Aspiring Product Managers - Check out the Institute of Product Leadership
People in the technology industry that want to get into Product Management as a career usually choose to do an MBA. The idea is to get into a reputed B-school's MBA program and at the end of it, get hired into a tech/product company into a Product Management role (which is what I did as well). While an MBA is a very high-value addition to one's resume, this route may not be for everyone. For one thing, MBA programs tend to be very generic and broad-based, focusing on business as a whole. But if you are clear that you want to focus on technology and that Product Management is what you want to do, then there may be another alternative for you.
I recently heard about the Institute of Product Leadership (IPL), who're launching their inaugural program this year focused on senior people in technology and R&D that want to shift into a product leadership role. The idea behind this program, called the "Exec Post Graduate Program in Product Leadership (EPGPL)", is to focus the curriculum exclusively on Product leadership and building skills needed to function as a product leader in the high-tech industry. While the course is modeled after an MBA, it is a departure from the traditional MBA program in the sense that it focuses entirely on product and technology leadership. The curriculum is focused on creating and launching products and on the skills needed to be a product leader.
The other interesting thing about the program is that even though this is going to be its first year, they've managed to line up quite an impressive list of industry leaders to back the program and world-class faculty to deliver the sessions. The executive board reads like the who's who of the technology industry in India and the list of faculty is just as impressive. If the program delivers on it's promise, this is going to be a very valuable resource and a real alternative to engineers looking to move into product leadership roles.
One of the shortcomings of the Indian tech eco system is a real shortage of product management talent. While I've heard lots of people complain about this problem, the IPL seems to be doing something about it and that's very commendable. I really would love to see a whole lot of product management talent coming out of the institute in the next few years, and that is going to be a huge boost for the Indian tech ecosystem. YourStory.in has been a champion of product and tech startups in India, and we definitely feel that adding more product leaders into the startup ecosystem mix is going to produce great results!
The Institute is conducting an information session for interested people in Bangalore on the 27th of July. If you're a technology professional looking to grow into a product management role, you should check this out.
Check out the details about the course here.