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Shruti Keerti is a product leader who specializes in unlocking growth mechanics for consumer products. She has successfully taken new products to market & led diverse international teams in US, Germany & India.

At Mu Sigma, Sequoia backed $1B data startup, she launched data-driven growth & engagement products for fortune 500 companies in the financial services and technology space. Shruti then joined PayPal to unlock growth in markets like Brazil & Mexico where she focused on driving activations and engagement for new users driving up adoption rates by 30% YoY. She subsequently ran the consumer product team at eBay's auto classifieds site in Germany to focus on monetization.

Most recently, Shruti runs the Growth Product team at Udacity. Udacity is an online learning platform offering groundbreaking education in fields such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, virtual reality, and more.

Shruti is passionate about the intersection of entrepreneurship & social equity. As a winner of Startup Weekend Education in 2015, she worked with schools in Oakland, CA to bring new sources of funding from community partners. She has worked with progressive K-12 schools in Hawaii and New Zealand to bring Google Apps for Education to K-12 education. She supports Central Square Foundation and Parivaar on their mission to expand access to education in India.

ps.: She is hiring a Growth Product Manager for her team in Mountain View/San Francisco. Apply to the job posting or reach out to her on Linkedin or the Women in Product community.

  • MH

    Marni Hale

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Shruti, which channels do you find deliver the highest quality lead? Thanks.

    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      Hi Marni, Quality of leads is highly variable depending on the business and users you are trying to acquire. At PayPal, we found that while the initial growth came from referrals, the subsequent growth came from eBay users. Following that recipe, we went after all the top eCommerce sites and incremental growth came from them.
      At eBay classifieds, we found SEO to be an important channel for getting high quality leads however email & notifications played an important role in bringing back users to our site and convert them.

      3 Share
  • SB

    Sair Buckle

    about 1 year ago #

    Do you see growth as the intersection between digital marketing and product predominately driven by data?
    How does a product manager in retention move into growth?

    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      I believe Growth is a cross company effort. It tends to heavily involve data, product, marketing and technology but can’t be successful without involving other aspects of the business that are critical to delivering your product experience for users like support, community or sales. I highly recommend this talk for people in product who are interested in the Growth space: Increasing Overlap of Product & Growth by Sean Ellis

      3 Share
    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      Retention & Engagement drives Acquisition and Monetization — not the other way around. So as a PM working on Retention, I think you are already in a great place to drive growth. Products have to retain and engage people, otherwise, growth can’t be self sustaining. I believe the best way to move into something new is by finding opportunities to learn from your current role. You can start systematically breaking down retention into activation, engagement, referral, reactivation etc and find opportunities to improve these metrics. These would be great examples to talk about when you decided to move into a growth role. It's an exciting space to be in!

      3 Share
  • NH

    Nancy Hensley

    about 1 year ago #

    So cool to see you on an AMA! Here is my question.... if there one one growth hack or accelerator that you think really made a difference for Udacity- what was it? Also curious about your successful strategies in raising adoption rates? Thanks in advance!!!!!!

    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      Hi Nancy, I don't believe there are growth 'hacks' because growth takes deliberate effort. But our biggest accelerator as a company has been developing the Nanodegree program. Udacity launched its first Nanodegree in 2014, and we’ve grown to more than 30 Nanodegree programs today. These self-paced programs are tied to growing tech occupations in data science, artificial intelligence, blockchain, self-driving cars, robotics and virtual reality. Udacity in 2018 has over 50,000 students enrolled in Nanodegree programs at any given time, and over ten million students worldwide who have registered with the site.

      1 Share
    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      Our strategy to drive new user adoption at PayPal in Brazil and Mexico was:
      1. For a new user, we had a first 90 day plan that led users to adopt PayPal as their preferred. We focused on building a trustworthy, secure and intuitive experience that showcased the value of our product.
      2. We found that users adopted PayPal due to safety (keeping their credit card info private), better usability (faster checkout vs entering credit card) and access to PayPal network (sellers across the world accepting PayPal). Our experience reinforced these value props.
      3. Given high interest among local shoppers in BR & MX for buying cross border (better brands, better selection, low prices), we focused on partnering with eCommerce merchants that met the need.

      1 Share
  • DH

    Dani Hart

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Shruti,

    Great to heave you here for an AMA!

    1. Are there any noticeable trends on learning content you've noticed while at Udacity?
    2. What does the growth product team at Udacity work on? Are there any processes in place that you contribute to your success?
    2. If you could tell anyone getting started in growth 3 things, what would they be?

    Looking forward to learning from you!

    Best,
    Dani

    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      1. Trends we're noticing on learning content are primarily being driven by the growing tech skills gap. We see more startups coming into the space which is better for students and employers overall. We see demand in US as well as international markets for more career & application oriented learning content.

      1 Share
    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      2. At Udacity, we are working off a list of growth ideas and ranked them by: possible impact to bookings (students who enroll in our paid Nanodegree programs); our total cost to develop; and our confidence in the experiment. Having a close knit team with aligned metrics is very helpful to drive in the right direction.

      1 Share
  • AB

    Aakansha Bhalotia

    about 1 year ago #

    Great to see WIP members delivering AMA! Would like to know about boosting strategy of retention rate at education orgs like Udacity specifically when it shifted from freemium to the premium model. Also, what factors differentiate the higher enrollment in certain courses from the rest of the lot?

    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      We see very strong product market fit with students on the industry and careers side. As an education product, we focus on up-skilling and re-skilling students to achieve their career goals. We are not a daily/weekly use product like many eCommerce companies. For most students, it is a size-able commitment to take a Nanodegree program. We welcome many people from different backgrounds because we have pathways that will take them from entry-level or intro to programming, all the way to the more advanced self-driving car course at the very extreme. So retention for us is driven by helping students get started and continue on their learning path.

      1 Share
    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      Enrollment in courses is a function of skills in demand and job opportunities available. As the tech skills gap continues to grow, employers are investing into hiring partnerships as well as upskilling their own employees. We also see governments playing a role in many countries to fund scholarships that can expand access to these programs.

      1 Share
  • JS

    Jared Silver

    about 1 year ago #

    Your work with Central Square Foundation and Parivaar is very cool. How do these organizations currently leverage technology in support of their missions? Does either make use of technology-based educational interventions?

  • JS

    Jared Silver

    about 1 year ago #

    In your time at Udacity, what have been some of the most surprising insights you've gathered through your growth process?

  • BM

    Bosky Mukherjee

    about 1 year ago #

    How can a Growth team be structured between product and marketing functions (in baby steps), what metrics cab be defined to measure maturity of growth function, how to evaluate skills/competencies of different roles needed (bare bones) in a growth team? I have just taken over a team consisting of PMs and Marketing in a newly created function called Growth.

    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      I believe Growth teams must be cross functional in nature (including product, marketing, data, design and engineering). All driving towards the same goal. Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) are a useful framework to get cross functional teams aligned around the same goals.

  • MK

    Mariana Klober

    about 1 year ago #

    Hi Shruti!

    Thanks for doing this. It's great to have you here!

    I have a few questions for you:
    1. What was the most exciting thing you learned when working at Paypal's growth in Latin America?
    2. What have been your biggest challenges when leading diverse growth teams?
    3. What is the most exciting thing about your job today? :)

    Thanks again!
    Mari

    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      1. The most exciting learnings from our growth in Latin America were that consumer needs vary significantly by market. The payments, regulation and financial eco system is different. The strategies that worked in US didn't directly apply most times. Leaning on local teams that understand these complexities was a valuable resource to coming up with ideas & prioritizing them.

    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      2. Biggest challenge leading diverse growth teams is bringing a sense of urgency towards growth & experimentation while being led by data. In large companies, there tends to be a risk averse culture which makes experimentation hard. Teams are too worried about failing in their experiments. While in startups, teams are overly optimistic about their ideas while there are limited resources & time.

      1 Share
    • SK

      Shruti Keerti

      about 1 year ago #

      It's exciting to be part of an early stage growth team that is focusing on figuring out our mechanics to acquire users at scale. We are hiring talented folks who are strong problem solvers and experimentation minded. Unlike mature companies like eBay/ PayPal, we don’t have the benefit of large user bases and robust tooling to test every idea we might have. Our challenge is to maximize our ability to test & learn while building the team, data, tooling in the process. (ps- I’m hiring a Senior Growth PM on my team in Mountain View/ San Francisco if this sounds exciting!).

      1 Share

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