Paytm’s New APM Programme – Building the Next Generation of Product Leaders

byDilip PrasadLast Updated: August 17, 2022
Building the Next Generation of Product Leaders

Paytm welcomed its first batch of APMs (Associate Product Managers) in April 2022. A tight-knit cohort of full time APMs, who will undergo a six month training and will be groomed towards becoming future product leaders. Paytm is a product focused company building the future of fintech in India. The APM programme is Paytm’s effort at enabling and building the next generation of product leadership from ground up.

Twenty four participants (B-School graduates) have been chosen from a pool of over 100 candidates from technology backgrounds from across the country. With this, these bright, young talents will get to build impactful products across our businesses and grow in their professional journeys at Paytm. They will learn through hands-on experience, mentorship and learning from the best minds.

Why the APM programme?

Paytm’s focus is to set up best practices and ready a talent pipeline for future product leaders. We want to tap into young talent who will bring a fresh perspective and will garner a wider context, learnt in the system from experienced product leaders in Paytm. The three month tenure (for each project) is carefully planned to help integrate the APM in Paytm’s high speed environment with access to learning resources and support. Through this we aim to set them up on a progressive career track right at the beginning of their professional journeys.

What to expect from the APM programme?

During the course of the programme, the APMs will spend time working under two business units, dedicating three months each towards the successful completion of key projects. This is their chance to work with diverse product teams and gain valuable experience. Our competitive, speedy and innovative environment is the perfect incubator for them to contribute to high impact, mainstream and output based projects.

How was the first APM batch selected?

We selected the first cohort from a pool of applicants by scanning each candidate’s profile and looked for a history of significant experimentation in the fields they come from. To this extent, we deprioritized a candidate’s academic performance as a screening criteria, and focused more on the diversity of their experiences, significant achievements therein and even having welcomed failures in trying to do so. Exposure to product or technological work experience gathered through prior full time employment and internships was another prerequisite while zeroing in on our first batch of Paytm APMs.

Inside the APM programme

Following Paytm’s starters induction, a detailed orientation was lined up to set expectations as well as understand the journey of the programme. Each APM was then paired with a buddy (a seasoned Paytmer who will play a guiding and mentoring role). This was followed up by an orientation by the senior product leadership, a BU connect, and introductions with the program manager assigned to the project and at PM Round Tables.

Once the APMs settled into the programme, a round of team introductions were followed up by functional alignment, and then projects were assigned. These projects were carefully picked in advance by the senior product leaders to ensure it gives the right exposure and experience to the APM. Currently the first batch is thick in the middle of working on their first product assignment. They receive constant support in the form of learning and development sessions from internal experts as well as external speakers, mentorship, a leadership connect every two months and community connections.

A similar trajectory will follow, once our APMs go onto their second project in a different business function. Upon the completion of the last three months, there will be rounds of detailed feedback and final placements. By the end of the programme, APMs would have been integrated into our system, assimilated and ready to roll on to their next challenge at Paytm.

Going forward, we plan to open up Paytm’s APM programme to a much wider audience where recent graduates and freshers from technology backgrounds can apply. We want to build the best talent pipeline in the product talent marketplace and are offering a springboard to fresh, passionate young minds for making their dream happen. If you think you are the one, look out for Paytm APM 2023!

Look out for Part 2 in this series where we will next take you behind the scenes of Paytm’s first APM programme and what our first batch has to say about their experience so far.

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