PLF Showcase 2016 – A Unique Opportunity for aspiring Product Leaders

Everyone in the world, be it any individual or an entity, rely on some or the other form of data when it comes to decision making. If you want to go for a movie or a restaurant, you ensure that you have well researched the ratings and reviews of the same. This works in most of the cases but not all. With a lot of new startups, Hiring has become more of a need for organizations as much as it is for the candidates.

Today, the problem is that organizations have a limited set of reference points when it comes to shortlisting candidates for the interview process. These reference points include the reputation of the college from which the candidate is passed out of, grades, prior work experience etc.  In a country like India, not everybody can afford to pay fees in lakhs even though they have the potential to make it to one of the top B-schools. Not everybody can afford to crack CAT or GMAT, not because they do not have that potential but because they don’t get the required guidance/mentorship as they could not join one of the coaching institutes for which a candidate has to shell out a lot from his/her pocket. In fact, such candidates have the ability to think far beyond others whose knowledge is limited to the courses that they study and the work experience that they had.

A Product Manager knows how to nurture that Idea and bring it to shape. But even if you are a developer or a test engineer and have a raw business idea, with proper mentorship/guidance, you can build a great business plan and prove to be a great product leader than those who are already in that role. Product Management is new to our country and most people don’t get the right platform to showcase their ideas and get the right guidance/mentorship without spending few thousands or lakhs of rupees from their pocket.

15% of India’s Population today is internet savvy which is approximately 195 million. Out of this 3% people are enthusiastic about technology or are from technology background ~ 5.85 million.

Assuming that 30% of them have great unique ideas and are not already in the role of a product leader, which means there are around 2 to 3 lakhs of people in India who have great ideas and not everybody get guidance/mentorship and the right platform to showcase their ideas, if they aspire to be a product leader.

PLF Showcase is one of the initiatives by Product Leaders Forum. It is a 6 week-long event where product enthusiasts and budding entrepreneurs across India demonstrate their product leadership skills by working in teams to transform their ideas into financially viable solutions substantiated by business cases and prototypes. During this duration, industry leaders and product practitioners are assigned to the teams as mentors to guide the teams and as reviewers to evaluate the solutions.

For 2016, the event began in the month of February, where participants across all over India were invited to register themselves and their teams for the event. There were around 97 registrations for the event from all over India. The first round was Idea submission, after which mentors (senior leaders from Industry) were assigned to each of the teams who helped them through all the other stages of the event.

Each Stage was an elimination round. The participants had to submit one or the other artifact during each of the following stages:


Below is a brief description about the winning team – Team Delicious presentation, who were rated as highest by the Jury. The team members Somnath Patra and Deepankar Mukherjee are PGPM students from MDI, Gurgaon who have just completed their first year and will pass out form the college in the year 2017. They won the trust of the Jury with their excellent presentation and the confidence with which they answered the questions posed by the panel. Here are some snapshots from their presentation:

Runner Up – Team Fairfare

Team Fairfare – Team comprising of Shivam Maheshwari, Ashwin Kumar and Kondaiah Bollineni was rated as the second best team. Below are few snapshots from their presentation.

Jury and Hiring Managers from their organizations are excited to take the process forward with the further discussions with the winning team.

There was a great volunteer team involved in making PLF showcase 2016 team a success. Volunteer team comprised of people from ADP and Institute of Product Leadership.

Written By:

Jitin Mehndiratta

(Chairperson – PLF Showcase 2016)

Product Owner – ADP India