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Apoorva Babu · February 6, 2020

From an MBA Aspirant to a Gojek Product Manager

How Ashray Sudhir dropped his MBA dream and undertook a journey to become a Product Manager at Gojek

On 27th November 2016 evening, Ashray Sudhir took his 5th mock entrance test. His confidence soared as he saw his test results consistently improve. His goal seemed even closer when he finally got a 96+ percentile. But on December 2nd 2016, he abandoned the dream he had relentlessly pursued for the last 5 years, and decided to join Gojek.


What happened in less than a week?

As a placement coordinator at IITBBS, Ashray had helped set up many pre-placement talks. These tended to happen early in the day or late in the afternoon. Gojek called for the talk late in the night.


He noticed that other companies tended to sell the company and the perks in their presentations. Gojek, on the other hand, talked about the impact of its products and how its code was shaping Indonesia’s digital behaviour patterns. There was something… different, he could feel it in his bones.


“It was not the career that interested me, it was Gojek,” says Ashray. “Gojek was different.”

He decided to give the interview an honest shot.


The first round was an aptitude test that he cleared without breaking a sweat. He was called to take the tech interview the next afternoon which he cruised through. Things got interesting thereafter, when he was told to reach a venue 2 kilometres away in half an hour for his next round. Without batting an eyelid, he ran to the location and spotted the Gojek team.


He walked in expecting to answer a barrage of questions. Instead, the team lightened his mood and asked him to solve puzzles (we’re talking actual puzzles, not the programming kind). The objective, Ashray says, was not to check if he had succeeded in solving the puzzle, but to understand his approach to the problem, and the strategies he used to in attempting to solve it. Members of Gojek’s engineering team worked with him on every step.


Ashray was one of the three hires Gojek made from his batch at IITBBS. His learning deepened when he attended Gojek’s mandatory Bootcamp session for freshers straight out of college. After the intense training, he joined the Platform team as a front-end engineer and worked his way to be an Android lead of the GoChat team.


The experience of working as an engineer changed his perception of a developer. He travelled to Jakarta, met Gojek’s driver partners, merchants, and end-users, and witnessed how the work Gojek does impacts millions of lives.


As an engineer, he was talking to multiple stakeholders, and building architecture to solve critical challenges for Gojek.


He realised he was doing an MBA, just not in a classroom.

Ashray realised he could be even more productive as a Product Manager. But he’d only been at Gojek for one and half years, surely he wouldn’t be able to switch disciplines?


But then, this was Gojek. 🖖

He presented to a panel why he wanted to be a PM and what he could bring to the table.


A month later, he transitioned into his new role as one of Gojek’s youngest PMs.

Today, Ashray is the PM of GoFood’s Novelty team, working with 17 people — a Tech Lead, engineers, product designer, UX writer, BI Analyst, and Researchers. Together, the team continues to explore how they can enhance GoFood’s user experience.


Ashray is a hustler, not the type who can sit still. He’s a pianist and a table tennis player. That’s not it; now he’s also planning to rejoin his theatre troupe to perform. 😲


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