Transition From Sales to Product Management: A Journey of Insights and Success | ft. Jubair Akhtar


In an engaging interview with HelloPM, Zubair our Alumni and now a senior product manager, shares his remarkable journey from sales and data analytics to product management. He offers valuable insights and advice to aspiring professionals in this dynamic field. Let’s dive into Zubair’s story and discover the keys to his success.

We hosted Zubair Akhtar as our Alumni of The Week, and he shared amazing insights on how he was able to get multiple product role interviews. Also, how he was able to transition from sales to product management.

The Power of HelloPM Cohort

Zubair acknowledges the pivotal role the HelloPM cohort played in his journey. How cohort instilled in him the confidence to navigate the interview process and helped him curate an impactful CV. The supportive community became his backbone throughout his transition.

Embracing Change and Evolution

Zubair reflects on the challenges he faced during his transition to product management. Initially, he encountered doubts and uncertainties, but over time, his thought process evolved. He believes that adaptability is essential in this field and shares how a personal emergency led him to explore sales. This unexpected barrier proved instrumental in shaping his customer-centric mindset, a crucial trait for successful product managers.

Understanding Customer Needs

He also emphasizes the importance of understanding customer needs when developing a product. Drawing from his sales experience, he highlights how comprehending the pain points of customers is the key to building impactful solutions. By studying startups, connecting with industry professionals, and analyzing business models, Zubair honed his ability to empathize with the target audience.

The Quest for Growth

While working at HDFC Bank, Zubair sought opportunities to develop products. This pursuit led him to join L&T Financial, where he worked on a project he had previously pitched to HDFC. Feeling stagnant with the state of his career, Zubair turned to online courses for self-improvement. Accidentally one day, he stumbled upon a LinkedIn post by Ankit, which introduced him to the HelloPM course. Convinced of its value, Zubair embarked on a transformative journey that paved the way for his current success.

Leveraging HelloPM Resources

Zubair credits the HelloPM cohort for providing him with valuable resources and insights into the product management thought process. He found the guesstimate questions and funnel write-ups particularly helpful in cracking interviews. Initially plagued by doubts about his suitability for the role, Zubair’s research into the successful placements of previous cohorts reassured him and motivated him to persevere.

Building a Strong Portfolio

As he shares, Zubair’s portfolio played a significant role in his success, helping him crack five product manager interviews. He explains how he strategically crafted case studies, ranging from agri-tech startups to loan onboarding and revenue programs for tech companies. Leveraging the assignments from the HelloPM course, Zubair showcased his skills and capabilities, impressing potential employers.

Overcoming Challenges and Learning from Failure

Also, he candidly discusses the tiring nature of product manager interviews. He emphasizes the need for resilience and persistence, sharing how he bounced back from initial failures. His consistent hard work, coupled with the unwavering support of the HelloPM team, ultimately propelled him toward success.

Mastering Interview Skills

Zubair shares his strategies for interview preparation and improvement. He highlights the importance of thoroughly understanding the job description and potential interview questions. Crafting a strong resume and conducting thorough research on the interviewer are crucial steps in achieving interview success. Zubair also advises spacing out interviews to allow ample time for preparation, while remaining calm and confident during the interview process.

The Road to Product Management

In his final advice, Zubair suggests aspiring product managers start by gaining a solid foundation in data management. He encourages individuals to be vocal about their priorities, seek challenging opportunities early on, and never lose hope in themselves.

We hope that Zubair’s journey gave you a sneak peek into how an individual from an agriculture background who has worked in various roles related to data and sales can also accelerate their journey into product roles. All you need is guidance from an expert and a structured approach