Introducing Slingshot

An interview series on Product Management for Middle India

With the right bearings, a spacecraft can come close to a planet orbiting around the sun, effectively using more of the planet’s gravitational forces and less of fuel to increase its own momentum, before it thrusts away at greater velocity to get to its desired destination - completing what has fondly come to be known as a gravitational Slingshot.

We, at Arkam, believe that the time is ripe for India’s true digital awakening - with the Next 400M middle of the pyramid Indians consuming services and transacting in a digitally native manner. This movement, spearheaded by rising smartphone and internet penetration, along with creation and massive adoption of digital rails such as Aadhar and UPI, has been further accelerated by the pandemic. We believe that the biggest start-up outcomes of the next decade will come from Middle India. While this part of India holds a huge addressable market, it comes with its own distinct set of nuances and colours. The consumer in Middle India is significantly different from the top 10% of the pyramid - their very introduction to the digital world has been with a different set of devices, platforms, and even content forms. These differences translate to a remarkable gap between product management approaches for Middle India and those for the top-of-the-pyramid Indians. It is this gap in understanding and translation into product management practices for Middle India that the Slingshot interview series aims to bridge.

With the right set of underlying principles and understanding of the Middle India, by effectively solving problems for consumers, products can gracefully complete their Slingshot manoeuvre, amassing growth that is explosive, yet frugal.

With this motivation, we are building a community of product managers who are curious and want to learn about product management for Middle India. This community will have access to curated content, office hours with globally renowned product managers and live sessions with thought leaders. If you’re fascinated by or are already building for Middle India, we urge you to join the group by subscribing and share with the community your experiences and learnings via comments.

We bring to you the first interview in the series where we talked to Prashant Singh (ex co-founder, Shifu; ex VP-Product, PayTM). As a result of the pandemic, Prashant was forced to cancel his trip to Bali and instead spend 6 months in his hometown, Bikaner.

Like a true blue product manager, his curiosity got the better of him, and he poked and tinkered around, trying to understand how people in his hometown perceive and use digital products.

We invite you to share your thoughts on the discussion, and any learnings that you believe are critical to bear in mind while building for Middle India. Stay tuned for more!

Leave a comment