We are indeed grateful to Nimseh, for making time to answer our questions and enlighten us with his thoughts and opinions. It was an honor to speak with him about his vision for the company’s future and how a Product Manager can support those goals.
You would definitely love reading his fun-filled and informative answers, Here it goes!
Welcome to LearnWoo! First of all, my name is Nayan Roby. I’m the content creator here at LearnWoo, and I’m so happy to be interviewing you right now. So can you tell us how you have been?
Okay I’m great and thank you so much for inviting me for this interview
So to start off, can you give us an introduction to your journey and experiences so far as a product manager?
Okay, My name is Nimesh Patel, and I have done bachelor in computer application for my graduation and MCA for my post graduation and if I talk about my journey, it has been full of ups and downs and surprises and I would also say I have been blessed by God many times. If I talk about my experience, I have around seven plus five years in WordPress and WooCommerce plugin development plus in growth strategy related to plugins and WooCommerce products.
Okay so you must have a lot of product releases right?
Right and yeah if I share a little bit of my journey, like I said I am very much passionate about business and marketing. While pursuing my master’s degree I was really inspired by different entrepreneurs. So that’s why I watch multiple videos of successful entrepreneurs and attend different startup events and read a number of books related to entrepreneurs, how to start a startup, etc. Through my journey I also found out one one life lesson – The right mindset is essential for success. While doing research for my business I came across several talented people who attribute their success to their growth mindset. So, during the last seven years I have tried to make my mind more positive, more growth related, to achieve my success and build my career.
Oh that is very inspiring, that’s so amazing. Right, so after all these product releases that you’ve had, could you tell us about the most exciting product release that you ever had and how you were involved with it exactly?
Okay yeah exciting product launch. If I say one product, it will be the flat rate shipping plugin. I has already done two or three other products in past but this one excited me the most
It is a popular plugin in the store now.
Let me give some details about this particular plugin, which is related to WooCommerce shipping.
By default, in WooCommerce, there is a limited number of solutions provided related to shipping. So I thought I have to find out what type of challenges users are facing related to shipping, and what type of features they are looking for.
There are several issues customers are facing related to shipping. For example, if they want to create conditional shipping, or they want to create multiple shipping for different aspects – country-wise, state-wise, etc. That kind of feature set is not available in different existing solutions.
There are some solutions but they are by no means a complete solution.
So I have to go deeper and in more detail to ground level and then find out the resource and everything and build that particular new feature from scratch.
So, I will pitch whatever we have done in the solution to customers on multiple platforms. Or customers will find it on their own through Google searches. They will find out the solution to a problem through my blog post, and that is like a direct lead for us. Like, a customer has a problem, and we have presented the solution through the content, and this has become a great content marketing strategy for us. Another view we have about Dotstore plugins is that with each plugin production we intend to give the customer productivity, prosperity and peace. So, if we are able to manage that, we are satisfied, and we believe we have provided value to the customer.
That is great, that is great.
Another thing about our marketing strategy is that we have defined the customer and their idea from our side. Also, we try to find out the unique selling proposition of each plugin, in terms of what we have promised to the customer. Then we also decide the pricing strategy like whether we have to go with the annual or monthly pricing. Mostly in WooCommerce, you will see everyone is going with the annual license system. Then we will have to determine how to position the brand. There will already be multiple similar category plugins in the market. So how can we position a particular plugin in the market? Or how will the customer identify if a particular plugin is the right fit or not. We also need to focus on which channel is perfect for a plugin, or we can go website-wise. Also, we put more focus on free customers. There is a great opportunity there, as we can project a case to convert free customers to premium by providing the right assistance to them.
Oh that’s a great strategy. So how do you plan these product releases? Is there any development methodology that your company follows?
Okay, in DotStore, we are using the Grunt JS Script workflow for our development purposes, and it will save around 30% of developer’s time, and improve their productivity, and day-to-day life.
And developers can compress the particular zip and deliver it to us.
If I have to talk about what type of functions we have automated within our development flow like JS and CSS minification, check the text lumen of the plugin, etc. We also automated the process of generating the POT file for particular language translations so anyone can easily utilize this pod file and convert their language. Also, we use it for code validation. We utilize PHPCS validation and generate the report for each of the plugins whenever you fix any bug. Whenever you develop any particular new feature, we run this PHPCS validation from our site so our code will be up to standard with WordPress and VIP minima.
We also check the wordpress coding standard and compress the zip and that particular folder we put as a backup in our directory and that particular folder we can directly upload it in WordPress.org profile. So within the single command we perform these multiple tasks so it will save a lot of time for developers.
We will release the plugin after that. This is our development flow then after the release also, we follow a defined checklist. Whenever we release a particular plugin, developers follow these checkpoints. They have to update the version number, and update the live demo. If a specific customer has asked for a feature, we have to mail those customers about the update.
Similarly, if there is a support ticket raised, we inform the customer that the particular bug is resolved or the feature is implemented. They can then download the latest version of the plugin.
So this type of process we already have inbuilt and that is very good progress for our site
Yeah that is really good progress, that’s awesome! So, could you uh tell our viewers what you exactly do as a product manager in Multidots
About product management, we can say in one line that it involves the conception of the idea to the launch of the product in the market with the best experience to the customer
We have to play multiple roles, we have to identify the needs of the market.
After that we have to decide what idea is perfect for the market, or what is already available.
If a particular idea is selected, we discuss among Dotstore team members and understand if it is feasible, and do market research from our side.
We already have over seventy thousand subscribers, our paid and free customers right, so we also try to ask them what their needs are and everything. We take a survey from our side and then we will identify customers because they are using their e-commerce store and know about all kinds of challenges. This way, we identify actual leads from customers.
Then we plan how to add a new feature, and find out the base feature we have to design architecture, how the plugin will look within WordPress. How customers will be able to utilize our plugin without detailed technical knowledge.
We also try to build the functionality within WordPress, and then we also build help documents, if possible we create video tutorials for customers. These are multiple roles we have to perform from our side, from idea to product launch.
Right, so you said you had like seven plus years of experience right, so in all these years of experience what do you think is the most desired skill to become a successful product manager as yourself? Can you give us an example from your past projects?
Based on my experience, we can talk about 5 skills of a successful product manager.
One is business acumen, another is product design, third is empathy for users, fourth is data analysis and fifth is to identify the opportunity.
Let me explain one or two points…
By business acumen, I mean a solid business understanding related to the industry. A keen evaluation of the market opportunity, define the process of metric, what type of key string we have to identify in a particular segment like know how to position distribute how to grow that particular product. So all this comes under business acumen.
Another thing, the second point is product design. Okay, in product design, you need empathy towards the user. How the user interacts with the product. You have to design the right user experience to a particular product, or plugin or tool, and identify the solution. You have to design the prototype, test the validity like A/B testing, etc. All this comes under product design.
The third part is user empathy. If you truly understand the position of the customer, how they interact with the product, then you can add only necessary features. If that feature has a considerable impact on the revenue of the store, then you are being very helpful to the customer.
Fourth is data analysis, like analyzing the user data on a yearly basic, quarterly basis, or even monthly basis. You have to take feedback from the customer, whether a plugin has been useful to them or not. You can understand from the customer if there are challenges in using the plugin. If the product is free of such challenges, your customer will become your marketing person. So you have to identify the challenges of the product and these are all related.
If any person has these 5 particular skills, they will be 100% a good product manager we can say.
Right, so how does your normal day look like?
Okay, my normal day! One month ago I moved to Winnipeg City Canada, to be precise on April 20th.
So, I get up around 6am, and after my daily chores I will start working by 7am. 7am to 4pm Central Time Zone, I work. In the morning, I schedule one or two meetings with my team, within the Dotstore team or other Multidots team members. We discuss the progress and the next action item, etc.
After office hours, I go ahead with my workout, playing with my cute sons and jogging in the park. This is really my favorite time of the day. After that, around 8pm I have my dinner, and later, if in the mood, enjoy some tv or web series with the family.
That is great! You said you had lots of ups and downs as a product manager right in the beginning of the video so what do you think is the hardest thing about being a product manager?
Yeah I think I will say there isn’t any hardest point in my career because I’m really enjoying my work. When I face any difficulty, I will take it as an opportunity, and find out the learning point from my side, and I also understand what i’m lacking.
So, I think I can say there haven’t been many hardest points in my career for the last seven years.
Oh that is amazing. So with all these years of experience could you describe a scenario where you actually failed as a product manager and what did you learn from it?
Ok about past experience, I can talk about one of our plugins called Product Finder plugin. This is related to giving personalized product suggestions. Even before I got into product management, this is something that I have observed. There is a challenge that we are all facing whenever we need a product, we need a sales person to assist us. So I thought, why don’t I invent something that could replace the sales person through a WordPress WooCommerce plugin.
We did good market research and I was pretty confident about it. But somehow that particular product did not do well. We had worked hard to market it but that particular functionality did not fit the market. I can say it didn’t go as far as I expected there. This could be something that we missed from the survey or customer’s point of view.
I think I can say this as one example.
Alright, thank you for sharing that. You said you love your job right as a product manager. You love everything about it but I think there are certain likes and dislikes that every one of us have, so in your daily routine there must be something right that you’re not exactly fond of as a product manager… there’s nothing?
If I talk about likes and dislikes, my favorite part is exercise, I do yoga, surya namaskar, around five or ten, it energizes me for the daily routine. It gives me an energy boost.
Another favorite thing of mine is playing with my son, that is the greatest time for me the whole day.
And if I talk about dislikes, maybe if there are multiple meetings on a Friday, it is a tedious task for me. I am very frustrated when there are multiple meetings set at the same time, you have to talk in back-to-back meetings. Like there is no rest for you on a Friday.
Okay, so what has motivated you to work for your company?
I would say I’m motivated by our company leaders, Anil Gupta (CEO), and Aslam Multani (COO) of Multidots. I really get inspired by how they work and handle the Multidots and Dotstore team and everything.
And I really like the company culture of Multidots, showing genuine care of the employees, so I’m really grateful that I’m part of that organization.
They also introduced a flexible remote work policy all over the company so I’m really glad for that. So these are some of the many points we can say as I am really motivated to work with the company
Alright, that is so good. So before we actually end this session could you give any advice or any tips for the viewers that want to follow your career?
One of the basic tips that I can give is to read more. Read books related to entrepreneurs, or whatever you are interested in…if you read a book, any book and I’m 100% sure that it will open your mind. And you will improve as a person. Your career, your relationships, everything will be better, and you can go to the next level.
Another thing is…be passionate about your work. Put in your 100% every time. Whatever work is assigned to you, give it a 100%, always. If I talk about myself, in the last 7 years, any work I had to do, I had done with 100% dedication.
Another very important thing is that you focus on your personal growth also. Constant improvement of your attitude and mental health is important. You also need to balance your personal and professional life also.
I can say these are some tips that I can give to anyone who wants to follow my career.
Okay, thank you so much for that amazing advice and thank you so much for being here. So I think this will be the end of the interview.
Sure, sure thank you so much for asking these questions, I’m really glad to speak with you.
Honestly, my pleasure. I’m really glad to have interviewed you today. Thank you for this opportunity
Alright, thank you so much.