Moving from Technology to Product Management to increase business skills

Bikram Gupta has been been in Product Management for over 3 years he has worked in various markets and technologies such as: Telecom/Wireless, Data Networking, and Security domains. Bikram describes himself as a “knowledge worker” at heart; he’s passionate about exploring different lateral business roles outside the sales funnel. Bikram used to authors a blog entitle "Thoughts on Product Management"

#1. What’s your academic background/training?
Started working in IT with a Mechanical engineering graduation course. I obtained further knowledge in computer architecture, system programming, and Internet technologies through work experience and reading. Product Management skills were obtained through a combination job experience and reading.

#2. What did you do before you where a product manager?
I worked in various roles in R&D; in development and QA, both hands on and as a project leader.

#3. What companies have you worked for?
Currently with McAfee, and prior to that worked in Lucent and IP Unity Glenayre.

#4. What inspired you to become a product manager?
I wanted to be an independent business professional. Having Technology & programming skills were not enough. I firmly believe that sound business skills can be obtained by working in various lateral product management roles – so I decided to switch to product management.

#5. How did you make the move from being a developer to becoming a product manager?
I suppose it was a combination of good luck and the interviewer being able to see the potential with in me, I would like to think that she saw that I had good systems thinking skills that could be applied and adapted to the product management role.

#6. What do you like best about your job?
Being able to take business decisions and being accountable for them.

#7. What do you least like about your job?
When I find myself questioning the fundamentals of how things are getting along and not having all the power or authority to make the necessary changes.

#8. How do you keep up with the latest technologies?
I am an avid reader and I have a background of working in various domains.

#9. Describe your Product Management job in one sentence?
Defining the right product(s), ensuring it is build right and position it right.

#10. What’s your dream product to manage?
An open standard based personal assistant, which can be your second brain.

#11. What would be the top three attributes you need to do your job?
Cross-functional communication (and I would emphasis listening skills), reading the market correctly and then quantifying it coupled with good domain/technology knowledge.

#12. What’s the key attribute you need in order to work with the development team?
Good relationship and mutual admiration.

#13. What do you do when you’re not managing products (outside interests)?
Spend time with family, and then read, read, read....and then read some more.

#14. What advice would you give some one who wants to become a product manager?
It’s a passion. It’s your love for the product, people and company and so obviously you want to do is what’s best for all these. It should be simple so keep it simple.


  1. This is somewhat encouraging to read. I have several years of professional services roles (all customer-facing experience, with experience supporting sales and marketing), and I have been trying to shift into product management, but it has been very difficult. Most companies won't even talk to you unless you already have that title on your resume. How would you suggest making that change, when you can't even get companies to interview you?

  2. Hi Profsvcs,

    Started to answer your question and it turned into a blog post please see
    'How to get into Product Management'
    for my thoughts and answer.
    Hope this helps you. Feel free to pose more questions if you have any.