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“I knew I could solve people’s problems and provide value” Interview with Olaide Olaniyi, Product Manager at Sage.

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Olaide Olaniyi is a Product Manager currently working at Sage. With his expansive knowledge in product management, he thrives on creating sustainable solutions to make an impact towards sustainable development goals (SDG).

Please tell us more about yourself.

My name is Olaide Olaniyi, and I am a product manager. I currently work at Sage. I am a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria, with a degree in Geography. I did my post-graduate diploma at Ajayi Crowther University. I work and live in work Manchester Area, United Kingdom.

I started my career at Visacover as a product manager. I always thought I would be a recruiter or a human resource manager, so I put my energy and training into that, but after a few interviews, I realized I wasn’t cut out for it. I needed money as a graduate, as no one would take care of you after school, so I Interviewed as a Telesales at Visacover.
They felt I was most suitable for the product role, rather than in telesales.

However, tech is quite broad, we have the back-end developer, and front-end developer, who handles what you see while using software, a product marketing manager, UX researchers, product designers, UX writers, Content/copywriters, tech writers, quality assurance engineers, etc.

The core people when building software are the developers, designers, quality assurance engineers in testing to make sure that the software is useable and meets quality standards as well, and maybe a product manager. Let’s not forget the non-technical roles, from a business analyst to a product owner, product manager, project manager, scrum master, content writer, marketing manager, sales manager, social media manager, and many more. They all put in the work to make a product successful.

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What do you do as a product manager?

My role as a product manager has evolved over time. At Sage, there are a lot of product managers. I have had to wear different hats at different companies. Currently, I manage a part of the products at Sage. It’s a big company, so there are a lot of products. At Sage, product management is quite different because you own the success of your products by building from scratch while liaising with different teams to get what you need.

I own the roadmap and product vision for my area. I have my section of the product. On a day to day, I run competitive analysis, check the data, do research, talk to customers, work with the user experience team, work with developers to create new features or products in the market, understand new market research, and liaise with product marketing to know the risk, opportunity, and threat.

What inspired you to be a product manager?

I will say this. I stumbled on product design. I have always wanted to do UX design, but I was given a task that needed me to write codes. I didn’t have a laptop to do the task, but my friend had to lend me his. I had so many friends who were software developers, and they inspired me. I got a task to build a blog, and I struggled with it, but I knew it would be more management than writing codes. When I got to product management, I knew I could solve people’s problems and provide value. That inspired me to be a product manager regardless of the stress that comes with it.

What are some of the impacts that you’ve made either through Sage or personally towards SDG?

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Well, I worked as a volunteer when I was in Nigeria, even right now. Some part of the SDG is to eradicate poverty and provide clean water, clothing, and quality education funds. When I was in Nigeria, every Christmas day, we went to some parts of Lagos and provided them with food and clothing and gave them back-to-school packs to promote education. We are looking to provide water to those communities and improve the quality of life.

At Sage, we have five (5) volunteer days to volunteer with any organization. I have done a lot of volunteering in education, planting trees, and so many more. Currently, I don’t have any software products that will contribute to the SDG, but that is my goal.

Apart from being focused on software development and managing a product, do you have any fields in tech you would like to explore?

Interestingly, I have had to think about that recently. Professionally, I would want to contribute or consult in tech, either as a product strategist or in digital business transformation, because they are best suited to my person and where I am currently as a product manager. If I want to explore more, then maybe, just maybe, it would be product design.

Are there any upcoming developments or prospects we can expect from you or Sage?

At Sage, we just launched a product a few weeks back. We are looking to build on that and improve it. I can’t give details about them now.

I have plans to build my products. While that is still in the works, I am more concerned with building products that solve people’s problems and move on to another. I am currently working on a newsletter to help those who are looking to become product managers or are product managers to become the best version of themselves and achieve their goals.

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Are you open to any available opportunities for partnerships from private partners?

I am open to partnering with private partners to build meaningful solutions where I know there are gaps.

For partnerships, interested parties can reach out directly to Olaide Olaniyi via email to discuss the best next steps.

Find out more about Olaide Olaniyi on LinkedIn.