Macrin Smith started his career in 2016 at a startup. Being a passionate problem-solver, he gradually gained a deep understanding of consumer requirements and made steady progress in the customer experience segment. With every problem he solved, he got to work more closely with the tech and product team. From then on, one thing has remained constant in Macrin’s career — his fascination with product development.
Read on to explore what inspired him to shift from the customer experience team to the product team.
Solving Problems, Like A Ninja
I spent my initial days at Ninjacart in the customer experience team. It was a really exciting space and I was able to make an impact. My hunger for problem-solving was satiated, especially when I worked on solving payment issues. I worked on improving the payment flow and eventually took complete ownership of streamlining the payment process. I was able to make the process efficient and after a point, it was completely in autopilot mode. It was really exciting to see the change I was able to bring.
While I worked on the payments flow, I used to spend a lot of time with the tech and products team. The way they solved problems so efficiently was really appealing to me. An instance that had a deep impact on me is when the product team fixed the labour attendance problem with facial recognition for marking attendance instead of the fingerprint approach that wasn’t working well for us. The product was so well-planned that not only did it solve the problem but it boosted the success rate and accuracy in attendance. That was really inspiring!
Pivot to T.A.P. (Tech, Analytics, and Product)
“Product development is all about logic and solving for the consumer. A technical background is not mandatory.”
After a few years at Ninjacart, I made the most of my role in CX and was able to stabilise a lot of processes. That was when I seriously considered moving to the product team. I felt a significant requirement of being in the product team is understanding the customer, besides being technically sound. I had a fair experience with solving for consumers and there were many instances when the product team took my suggestions. This gave me the courage to make the switch to the product team.
I reached out to my manager for advice and shared how I was inclined toward a role in the product team. Like every leader at Ninjacart, he encouraged me and recognised my potential. He was of great support and his words boosted my confidence. He then put me in touch with Harish Swaminathan, Vice President, Product. And the rest is history!
Harish welcomed me into the team and I’m now in the exciting world of product development! I am still learning and taking baby steps in understanding everything that goes into developing a product. Every day is exciting and loaded with lessons. Our team is currently engrossed in engaging with Zoho Books for the enterprise commerce business.
Stepping Closer to Milestones
My goal at present is to become an efficient product manager. Harish has set an example in that sense and I really look up to him in so many ways. I want to be like him — patient, kind, and brilliant. His problem-solving skills are truly amazing.
I think a key quality that makes a good product manager is customer obsession — which is also one of our core values at Ninjacart. It is absolutely relevant because when we think from a customer’s perspective, we’re forced to think of long-term solutions, which ensures that we work towards a more efficient and sustainable idea. Like Harish says,
‘You have to imagine how your product will grow. Don’t just think of instant solutions but think of potential problems in the future and solve that. This way you won’t need to build a product to accommodate your customer’s needs every now and then.”
Where I am right now at Ninjacart is a fascinating and crucial phase in my career. Developing something from scratch with a talented team is a dream come true and this is surely the beginning of something amazing.