Our “Pepperdata Profiles” series shines a light on our talented individuals and explores employee experiences. This week, we talked to Ruchi Garg, an experienced product manager who is passionate about her work and the world of startups.
Hey Ruchi! Let’s start at the beginning. What you were doing before you joined Pepperdata?
I have been working in product management for many years now, mostly in the enterprise space working for startups. My most recent gig was with a big data analytics company based in San Jose.
Let’s dive deeper into why you were so excited to join Pepperdata. What was it that sparked your interest so much?
When I came across Pepperdata, I knew the company was perfect for me. It’s a startup, it’s in the big data analytics space, which is such an exciting field these days, and it would have been a super short commute!
How short a commute?
Well, here’s the funny thing: Short enough to be walkable. Except, that the recruiter had an old office address. And…COVID hit almost immediately after I started. So since my interview, which was in the office, I’ve been working from home.
That’s hilarious. When you first arrived at Pepperdata, how was it? Were you comfortable right away? Were there any challenges?
Well, the timing of the pandemic wasn’t ideal! I was a little apprehensive about typical things: how will I understand the products, how will I build partnerships with the team, and how will I integrate into the company culture? However, the Pepperdata global team made it very easy for me, and I had no trouble becoming productive very quickly.
What really helped is that the company culture here is great. Everyone is welcoming and encourages you to ask questions. The culture is very synergistic, and the leaders make an effort to maintain that. Lots of the employees have been here for four or more years, which is fairly rare in Silicon Valley but gives a great feeling of stability.
Let’s talk about product management. How do you approach your role?
My primary focus is to build products that delight customers. As a product manager, I work as a glue between various teams and customers. I talk to as many customers as possible to understand their strategic goals and current pain points. I need to figure out what their expectations are and how I can align those with the company’s focus.
From there, it’s all about learning and synthesizing. I draw on the collective knowledge of the Pepperdata team which helps us draw a roadmap on how to serve our customers.
Is there anything about the Pepperdata product or technology that is specifically different or challenging, compared to previous products you’ve worked on?
The fundamentals are the same. The fundamentals of product management apply everywhere. You are always trying to delight customers, by leveraging the collective knowledge base that you have in the company.
That said, something that is really special about working at Pepperdata is our caliber of customers. We have Fortune 10 companies using our products! As a product manager, this is as good as it gets. It’s so exciting that we have big customers who are solving extremely complex business problems using some of the hottest technologies out there—and we are the ones providing them the tools to make them successful! This really, really motivates me.
From a product management perspective, if you had to pick one thing about the Pepperdata product that was really special, what would it be?
Good question. Probably the incredible scalability. When you are in the Big Data Analytics space, you have to be able to scale. And we help our customers seriously scale—while saving serious money.
Has your job been made tricker by COVID and working from home?
It’s interesting to think about how the COVID factor has impacted the role. Are the processes different? Sure, you are on Slack more than you’re in person. But does that fundamentally change the role in any way? I don’t think so. I think it’s the same. Working from home is not a new concept in Silicon Valley, right?
Also, when people are working from home…There’s something about the personal touch of seeing people with their kids, their dogs, in the backyard, in the living room, etc. This helps you connect at a personal level, which is really good in today’s day and age, when we rarely connect with people at a personal level.
Most of all, COVID hasn’t made things harder because I’m a very disciplined person. I can be extremely productive working from home. For quick questions, there is Slack. For a longer discussion, there is video conferencing. And above all, when I need to wear my thinking hat, I can have my quiet time at any time.
Finally, if someone wanted some advice on how to succeed as a new hire at Pepperdata, what would you tell them?
I would say: Always think about the customers. What do they value? What will delight them? What will solve their problems? Everything else flows from there.
Also: Own your work. As in, really own it. Ask all the questions before you start, and once you begin, take pride in it. Take full responsibility and full accountability for all of it.
To read more profiles about Pepperdata stars, read part one of our Pepperdata Profiles series.
The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pepperdata. Any solutions offered by the author are environment-specific and not part of the commercial solutions or support offered by Pepperdata.