Institute of Product Leadership: Creating an Army of Product Innovators

Pinkesh Shah,Co-Founder&Director of Programs

Pinkesh Shah

Co-Founder&Director of Programs

The Indian technology landscape has evolved from services to creating innovative and global products. These are exciting times with great opportunities for strong product managers and leaders. To meet this growing demand, there is a need to equip technology managers with knowledge and skills for competing at a global level. Realizing this critical industry need, Pinkesh Shah, a Silicon Valley veteran and Product Management leader for over 14 years in the U.S., laid the foundation for the Institute for Product Leadership (IPL) in Bangalore. With their awareness of emerging markets and global products, Shah and his team at IPL aim to create a new generation of product leaders and managers. IPL's programs are built around the life cycle of the product, providing the necessary frameworks and competencies that will help professionals hit the ground running.

The flagship IPL programs are designed to empower the mid-career professionals through an Executive MBA (EMBA) and early career professionals with the International Post Graduate Certificate Program in Product Management & Marketing(ICPM). The Executive MBA program covers product leadership for mid-career technology professionals with over seven years of experience. The ICPM is a specialized program for early career professionals with 2-7 years experience aiming at a leadership track in technology-oriented roles.

“ICPM is a 5-month experiential
program designed for product practitioners.We also conduct workshops in product management and marketing essentials for working professionals to build product knowledge,”explains Pinkesh Shah, Co-Founder and Director of Programs, Institute of Product Leadership.

The flagship IPL programs are designed to empower the mid-career professionals through an EMBA and early career professionals with the ICPM Program

A unique feature of the program is 'Immersions'.In the final leg of the course, a participant implements their learning in a running startup, with grades based on project impact. This paves the way for beautiful mutually beneficial industries connect with the graduates working on a live problem and the startup availing a high-quality project team.

IPL Learning Experience

The Institute pedagogy is designed around two key tenets - 'Experiential Learning' and 'Learn on a Saturday, Apply on Monday'. Experiential Learning focuses on the time-tested mantra 'Learning by Doing', where students apply the classroom frameworks in the Product Lab sessions. The second tenet is designed in close consultation and collaboration with industry, keeping the course exciting and relevant.

"The practical learning is in the DNA of the course work. In the EMBA and ICPM programs, students start their product labs journey from the day they start the program. They come into the class with a product idea or pick up an idea from the idea box and immediately use the productizing frame works they are introduced to in class, to take the idea towards reality," says Shah.
Throughout the program, the students go through the rigor and depth associated with creating a product while periodically reporting to their faculty and mentors with their pitch decks on progress. They go through the key phases of customer insighting, prototyping, UX, and financial analysis for feasibility and profitability checks.

IPL's world-class faculty members are drawn from the industry. They are the real innovators, senior product practitioners and thought leaders, with laurels to their name and successful products in the market. The faculty, hailing from global firms like Google, McAfee, GE Healthcare, Flipkart, eBay, RedBus and more, share their practical knowledge, inspiring experiences and industry know-how. The classroom sessions and continuous interaction with experts gives students the confidence to launch their products at the end of the program. IPL also gives students the opportunity to pitch their product to a jury of Venture Capitalists, a unique opportunity to cross the critical funding barrier and hit the market. Industry supports IPL's alumni by recruiting them for leading product-oriented roles in their organizations as well as by fostering product education with scholarships. IPL's Cisco Scholarship for the EMBA program has been established by Cisco Systems, a Silicon Valley tech giant with a huge presence in Bengaluru.

IPL's mission is to see 10,000 Product Leaders in India's innovation ecosystem.

"As we move from being a service-oriented economy providing services in various sectors to the global marketplace, as well as the domestic to a product and innovation oriented one, fueled by initiatives by the Government of India such as Startup India, Make in India and others, we find a dire need for Product Leaders who can shepherd new innovations to the market," concludes Shah.