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Tai Ajayi: Vice President of Product Commercial, Propel
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Tai Ajayi: Vice President of Product Commercial, Propel
The Communication, Collaboration, and Stakeholder Influence Needed as a Product Manager

Tai Ajayi is from Lagos, Nigeria. Tai is a product and data champion, recently appointed Vice President, Product Commercial at Propel. Before this appointment, he was Head of Growth at Propel. Previously he worked as Product Manager at Centricity Inc, an AI/ML Startup based in NYC and Coresight Research as Head of Data Product, championing retail data as a product. He has several years of consulting under his belt where he transformed talent acquisition and management strategy for many organisations. He is an MBA Candidate at Lagos Business School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems from Covenant University. He loves Poetry and has published a poem collection, God Must Be a Poet.

In a recent conversation on a podcast, Tai Ajayi, a product manager at Propel, shared insights into his career journey and the importance of skills necessary for success in product management. As someone who has experienced the industry first-hand, Tai believes that there are three key skills that a product manager should possess: the ability to communicate in a simple way, the ability to drive collaboration with people, and the ability to influence stakeholders.

Effective Communication

According to Tai, communication is one of the most important skills for a product manager to possess. He stressed the importance of being able to explain complex concepts and ideas in a simple way that anyone can understand. This is particularly important when communicating with stakeholders who may not have a technical background. By being able to communicate effectively, product managers can ensure that everyone is on the same page, and that projects move forward efficiently.

Collaboration

Another key skill that Tai highlighted is the ability to drive collaboration with people. Product management often involves working with cross-functional teams, which means that product managers need to be able to build relationships and work effectively with people from different departments and backgrounds. By fostering collaboration, product managers can help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Stakeholder Influence

In addition to communication and collaboration, Tai emphasized the importance of stakeholder influence. As a product manager, it's important to be able to persuade stakeholders to see things from your point of view. This involves building trust and credibility, and being able to present a compelling argument for why a particular product decision is the right one.

Sustainable Hiring and Community Support

Tai also discussed his work at Propel, a company that focuses on curating the entire tech talent ecosystem in Africa. According to Tai, sustainable hiring and supporting tech communities are crucial to the company's mission. Propel provides value stacks and tool stacks to support tech communities in Africa and ensure that they have access to global job opportunities. Tai believes that product management practice on the African continent needs to be raised to international standards, and that upskilling and coaching are necessary to ensure that product managers are properly trained for their roles.

Conclusion

Overall, Tai's insights shed light on the importance of communication, collaboration, and stakeholder influence in product management, as well as the importance of upskilling and coaching for success in this field. Additionally, his work at Propel highlights the need for sustainable hiring and support for tech communities in Africa. By focusing on these key areas, product managers can help drive innovation and growth in the tech industry both in Africa and around the world.

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The Everyday Leader

Conversations with leaders from across Africa’s companies, organizations, and governments about their experience managing teams and projects throughout their careers.