vFairs hosted a hybrid conference on product management, EpicZero on July 17th, 2021 in Lahore, Pakistan. The theme of the conference was ‘Steering Product in a Rapidly Evolving World’. The physical event took place in Arfa Karim Tower in Lahore while the virtual audience attended it at epiczero.vfairs.com. Product Managers and Leaders from Airlift, Bazaar, Zameen, Carfirst, Careem, and several other companies participated in the event.
This hybrid conference came at a crucial time when the startup world is taking off in Pakistan. With an influx of heavy investment in just the first half of 2021 ($120 Million – a 58% increase over 2020 investments), there is a lot of promise in the sector and a ton of untapped opportunity.
Why Product Managers are important cornerstones in startups?
The product manager is at the core of developing any solution, bridging the gap between business, technology, and design in a startup. That’s why EpicZero proved to be a great learning opportunity for the audience. It brought together influential product managers and helped foster a community of like-minded professionals.
Amid presentations, casual fireside chats, and panel discussions, prominent industry professionals put forth interesting and thought-provoking ideas around product management itself. Hassan Ahmed, Product Manager at Airlift talked about not waiting to perfect the product idea before launch in his presentation. He was of the view that “Meticulous, consistent, data-backed testing is the best way to build a product for your market; let your users be your guide! Always.”
Fahid Kadhi, Product Manager at Careem who joined EpicZero virtually laid out the 7 product principles he abides by. While those became the crowd favorite instantly, he also imparted some words of wisdom: “Information anxiety(overload) can make you lose sight of the forest for the trees; most knowledge is non-contextualized. The quickest way to learn is to experiment, adapt and reiterate.”
Co-Founder Blink, Syed Sair Ali in his candid chat with Aatir Abdul Rauf weighed in on the importance of the SaaS industry and how we need more people to enter the fold. He also emphasized the importance of the product team spending time with clients, sitting in on sales calls, understanding their pain points, and then setting out to resolve them.
The panel discussions each featured 4 professionals occupying various roles in the product management sphere. From ‘Breaking into Product Management’ to ‘‘Building Product Culture In An Organization and Leading Product Teams’ both panel discussions offered great insight into the field. Panelists exchanged their experiences, thoughts, and struggles of being in the industry for a good number of years. This contributed to a healthy and informative conversation for the audience.
The entire EpicZero conference saw stimulating ideas and points of view. However, a few themes discussed across the board were:
- It is important to listen to your customer. Gaining a clear understanding of their pain points and solving them is where your focus should be.
- Two-way communication with the customers, team, and other stakeholders is critical in developing products.
- Product managers should have a customer-centric mindset and have product-driven conversations.
EpicZero served as a platform and a catalyst for pushing the product management domain in Pakistan. With heavy funding in the startup space, there is a dire need to nurture talent. EpicZero placed a step in the right direction that can build a generation of high-quality product managers in Pakistan!