Some lessons I learned through this process is that sometimes the tides may go against you. It’s important to learn to pivot and adapt.
Despite facing challenges with finding a job early in his career, Deepesh Mohandas remained resilient and explored new heights in his journey. Now working as VP of Product Management at Equifax to even redeeming points from a reward program at work for his wedding proposal, Deepesh’s story is an inspiring one.
Deepesh also shared his musical talents and what it’s like working in Product Management at Equifax.
Have you experienced any challenges in your career journey?
I faced a really difficult job market right when I graduated from university. I had to leave the US as a result of that and return to my hometown, Dubai, only to find that there were no jobs there either as the liquidity crunch hit the market. I would have applied to 300+ roles and got 5 or so interviews with no job offers. I decided to pursue a masters in finance in Toronto, Canada at that point. Despite doing my masters, I was still unable to find any roles in my field.
It forced me to look outside my comfort zone. I got a job at a tech company, which I thought at the time would just be a temporary job to gain experience, only to realize later that I not only enjoyed it, but was also good at it, and that it would pave the way for many success stories for the rest of my career.
Some lessons I learned through this process is that sometimes the tides may go against you. It’s important to learn to pivot and adapt. This has been subconsciously ingrained in my upbringing since the 1990s. My family was in Kuwait and my father had a very successful business there where he lost everything as a result of the Iraq and Kuwait war. At a time when most people wouldn’t have known how to deal with that sort of devastation as a result of losing everything and having your family displaced geographically, my father had the courage to restart in a completely different line of business bootstrapping his way back up and setting up yet another successful business that helped raise my sister and I.
It’s shown me that there are things you can control and things you cannot control, but you have to show up at your best every single day no matter what the situation is, and I advise my team to do the best on what we can control, and not worry about things that are outside our control.
What differentiates working in Product Management at Equifax compared to other companies and/or other industries?
Working in product management at Equifax is an amazing experience compared to a lot of other similar enterprise organizations. First of all, there are so many different types of product management roles at Equifax:
- There’s platform product management (which is how we create capabilities that will be used by new products),
- there’s in-region or business unit product management (which is how you create products that will lead to revenue enablement),
- and there’s technical product management and the product owner disciple as well.
What I enjoy the most is having a mix of platforms and products, in particular, is that I get to work on enabling value for so many different countries around the globe, and working with teams from all over.
Another big aspect that differentiates Equifax is that we have shifted to a product led culture in the last few years. A lot of other similar companies have all their regional teams aligned in hierarchy, but still operate in silos, launching custom products, often duplicating effort. Once we completed our transformation to the cloud, Equifax has had a strong product mindset with tighter alignment between corporate and regional product teams, launching global products, driving faster innovation compared to before.
So if you’re working on a platform, you are tasked with solving the challenge of how to deliver capabilities that will lead to more top line growth or reduce cost, and if you’re working on a product in a region, you get to truly focus on solving the market needs and innovation.
What do you enjoy most about the culture at Equifax?
From a work culture perspective, I love that you’re empowered to make decisions in your area of responsibility. I remember when I joined the organization as an intermediate level product manager at Equifax Canada, I had to present a business case to the Canadian leadership team and the global CFO of the organization within my second month. It’s a breath of fresh air when you join an organization this large with over 13,000 employees and still get to interact with senior leadership.
From a social aspect, I love that Equifax does so many cultural events for different festivals. I especially enjoy the Diwali event that is put up every year where there’s involvement of people from all backgrounds, not just Indian.
Over the years, I have also developed strong bonds with many of my coworkers whom I call friends and it includes people from the US, UK, Canada and South America.
Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy?
I play 4 instruments and sing as well. When I’m not working, you can find me creating end-to-end covers of my favorite rock songs during the weekends from time to time. It is a very time consuming process but it gives me pleasure in re-creating something from scratch with my own twist to it that I share with my family and friends, who make requests every now and then.
Learn more about available opportunities at Equifax.