The best of TapChief Sessions 2018

The Best of TapChief Sessions 2018

Reading Time: 10 minutes

2018 has been a tremendous year for us at TapChief. This year, we launched TapChief Sessions, a weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ forum with experts from our community. These sessions tackled a variety of topics right from product management to freelance writing.

TapChief Sessions have been an excellent platform for people to interact with experts from different domains. To summarise, 13 experts participated, and over 300 queries have been answered.

Here’s a recap of all the TapChief Sessions from 2018 featuring experts from fields such as technology, marketing, design, content writing, blogging and product management.

1. AMA on product management with Arun Sreelalan Iyer

About the expert: Arun is the Senior Product Manager at UiPath. Before this, he worked as a Product Management Consultant for McKinsey, and also as a Senior Product Manager at Ola.

Important takeaways:

  • A/B testing and phased rollout are the best ways to test features that don’t have a monetary parameter attached to it.  
  • There is a significant potential for Product Management Consulting. Most non-tech firms are going through a phase of digitisation. Since technology is not their core competence, they are likely to partner with a System Integration services firm to build a digital platform.
  • An MBA is not necessary to transition to a Product Management role. Instead, people in tech roles should try to transition to a Technical Product Manager role, and people in non-tech roles should try and transition into a Product Marketing Manager role. From there, you have to keep learning the skills of the other side (tech/non-tech) to become a full-stack Product Manager.

To read the full discussion thread and learn more about product management, visit the AMA page.

2. AMA on building and engaging online communities with Paras Pundir

About the expert: Paras is the Founder and Community Builder of Community Folks, India’s first community management & engagement organisation. He also works as a community expert for companies such as The Test Tribe, The Cryptocurrency Trading Geeks and Byond Travel.

Important takeaways:

  • Building a community around your user group is really a good strategy, but to grow the same is a challenge. Few tips from Paras to overcome this challenge:
    1. Always keep on testing the type of content.
    2. Meet your community members in real and also make members meet each other and the magic will happen.
    3. Use a social media calendar for posting in the group.
    4. It’s not a sales funnel so just don’t try to spam it with only marketing posts.
  • Insights from Paras on Facebook Group management:
    1. Try to be more interactive with your members in the beginning. Use polls to learn their opinions around everything.
    2. Use the new Facebook Group features such as Watch Party, group live sessions, etc.
    3. Plan a live mentoring or knowledge sharing session, this will increase the bonding within the group.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights on community management, visit the AMA page.

3. AMA about building your career as a content professional with Niharika Gupta

About the expert: Niharika has been a freelance content writer for the past three years. Some of her clients include Digitally Viral, Om Websoft Technologies, B3Net, Digital Conversions Media and many others.

Important takeaways:

  • People always like to read blogs that are written in simple language.
  • Niharika doesn’t recommend the part fixed and part performance-based payout terms for newly launched blogs because the traffic is usually not very high.
  • Don’t just write content, but learn to market it too.
  • Write about topics that are being talked about at the moment. Use Quora, Google Trends, and free idea generator tools to come up with new topics.
  • Add only quality articles to your portfolio; clients prefer quality over quantity.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights, visit the AMA page.

4. AMA on marketing for startups with Vedanarayanan Vedantham

About the expert: Veda is the VP of Marketing at HealthifyMe. He has over 15 years of experience working with startups such as SimpliLearn, and Stayzilla. Along with that, he has worked as an independent brand strategist and also a visiting faculty at IIM Bangalore and SP Jain Institute of Management.

Important takeaways:

  • The biggest thing to keep in mind when marketing for an early stage company is to stay away as much and as long as possible from paid marketing. Instead, focus on product marketing, organic marketing, PR, and social engagement.
  • As an academic, he wants his students to learn the art of balancing creativity with analytical thinking, and the art of balancing tactical execution with strategic focus.
  • The biggest challenge for startup marketers is the need for faster and faster growth even when the product is not quite there, in terms of product-market fitment or maturity, and also limited timeframe with limited resources.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights on startup marketing, visit the AMA page.

5. AMA on how to become a tech blogger with Raju PP

About the expert: Raju is the Chief Editor and Founder of TechPP,  one of the top technology blogs on the web. He was featured amongst 151 Top Tech Indians by Exhibit magazine. He is also the editor of Connected Arena.

Important takeaways:

  • You just can’t afford to do exactly what others are doing and then hope to be successful. The uniqueness need not be in the raw content (breaking stories, leaks, rumours etc.), but in the way you present the same content.
  • SEO is essential and should be part of your pre-launch strategy instead of being an add-on. If you intend to reach a lot many readers than you do presently and/or increase your revenues, you MUST look for a good SEO partner.
  • Whatever your niche you chose to focus on, make sure you are passionate about it.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights on tech blogging, visit the AMA page.

6.AMA on freelance writing, tax consulting, and building a brand on LinkedIn with Hardik Lashkari

About the expert: Hardik Lashkari is a freelance content writer and a freelance tax consultant. He has worked with ClearTax, GST Professionals, WittyPen, SportsKeeda and many more.

He has also built a personal brand on LinkedIn and grown his number of followers, organically.

Important takeaways:

  • Videos on Linkedin are not as effective as text content. Text content gets much higher views as compared to videos because people on Linkedin like to read more as compared to Facebook or Youtube, where the audience like to hear from the content creator.
  • Observing, reading and thinking – these three activities can help you overcome writer’s block.
  • If a person doesn’t have any brand story and wants to start building a personal brand from scratch, he or she should first choose a relevant social media platform out of all the channels available.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights on content writing, visit the AMA page.

7. AMA on marketing for the biggest brands and companies with Apoorv Sharma

About the expert: Apoorv currently works in Marketing Communications with Apple. Before this, he worked at Amazon as the Head of Marketing in Native Advertising. During this time, he scaled the active publisher base from 2K to 20K+ within 18 months and achieved revenue growth of +300% YoY.

Important takeaways:

    • Marketing is now a key owner in shaping business and every dollar spent is being questioned. This is the very fact why data-driven marketing has taken front stage and funnel-metrics matter more than ever.
    • Influencer marketing is quite effective if done right. There are two key aspects to it – choosing handpicked/relevant influencers and keeping it honest.
    • Early-stage startups just need to focus on one thing and one thing product – the product.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights into marketing, visit the AMA page.

8. AMA about building a career in Data Science with Abhinav Unnam

About the expert: Abhinav is currently working as a Data Scientist at Curl Analytics. He uses Machine Learning for Quantitative Trading. Before this, he worked at organisations such as ThinkQuant and ZS Associates.

Important takeaways:

  • According to him, Data Science has three pillars to it — business acumen, maths/theory and technology.
  • An overview of the patient journey model which he worked on during his time at ZS Associates.
  • The goal of data science is to improve business decisions, products and the way the company operates using data.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights on data science, visit the AMA page.

9. AMA on scaling traffic to your website using organic search with Ashwin Nair

About the expert: Ashwin heads Product Marketing at TapChief. Before that, he was the Marketing Head at MySmartPrice. During this stint, he scaled the traffic to MySmartPrice from 200,000 to 20M.

Important takeaways:

  • Ashwin gave an overview of the top five things he did to grow the traffic to MySmartPrice’s website.
  • The story you build for any marketing campaign has to be a “What’s in it for you” for clients/readers/visitors.
  • The bottom line to ranking on Google or other Search pages is to be as relevant and as useful/informative as possible.
  • Make your website as user-friendly as possible. Let the user easily understand your product/service.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights on scaling organic traffic, visit the AMA page.

10. AMA on hiring for emerging consumer technology startups with Priyanka Jain

About the expert: Priyanka is the HR Leader (Tech) at Zomato. Previously, she worked at Ola as HR Leader – Marketplace Organization and at PepsiCo as Senior Sales HR Business Partner – India.

Important takeaways:

  • For success in these new age companies, adaptability and context is the key. Being humble helps, a lot. There is a lot of unlearning & learning that you need to do before you can start solving for problems.
  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Sciences are areas in which tech companies are investing significantly, both in terms of talent and technology.
  • Most startups extensively test candidates on problem solving and learnability.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights into startup hiring, visit the AMA page.

11. AMA on creating and repositioning a brand with Hitesh Malhotra

About the expert: Hitesh is the CMO at, India’s premier beauty portal. He spearheads digital, main line and customer relationship marketing. An alum of UC Berkeley, he has over 13 years of experience working in companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., and at MSLGroup India.

Important takeaways:

  • It doesn’t matter if your product or service is unique as long as the customer value you have set is sacrosanct.
  • The TV has a life for about 5 yrs more before the world of on-demand takes over. The TV is still a household watch and gives beyond-digital penetration as long as you are ready to invest a fortune on it.
  • To keep visitors glued to your website, you need to create user value through UX, proposition and recommendation.

To read the full discussion thread and learn more about branding, visit the AMA page.

12. AMA on leveraging data to understand customers and build products with Ankit Chaudhary

About the expert: Ankit is currently working at Microsoft as a Program Manager. He is part of the Bing team which is working on creating the Microsoft Knowledge Graph. Before this, Ankit was a Program Manager at ClearTax. During this time, he defined and managed the entire business and product metrics for ClearTax products.

Important takeaways:

  • Ankit explains the difference between process management and product management.
  • App builders should divide their metrics to track into categories such as acquisition, activation, engagement and growth/churn.
  • To build a career in product management, you need to understand the various aspects of making a product and also the technical aspects relevant to your domain/product.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights on leveraging data and product management, visit the AMA page.

13. AMA on product management with Abhishek Shukla

About the expert: Abhishek is currently managing products for Adobe’s Experience Cloud. Before this, he was part of the team that built India’s largest commerce ad network at Flipkart.

Important takeaways:

  • Ensure that you understand your organization’s goals and align your product vision accordingly.
  • Use value-based prioritisation to identify ROI of the features you are developing.
  • If you are a startup that hasn’t achieved product-market fit yet, the focus should be on building features that your customers most care about.
  • You shouldn’t wait for the perfect version to release. Build, validate, deliver value and repeat.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights on product management, visit the AMA page.

14. AMA on building high user engagement products with Aparna Kohli

The best of TapChief Sessions

About the expert: Aparna is currently working at Facebook as Product Growth Manager. Before this, she has worked for companies such as, Hike Messenger, and Amazon.

Important takeaways:

  • Define success metrics before the launch to keep it objective. Define what success looks like on a  feature wise level & what the most important metrics are for the product.
  • Play the devil’s advocate of why the product may not work. It helps coming up with additional data which may support/refute the hypothesis.
  • Speak to 1-2 customers in your existing list & 1-2 people not on the list to understand what they get of product. Don’t explain customer behaviour. Ask them why they do what they do.

To read the full discussion thread and get more insights into building products, visit the AMA page.

And that’s a wrap. We hope to organise even more such sessions next year. Keep those questions coming in people. 🙂