The ProductDive Story – One Year After by Tobi Otokiti.
How did it all start?
My name is Tobi Otokiti, and I am the Founder of ProductDive. I’m so excited to see ProductDive grow from conception to planning and to the development of building a community of over 4500+ excellent Product Management professionals across different platforms. It’s indeed been one year of global impact.
As a practising Product Manager of over five years, I had learning needs, and there were no schools that had enough context on Africa’s product development nuances. Also, at that time, there were very few product management communities. I strongly believe in communities of practice. I attended a conference in London that talked about the community of practice, and so after the conference, I knew ProductDive was going to build a strong product management community.
Before launching ProductDive, I got frequently asked questions from Product Managers on how they could become better PMs. Many of these questions validated people needing a learning resource centre that helps them become better skilled for their product roles. As a PM, I could immediately see ProductDive had a product-market fit.
What was the vision and why?
ProductDive’s vision is to become the best learning platform for practising and aspiring product managers who want to become outstanding in Africa and beyond. Our goal is to empower product managers with the right skill sets that enable them to build ground-breaking products for billions of users.
We want any product manager who passes through ProductDive to be empowered with the skill set that positions them for global opportunities in product management. No matter where you are in your product management journey (starter, medium and mastery), we want to be your one-stop-shop for all your PM learning needs. And doing this requires that we build a strong and engaging community while consistently delivering quality hands-on experiential learning resources.
What were the initial struggles and challenges?
There were no struggles at the beginning, but I would recall I had anxieties. My anxieties were around the pricing. Even though I had carried out market research, I wanted people to feel they were getting value for the fee. In as much as we wanted a low price, we also wanted to bring onboard the best instructors to deliver top-notch training. ProductDive’s focus is on quality and not quantity. And now the good thing is every professional has rated our school five stars.
What has been the successes + highlights?
We’ve had many successes!
1. The first for me was finding and working with the right team that continually believes in ProductDive’s vision. Glad to have my team members in my corner.
2. Successful launch of ProductDive in Sept 2019. We had over 100 people attend our first event and before the end of the event we already had people pay for the first product management training 🎉
3. Successfully launched our first cohort, November 2019 with 35 students.
4. Successfully launched ProductDive physical career fair to recruit ProductDive students where companies such as Sterling Bank, Riby Finance, Haptics and Babban Gona signed up.
5. Building an engaged product management community of over 5000+ across different platforms.
6. Successfully pivoted from a 100% physical training school to a 100% virtual one.
7. Only product school in Africa to partner with Efina to launch Ideathon and Hackathon for ProductDive community members with a winning price of 3 million Naira.
8. Only product management school in Africa to partner with AIPMM (The Association of International Product Marketing and Management) to issue the globally recognised Certified Product Manager certification to product managers.
9. Awarded several scholarships to students to take the product management course for free.
10. Partnered with Covenant University’s Hebron Centre to provide product management training to her students.
11. Boasts of 140+ Alumni of our Product Management School.
12. Have a 100% pass rate for all students who sat for the AIPMM exam.
13. Hosted several global webinars with guests like Gibson Biddle (ex. Netflix) and Janna Bastow (of ProdPad).
What were the effects of Covid-19 on the Enterprise?
Before Covid-19, ProductDive was a 100% physical training school. And, when it was required that we all stayed home, ProductDive made the big move to becoming 100% virtual.
The interesting thing is Covid-19 positively impacted ProductDive. We attracted students from the UK, Canada, Ghana and different states in Nigeria. This gives us the opportunity to impact more professionals and grow our community.
ProductDive’s growth has been tremendous from our first cohort in November 2019 till date. We’ve trained 178 professionals and we are so proud of the great exploits of ProductDive Alumni.
A big shout out to the ProductDive team – Grace Samuel and Chiagozie Ume-Ezeoke, ProductDive Alumni, and all our Community Organisers for the efforts put into making ProductDive a success in the last one year. It’s our win. 🎊
Cheers to breaking more boundaries! 🥂