Wednesday, February 09, 2022
What does a typical day in the life of a product developer look like?
A product developer needs to understand consumer needs and in accordance with business objectives, develop the product. At MDLZ India, we are following a strict stage-gate process where at every step consumer testing and validation is required which is a challenging task. A product design should be consumer centric as well as profitable for the business.
As a Senior Scientist at Mondelēz International my typical day is packed with a plethora of activities, such as preparation for meetings, attending ongoing project discussion , project related discussions with regional & global colleagues, connecting with suppliers, making samples in the pilot plant, tasting the produce samples and maintaining the workstations.
Since product development is a long-drawn-out process and requires teams to go back to the drawing board multiples times, it can be challenging and sometimes even frustrating - what has been your biggest learning in this process?
Product Development is an iterative process wherein based on feedback we need to re-develop the product. I would say if the developer understands the brief and has clarity about the consumer behaviour his likelihood of failure can be reduced, so in the very first place we at MDLZ have a robust system to understand consumer behaviours and at each project, stage-gate steps consumer validation is a must. It is part and parcel of the job to redevelop the product but ensure at each iteration all the learnings are getting recorded so in upcoming projects you can avoid those mistakes.
How has MDLZ as an organisation provided comfort/ support during the process?
MDLZ has consumer centricity across spectrums, this concept is thoroughly ingrained in the fabric of the organization. We have Consumer Science and Consumer Insights team that continuously update the R&D community about changing consumer needs and behaviour. We closely keep an eye on country regulations, our competitor activities as well as new evolving science & technologies. I am based out of MDLZ Global Technical Center in Thane, where I have an opportunity to work with the latest equipment and machines for my product and I am working with the best talents of the country
What has been your favourite/ most recent innovation you have been involved in?
I am working as a regional resource and below are some of the recent launches where I have been a part of the core team:
- Tang Reduced Sugar launch in India
- Tang Lychee, Tang Buko-Pandan In Philippines
- Tang Zero Sugar, Tang Lemon Ice Tea in China
Consumers behave differently based on the country they live in and every product need to be locally customized.
What made you want to be in the RDQ space and why specifically MDLZ as an organisation - any childhood memory associated with MDLZ?
I always wanted to do a challenging job; R&D is a field where you need to keep updating yourself constantly. Consumer needs and wants evolve everyday, therefore as a product developer you need to strike a balance between consumer experience and product profitability. I always had a fascination with food factories and with childhood favorite products like Cadbury Chocolate and Bournvita, MDLZ seemed like a natural fit.
What does "magic" mean to you and what's your favourite magic spell (mantra for success)?
No Short Cuts! My Mantra for success has always been hard work and collaboration. When I hear any consumer speaking good about a product I have been personally involved in, the feeling is magical.
What type of projects have you done to help grow your career in different ways at Mondelēz International?
I joined MDLZ Bahrain R&D in 2015 and later in 2018 moved to Global Technical Center in Thane. I can proudly say that I have worked for most of the Tang markets like GCC, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, China & the Philippines. By virtue of my role, I have interacted with consumers across global markets and personally visited countries like the Philippines and China just before the pandemic began. MDLZ provided an opportunity to visit Curitiba Technical Centre, Brazil, and several other trainings to grow my functional expertise.