Disrupting traditional sectors through product mindset, with Namrata Sarmah, CPO x INTO University Partnerships

Productwise

Oct 17 2022 • 37 mins

Namrata is the Chief Product Officer at INTO University Partnerships - a Higher Education company that works with top Universities in the UK, US, and Australia, and a student community from all across the world. Previously, she was the CPO at iPlato Healthcare where she led an expansive portfolio of digital products and worked closely with NHS Primary Care. She has worked in product leadership roles at ViacomCBS, Babylon Health and a number of other exciting global companies.

Namrata is a strong supporter of Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace, and is a popular voice in the Women in Product & Tech community.

She sits on the board of The Open University Business School, and is an Advisor at Antler - an early stage VC firm.

Namrata is an alumni of Manchester Business School and is trained in global leadership from Harvard Business School.

Today we are going to talk about:

  • Building scalable high performing product teams
  • Climbing the career ladder in product management
  • And diversity and inclusion in the field

Episode highlights

[1.49] Nam’s start of the career in product management as a product owner

[9.12] Her experience of being a CPO and going through the acquisition of a Healthtech venture

[13.37] Differences in approaches to the market and metrics of b2b and b2c products

[16.54] Positive disruption in traditional sector: helping to define future for today’s students both on academic and non-academic side

[27.00] Nam’s take on diversity and inclusion in the workplace

[34.00] Nam’s advice to a younger self

Disrupting the traditional sector

Nam shares her experience in the role of a product lead in the healthtech space where the product served a sector disruptor. She found the journey extremely rewarding and the transformation necessary for the field. Nam shares that every day she learnt so much, and the impact in fields of education and healthcare is massive as these products form the pillar for the everyday consumer and form a fundament for actually changing all of our lives and the way we live each day.

Nam shares that for a product person challenges is what keeps you awake and energised and both these sectors offer these types of challenges. When disrupting the traditional sector, a transformation related opportunity is a dream and being a change agent is a gift in itself.

Going through acquisition in healthtech

In this experience Nam shared how a lot of structural and process related changes needed to happen, most centric to it is product mindset. Moving to become a product led organization and focusing on user problems - embedding the different mindset, also, s a result, corresponded with different structure of the organization. As iPlato had b2b and b2c products, she learnt the full scope of product journey from consumer to enterprise and the differences in approaching the market. Nam outlines the difference in experience when working in company of 20, a scale up and the corporate - the learnings, challenges, and journeys are very different.

Nam’s take on diversity and inclusion in technical field

Nam shares that D&I and product goals go hand in hand. People who build the product and people who use the product need to be in sync. Individuals with different points of view, experience and sectors help build superb products. Multi-sector knowledge is very powerful. She also reflects that now there are thankfully more women in product and engineering than 5-6 years ago and its more motivating for junior PMs and engineers to see the way forward when you see someone who resonates with your values, background, and identity.

Nam on Linkedin