recently, we printed ProductTank Pune T-shirts for organisers and volunteers!).
It’s not all logistics though. Our volunteers have really good ideas too about the product topics we can cover at our meetups and help identify the right speakers for our audience.
How many members does your ProductTank have?
When we began in February 2019, we were a 70-member community. The way we’ve scaled from there is remarkable! We now have 1400+ members and we are growing monthly.
Since February 2019 we have successfully had eight meetups. They are always held in a mix of office spaces and co-working spaces.
What can you tell us about the product community in Pune?
Our attendees are a mix of junior to mid to senior-level Product Managers. There are a bunch of aspiring Product Managers too, not to mention Business Analysts, Project Managers, Program Managers, Technical Leads, Quality Assurance Leads and UI/IX designers.
In Pune, there are many banking organisations (such as HSBC, Barclays and Citi Bank) so a considerable percentage of attendees comes from a banking/finance background. There are IT-based companies too, while another chunk comes from the travel and eCommerce domain.
We do wish to have more female Product Managers on board. Today, the split is around 20% females and 80% males.
Which ProductTank talks have been a hit?
Our most recent one, which happened in January, ‘Building Fintech Products’ was hugely popular because of the topic. Fintech is a growing industry in India and many Product Managers in the field want to learn about the challenges of building Fintech products. People enjoyed the points that were covered in the meetup by our well-known speaker, Anurag Sinha, the Co-Founder and CEO of FPL Technologies.
How has ProductTank helped you and your community?
ProductTank has helped the people who attend to grow in their careers and for me personally, the initiative has helped me to break out of my comfort zone and connect with like-minded professionals. Before ProductTank, I was active in many Whatsapp and Slack groups (I also went to conferences) but I felt I could only really learn and implement within my own organization.
In becoming a co-organiser, I feel I have been able to help bring a product mindset to Pune, to share my learnings and experiences outside of my own organization and to learn from the people around me. It’s been a way of giving back to the community.
Can you share any fun facts about Pune?
I can tell you a few! For example, its people hold some real quirky world records such as the most people to paint their fingernails simultaneously (1956!) and the most Rubik’s Cubes solved on a caster board (210!).
Pune is termed as “Queen of the Deccan“ because it was one of the best cities on the Deccan plateau when it came to climate. It’s also referred to as the ‘Oxford of the East’ due to the well-known academic and research institutions in the city and its popularity amongst students from all over the world
Last but not least, Pune is one of the fastest-growing cities in APAC region!