Event Review : Product Management across Silicon Valley to South East Asia

On Friday 8th May 2020, I joined an online talk called Product Management across Silicon Valley to South East Asia, it is a talk where many project managers gather and! They also answer questions from the audience, mainly about project management.

The event started at 9AM (Kuala Lumpur time GMT+8). Unfortunately, I was late because I completely forgot about it! I only joined at 9:30AM, so the event review this time is not complete and thorough, sorry about that!

So the event “started” (by started, I mean when I started watching, which is at 9:30AM lol) with a question from the audience asking how to become a project manager in South East Asia. Some of the speakers told about some good characteristics to become a project manager such as : have a good engineering/technical background (for some companies), and how it is kinda rare to get a project manager that has a good technical background and completely cares about the user and the product itself. So this is probably the skill to master, if you are planning to be a project manager!

There is also an additional speaker that joined, who is Hendro Riyandi, VP of Bukalapak. He jumped in and answered the same question, which is how to become a project manager in South East Asia. He then shared his personal journey on becoming a project manager.

The topic then switched to sharing on how the COVID-19 has impacted their company and the industry in general. Some speakers shared how their product/feature which was supposed to be launched around this time has to be postponed/cancelled entirely, but instead they focus on some other features that people really need at this condition (for example : Klook, the travel company has a new feature to enable food delivery). Some shared how their company is doing a bit of lay off but gave a good perspective on how this is actually the time to start something, most probably a company. Although it is difficult in the perception of many people, as long as you understand what people need at the moment, what are essential and what are not, then this is a good time to start a business. Another tip that was shared is to acknowledge the challenge and turn it into an opportunity. So when everyone else is scared, it is time for you to not be scared.

Another interesting thing they pointed out is how this COVID-19 has a silver lining for the tech companies. More people are forced to get to know and familiarise themselves with a remote/digital process in doing things. For example, job interviews are usually physical. Now, more companies are forced to have a remote interview and hopefully this opens the higher possibility of the new norm in the way recruiters interview.

Now let’s talk about the speakers!

Here’s the list of the speakers and moderator :

Moderator :

Janssen Choong, Partner @ HorizonConnect

The speakers are in fact, project managers and ex project managers in experienced and well known companies, which is amazing to hear their thoughts!

They are very good at answering the questions by curious minds out there. Some audience members are not project managers and interested in being a project manager, so this is a real good talk for them.

Since I was in this talk late than the scheduled time, I don’t know if there is any talk on UX Design, so I can’t really say if they did or did not talk about UX Design.

I actually intend to join this talk and hear more about the best practices of project managing and hope to use that knowledge in the company I am working with at the moment, but since I was late, I guess I will never know if this topic was talked about.

(so the lesson here is, fellow, don’t be late in any event! 😭)

Based on the time I attended the talk, I think this talk is good for those who are interested in knowing how to be a project manager and want to know the world of project managing. If you are a UX Designer who wants to get knowledge about UX and not having any interest in being a PM, then sadly, I guess this talk might not be that much of an interest for you. Don’t worry, there definitely will be more UX talk in the future that you can join!

As an audience, I must say I enjoy the talk they have, I enjoy the same and different opinions they have because they all happen to have a good reason why they have such opinions. I also don’t really see the different country actually impact a lot of their values, from the way I see it, it is more because of the different company which provides different product/service.

Again, this is just my opinion and my own point of view.

Thank you so much for HorizonConnect and MDEC for organising/sponsoring this event!

I am looking forward to events like this in the future. I am always interested to know more about the world of product design (whether it is UX Design, project management, developing). So let me know (and invite me!) in the future if you know any events like this!

See you in the next event 👋

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