People & Culture
Added Dec 4, 2020

Q & A with Shariq Manji: Product Lead

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Shariq is the Product Lead at Vortexa, and possesses over 10 years experience in product management, spanning across several industries. 

We wanted to find out what Shariq keeps an eye out for when searching for new hires, how he sums up our company culture and shares his most significant milestones at Vortexa to date…


What inspired you to join Vortexa?

I joined Vortexa because I was inspired by its product-market fit and the desire to work with the team to help achieve their ambitious goals. We’re a diverse, driven group focused on excellence, and the problems we are solving are exactly the challenging, rewarding kinds of problems that I enjoy the most. By doing so we’re setting the benchmark for a new era in energy trading and shipping to enable a prosperous and sustainable future for the industry.

 

''...no matter your level of experience, you need to be focused on outcomes over output and enthusiastic for solving challenges in this industry.''

 

What would you say is the most interesting aspect of your role?

Continuously learning and improving at a rapid pace, both as a member of the product community and now the energy community. Every day at Vortexa I’m able to learn from each of my colleagues about the domain of energy and shipping, all of whom are extremely generous with their time. One minute we’ll be discussing how floating storage affects market dynamics and the next we’ll be brainstorming how to validate our product hypotheses.

What does day-to-day life look like for you as Product Lead? 

Working in Product at Vortexa involves close collaboration with each team across multiple initiatives so I wouldn’t say I have a typical day, which is a big reason why the role is both so challenging and rewarding. 

Often I’m working with our Design and Market Analysis teams in gaining quick insights on prototypes that the team has collectively created, by crafting and conducting user research, interviews and tests. As important, is supporting our R&D teams in delivery, ensuring that our efforts are focused on the right functionality at the right time with crystal clarity over the scope of each initiative. In parallel to working with Marketing and Revenue Operations in planning our go to market strategy to drive a successful launch. 

Other times, I’m diving into the data with our Analytics team using analytics tools and reporting dashboards to better understand how our users are interacting with our products. All while partnering with our executive and management teams to define strong product development processes and practices. 

What have been some significant milestone moments for you at Vortexa?

Each time we provide further customer and business value by solving the most pressing problems is a milestone worth celebrating. For example, our Voyage Calculator is a perfect combination of taking a customer problem and rapidly validating our solution via cross-team collaboration. Ensuring that our product was easy to use, valuable to customers, feasible to build and viable for us as a business. For a deeper dive into the Voyage Calculator check out our blog post here.

 

''...we’re setting the benchmark for a new era in energy trading and shipping to enable a prosperous and sustainable future for the industry.''

 

What key qualities do you look for in new joiners hoping to join your team?

I look for all new joiners to be continuous learners who are passionate about product management. No matter your level of experience you need to be focused on outcomes over output and enthusiastic for solving challenges in this industry. Furthermore the ability to be a collaborator who understands that great products are successful not just due to the builders, the team members who work to build the product (e.g. engineering, design, research, analytics), but also the enablers (e.g. sales, marketing, support, operations, legal).

How would you describe the culture at Vortexa?

I joined remotely during UK’s COVID-19 lockdown and in next to no time I felt part of the Vortexa family. To me that’s a true testament to the fantastic culture here. Everyone is committed to building a successful company by fostering teamwork, sharing of knowledge and listening to everyone’s opinions. As a result, there is a great team spirit where you look forward to company events and working across teams. This is further amplified by our attitude to setbacks and mistakes. Fingers are not pointed nor individuals blamed, instead we openly share our learnings and actions. Empowering us to have a growth mind-set and remain innovative.

Describe your working life at Vortexa in three words! 

Rewarding, fast-paced and fun!

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