5 Questions to Markus Eriksson, Business Developer at Sandvik Coromant

Markus is currently a business developer with Digital Machining at Sandvik Coromant. Looking at his Linkedin profile, one might not spot the title of ‘Product Manager’, but he possesses several characteristics of a product manager that he portrays in different roles. During the last 10 years he has been engaged in the evolution of IOT in connected services within both Scania and Sandvik Coromant. On The Product Leadership Day, he will be talking about where he started to grow business a year ago after going from 250 000 connected trucks to 0 connected tools. A casual conversation with Markus to know him better.

Product Managers often have varied backgrounds before becoming a Product Manager. How did you get into Product Management?

My title has never been a product manager but I have been acting as a product manager many times during my career. I started twenty years ago as a User Interface Designer, so, very early I had a usage perspective. And over period of time I have been expanding my perspectives into the entrepreneurial spirit I am today. My official title today is Business Development manager, I am not developing products I am developing businesses around connectivity and product-as-a-service. But in my world, the product is a big part of the business. Product management has been a big part of what I do.

People often help along the way, has there been somebody that really helped you and how?

Usually you find them in your colleagues. I had a mentor who was really good and he never told me what to do, he only gave me riddles that I had to solve by myself.

He taught me how to handle the management structures and how to work through others. Because if you want to achieve something in a large corporation, then you have to work through others. You have to take a step back, and give room to others, utilise their expertise and creativity. Especially when it comes to finding new ideas and building a solution. You don’t think of yourself as the genius but more as a catalyst that brings people together and that and their collective minds.

You say you are an entrepreneur, however you are working in a large corporation. Why not go down the start-up route instead?

During my last years as a consultant, I was running my own business. We were 2 people in the firm and I was taking care of all the positions. I was the manager, the accountant, the salesman, the legal. I had all the hats that you can have within a firm. And being 2 people, you don’t have the global reach or endless resources compared to larger firms. To me, working within the framework of the company of bigger organization gives me a lot of room to be an entrepreneur, at the same time it is an environment also gives room for being a father to three kids. So, I guess the answer is that I also seek balance.

How do you do Product management? What's your “secret sauce”?

There are many secrets, but I would say utilize the strength of your surrounding and you don’t have to solve everything by yourself. Keep room for your colleagues, customers and partners, invite them into the conversation.

There’s a lot happening in the area of Product Management. What do you see as the most exciting development for Product Management?

The ones who knows best what the product should be are the users of the product. Here I see a development where then customers overtime will get better and better possibilities to create their own products.

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About Sneha Barman

Background in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Product Management. My professional roles have ranged from a design engineer, product development engineer and product manager where I primarily worked on commercial products to make it market ready. I am constantly curious and intrigued by technological advancements in all areas and the impact it has in the world and our lives. It’s a good era for me to be in!

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