DV Faces: Francis Labiran, Senior Product Manager, London
“Working at BCGDV has created opportunities to have diverse experiences.”
Meet the world-class talent building the game-changing businesses of the future. At BCG Digital Ventures, we’re shaping tomorrow one game-changing venture at a time. From ideation to testing and launch, building game-changing businesses from the ground up takes a spectrum of different skills, a variety of expertise, and, of course, a lot of collaboration.
That’s where our talent comes in. BCGDV is home to a diverse community of high-caliber talent hailing from some of the most exciting companies around the world. Each of our multidisciplinary experts brings a wealth of knowledge and career experience, along with a unique perspective to each of our builds. Together, they’re creating innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.
Our talent makes BCG Digital Ventures what it is today. In this series, we speak to our unique talents about their exciting career journeys, their unique BCGDV experiences, and why they’re passionate about creating the businesses that are changing the world.
BCGDV: Tell us about your unique background and journey that led you to BCGDV.
A: After graduating from university in 2014, I began working as a Graduate Product Manager at an Education Technology company, where I was responsible for software training products and services that augmented the core offering. Two years later, I started my Masters course in Digital Service Design at Brunel while working as a Product Manager at uCreate (now called Founder and Lightning). Similarly to BCGDV, the startup helped entrepreneurs build ventures.
After graduation, I worked full time and spent the next five years building more than 20 startups and progressed to Senior Product Manager and Lead Product Manager. My introduction to BCGDV came through the Berlin office at a time when I needed change. However, as I wasn’t open to relocating to Germany, they connected me with the London team, and I became a part of the global community in September 2021. Joining the company was the right choice for me!
BCGDV: Why did you choose a career at Digital Ventures?
A: I always knew I wanted to work in consultancy. Working with corporates in my last company was enjoyable, and I viewed it as an opportunity to help them innovate. I essentially wanted a role where I could combine that passion with traveling, and BCGDV presented the possibility to truly sharpen my skill set as there are endless growth and learning opportunities.
BCGDV: Briefly describe your role and cohort at BCGDV.
A: A chunk of the role of a product manager is stakeholder management, with the client or internal team, and involves managing expectations. We sometimes have to be the bad guys, but our evidence-based approach allows us to define the first step towards realizing the product vision.
As we are responsible for bringing the components together, we are considered the glue between the different parts of a venture; a company’s commercial goals, customer’s desires, the tech behind it and what’s feasible. We ensure it’s viable and must decipher how to build iteratively while being agile.
Typically in any venture, product is present across all workstreams.
BCGDV: Tell us about a unique work opportunity you’ve had at BCGDV that you might not have had anywhere else.
A: Working at BCGDV has created opportunities to have diverse experiences. I worked with a client in Dubai for six weeks who wanted to build a mobility super app that leveraged their assets to introduce an innovative offering into the region. Having never worked in that area of the world before, it was an incredible opportunity to encounter a different viewpoint during the week that I was physically there. I look forward to future potential collaborations in the Middle East as they have an entrepreneurial mindset that I appreciate.
BCGDV: Are you a member or ally of any of BCGDV’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), such as DV Pride, Latinx, BEN? If so, please share your experience with the program.
A: I joined BOLD, a Black Employee Network in the London office (called BEN in the US), in October 2021 after learning about their presence at the company through a colleague. I’ve been involved in numerous events, panels and discussions and have gained extensive knowledge from a diverse group of colleagues who all come from multidisciplinary backgrounds.
BCGDV: Tell us about a mentor or colleague at BCGDV who has influenced your career.
A: Alex Learmonth, BCGDV Product Director, was part of my recruitment process. As the first person I met from the Product cohort, he made an exceptional impact on me as I instantly picked up on his energy. Being the people-person that he is, our initial encounter felt more like an informal chat as opposed to an interview, which made BCGDV very appealing. As a coach, Alex is caring and highly devoted, which pushes me to work harder and think outside the box. His managerial style permits me to thrive yet persuades me to take breaks between ventures. He recently arranged for me to attend AfroTech in Texas in November, a vibrant conference that I have attended in the past.
To learn more about Product Management roles at BCG Digital Ventures, visit our Cohort page.
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