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A Journey from Dropout to Product Manager

An essay on how dropping out of school played a crucial role in landing a product manager role in a tech startup

A journey of college dropout → Product Manager

Teenage struggle

“Struggle” is one of my close friends. I met him right after the completion of the 10th SSC in the year 2012. I had to pursue a struggling job along with a diploma in engineering due to family conditions.

💡 Never fall into the money trap and don’t run behind it. Instead, focus on adding skills to your resume, and that will ultimately help you earn money.

A couple of years later my father was diagnosed with cancer. I moved to Ahmedabad for his proper treatment. But that didn’t work. Unfortunately, I lost him in 2016. I felt alone and helpless for some time.

Career Move

Nonetheless, I began searching for my next job. I applied at 20 organizations, 4 of them turned up. But, I got rejected by each of the organizations I met.

💡 If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.

Ikigai Journey

Started hunting for a job in an IT company. This time with an improved resume. Though it didn’t work for me. Again, I faced rejections. But that didn’t make me stop trying.

💡 Never stop trying. Never stop believing. Never give up. Your day will come. Karma may take its time, but it is inevitable.

Finally, one of the LinkedIn messages hit the right conversation. I spoke to Dhruv. It was the first time I heard about SaaS. After an hour-long call, we decided to meet. I remember for the first time was not asked for any educational qualifications.

💡 You can’t plant a seed without getting your hands dirty

Later, I went back to the original role of customer support. I very-well remember the days when Piyush used to challenge me to improve my English communication skills — written and verbal. This led me to start reading books — articles. It was a turning point for me. Reading books changed a lot for me.

💡 Not all readers are leaders but all leaders are readers. Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

I grew up on the ladder and became a manager of the customer success team in a very short span of time. By that time my life was set, I was enjoying the work.

Customer Support → Product Manager

My role made me speak/chat with users to address their product-related concerns. That opened a gate for me to learn what works and what-not in the software product. I acted as a bridge between what users wanted (feature requests) and what the team develops.

💡 There is nothing you can’t achieve by hustling in the right direction

Since then I have been reading, learning, and experimenting a lot with products.
I worked closely with Piyush and a few more experienced PM friends.

Learning journey snapshot

1. Agile-Scrum-Sprint
2. User Stories
3. Wireframe
4. Communication
5. Feature prioritization
6. Working with cross-functional teams
7. Ready to get hands dirty
8. Resourcefulness

💡 Don’t wait for your boss to create opportunities for you–create them yourself.

Thank you note

Just a little note to say thank you to Team Ikigai — Piyush & Dhruv for giving me this open ground with lots of opportunities. Thank you for all you do. You are appreciated more than you know.



Publication to share internal updates on how team IKIGAI operates and what’s happening within.

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Product Manager. Major interests in SaaS, UX, Retention & Churn.