Building life changing products, getting the best out of technology and advising the next generation of inventors is what drives Aarti Manwani, one of the lead female figures in the field of product management. The computer engineering graduate has found her passion in building products for the masses with focus on utilizing AI and technology at large to provide access and disrupting archaic models whether it is financial services or healthcare with companies like E*TRADE Financial, Box, Inc., Gemini Trust Company, Pager Inc. to name a few. Her ascent to the upper ranks of this field is particularly significant given the recognized male-dominated nature of the tech industry.
Her innate curiosity and interest in solving problems backed by a solid technical background have set Aarti apart from the crowd. She started her career in this field when recruited by E*TRADE Financial, the company known to execute the first ever electronic trade, in US. At E*TRADE Financial, Ms. Manwani led the development of a suite of products including Quotes & Research section, one of the most visited section of www.etrade.com, averaging millions of page views/month and handling approximately 25% of the trade traffic.
From there she has swiftly moved form a stable set up to a startup environment at Pager where she worked with an Uber founder to build an AI-driven complex healthcare marketplace with an aim of enabling AI assisted early diagnosis and eventual treatment. When asked if AI is just a buzzword, she explains “It is the ability of AI to swallow huge amounts of data, find valuable patterns and use those patterns to forecast events that makes it a powerful technology. Our focus is on building predictive and prescriptive products that can materially change the world in a positive way,” says Manwani. At Pager she relied heavily on her technical knowledge and her product management experience to lead both engineers and product designers to build modern healthcare services for the 21st century.
Today Manwani, has deep dived into the universe of AI/ML, and through incubator programs that have invited her to join as a mentor, she guides and works closely with a selective set of founders helping them build the next wave of AI enabled products validating ideas, building and leading teams and helping set new companies on their way to success. Her recognized leadership and expertise in the industry also means that Manwani is often sought out to help the next generation of product leaders and technologists grow their business, and she regularly participates as a judge for hackathons and high stakes competitions such as Blue Print Health, Angel Hack, and the Invention factory at Syracuse University to name a few.
Her portfolio has grown to include companies focused on Finance, Healthtech, marketplaces and AI empowered services. With laser focus on growth & customer acquisition, Manwani aims to build products that delight. She credits a lot of her success to her set of mentors and to having a good understating of the technology. “It helps to communicate, validate and challenge the ideas in an efficient way” she says “Similarly on the engineering side, beyond the core technical skills it’s important to have the ability to break down problems and have the ability to solve a range of problems.”
She thrives in highly dynamic environments with creative teams that let her leadership skills shine. Efficiency and on time delivery are places where she makes a difference and she moves with ease between company layers of command being able to relate at different levels and get things done with the best possible outcome never losing sight of the timelines. It’s often a trait disregarded in her role but she was quick to recognise it as a valuable asset one which has helped her career quickly advance acquiring a complex set of clients and develop her role beyond the core competencies.
She currently works with organizations such as Blue Print Health and Parallel 18 advising on strategic matters, business models, and helping connect them to key ecosystem players and challenge the assumptions.
Although this is a fairly new field that requires a complex skill set to succeed Manwani has found a rewarding career and a profound professional satisfaction and she enthusiastically recommends this path to newcomers or those looking for more hands on challenging roles. She strongly believes in the next decade the tech scene will look completely different and is ready to work towards that future by mentoring the next generation in tech.