About PJ

Product Geek, kicked up about building consumer products. have been building products since 2006. Mechanical Engineer turned HR Professional turned Product Manager turned Entrepreneur. Love to build products I have not built it before., starting from mobile, ecommerce, advertising, social, and payments. Its fun to start from scratch every time!

Product & Growth – Servify (New Gig!).
Driving product, growth, investments and many other things at Servify. Another story where I try to build this from scratch, this is a big bet – full stack approach to device management (mobiles, electronics and home appliances, anything that can be ‘powered on’). Scaled to 500K devices in 6 months + closed Pre-Series A from Blume Ventures, Beenext & others.

Head of Growth – Freecharge (acquired by Snapdeal for $450 Mn).
Driving all core business & growth metrics like MAUs, Transactions, User Acquisition, Growth, Retention and GMV; led the Product, Growth, Analytics & Customer Success teams. Scaled transactions to 1 Million / day. 10X growth in 10 months; 25X Growth in 24 Months. Scaled up Freecharge wallet to 40 Mn within 10 months of launch. Scaled to GMV run rate of $1 Bn+ per year and managed marketing spends of $100+ Mn per year for acquisition, retention and growth.

Founder – Wishberg (acquired by Freecharge)
Wishberg lets users build, manage and track their one wish list for life. Users can put everything that they want to buy or own in one beautiful wishlist, its their shopping cart for life! Scaled to 350,000 users in 12 months, Wishberg was voted among the top 10 early stage startups in India, ranked at #3.

Some stuff I used to do many years back (shamless plug)…

  • Led product management for mobile at Rediff back in 2006 (may be one of the first mobile product managers in India)
  • Built the mobile version of rediffmail. this was the first email service in India available on all versions of mobile –  wap, sms, stk and mobile client including text notifications for important emails. 
  • Built (i assume first in india) vertical search engines on mobile mobile – job, airfare, train, stocks that were distributed through all major telcos. 
  • First mobile content (ringtone, wallpapers, games, etc) search engines (remember mobile VAS was big then) also the first cross-operator caller tunes search engine. 
  • Managed web services for BSNL – one of the largest telco operators in India, btw also integrated IRCTC apis back in 2006. 
  • Led Product Management for Rediff Ecommerce (yes did ecommerce back in 2008), built and revamped the commerce platform for both – consumer facing (product, design, experience, search, conversions) and back-end operations (integration on logistics, customer support, payment gateways and more). 
  • Joined friends at Ohana to lead product, we did much cool stuff there – integrated marketing platform that learned everything about consumers and allow cross channel marketing (email, sms), paid search optimization tools, display marketing across multiple advt networks, behavioral re-targeting. This is in 2010.
  • Among the earliest players to get access to FB advertising apis – built an FB advt optimizer in early 2011. 
  • these are products that scaled., read between the lines – there were many failures too. we can talk about them when you buy me a drink!
  • After all this something seriously went wrong with me to consider entrepreneurship (still not out of the madness). some crazy experiences about that are mentioned here.

key interests for building products are – consumer products & platforms, social discovery, payment systems, behavioral & audience marketing, demand side platforms, advertising networks & yield optimization, convergence of offline-online models, search engine stuff, ecommerce, mobile apps, etc. so I have worked on all these verticals, but claim no expertise in these domains cause all of them continue to evolve and I continue to learn.

my biggest experience is about 20 yrs of exp of being internet user., since days of text browsing, irc chats (in 1997) & 9.6 kbps dial up modems that disconnected on an incoming call. I had a 6-digit ICQ number starting with 2 (oooh!).

i love interactions with startups and entrepreneurs. i don’t advice, just happy to share thoughts with startups on product & growth or talk on domains i have worked – over a tea typically on weekends. feel free to drop me a line. don’t connect with me for – fund raising advice, connections to investors, making projections and business plan (i suck with that!). all projections are good on paper (or excel sheet) not in reality. i believe if your product is good, everything else will fall in place.

being practical is an my attempt to blog about technology, trends and my predictions & analysis of products, platforms, startups in connected world. life is busy. Instead of writing lengthier posts, I plan to write shorter ones. my 140 character posts are in plenty if you follow me on Twitter.


On Email:  pj [at] beingpractical [dot] com

On Twitter:

note: all views, opinions expressed here are strictly personal. they are not endorsed or owned by my company (current & ex), associations, groups that I am a part of in any capacity.

  • http://pj.com hey

    hi ,

    you should not use “pj” looks like a poor joke :)

  • http://www.beingpractical.com pj

    Lol :-) It will be for them who don’t understand the stuff here… PJ

  • http://www.netbramha.com Aashish

    And name please. Don’t want another IPL blogger 😀

  • http://www.pravstalk.com pj

    Ashish, you can follow me here twitter.com/beingpractical

  • http://www.pravstalk.com pj

    My new twitter handle is twitter.com/beingpractical

  • http://theviewspaper.net/ Garvita Khybri

    Hi Pravin,

    I write to you on behalf of The Viewspaper (www.theviewspaper.net) which is India’s largest youth paper and the 5th largest media company on Facebook.

    We are organizing the World’s Largest Tweet-A-Thon! and would like to invite you as a panelist for the same.

    From American political journalists in the 1950s, to The Economist magazine not so long ago; speculation has run rife about India and whether we will survive as a nation.

    Poverty. Corruption. Terrorism. Disease. Currency woes. We’ve got it all, and more. We’ve been written off, doomsdayed, delegitimized – but we keep coming back! What is the root of this appetite for adversity, this solid resilience?

    It is our nation’s optimism. No matter how much you bring her down, India feels up!

    A first of its kind initiative, the #IFeelUp Tweetathon is a 3-day virtual conference, which delights in the irrepressible state of the nation, in spite of its laundry list of issues. Over 72 hours, we’ll be bringing in 400 panelists for non-stop discussion, and that’s where you come in.

    We would like to invite you as a panelist for a 30 minute session wherein you can participate from any part of the world.

    If you’re interested, kindly email us your contact information so that we could provide you with more details about the event.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


  • Sanjay Roy

    May i say your assessment and strategy articles are bestsellers category type. Excellent | outstanding. A great insight into the state of E-commerce in India. What do you think the E-commerce marketplace, something like, E-bay are upto.. Are they really good business model for a country like India, where the potential is high but at the current bandwidth, it is a pain in the A$$.

  • Bhavik

    dude..have an email subscription service on the blog….like feedburner or feedblitz :)

    • http://www.beingpractical.com/ Pravin J

      i might end up disappointing. don’t post very frequently.

  • http://am22tech.com Soan

    I am a first timer here and must say that you have good command over keeping the interest of reader intact throughout the article.
    This is one thing that i certainly would like to learn from you after reading the very first article.

    I also missed the RSS feed option to keep up with your updates. I also read that somebody has already complained about it in the comments though!

    • http://www.beingpractical.com/ Pravin J

      Thanks Soan. In fact most of my posts are lengthy which many readers have complained about.

      I am not a regular writer, startup life does not allow so much of free time. Got the RSS feed here on – http://www.beingpractical.com/rss/

  • Manoj

    Excellent blog! excellent posts!

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