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Whistle-stop Wednesdays: Life as a Principal Product Manager at Admiral Pioneer

Meet Daniel, the Principal Product Manager in Veygo, Admiral Pioneer. After a decade in the Contact Centre, he decided he wanted to have a bigger impact earlier on in the product journey, which is exactly what he’s doing now.

Read on to hear his story.

What’s your current role within Admiral Pioneer?

I’m a Principal Product Manager, which essentially means I take responsibility and accountability for any products or services that are being distributed to customers from Admiral Pioneer. Now, I work for Veygo, where we look to support customers with their everyday mobility needs. The heart of my role is understanding how customers live their lives – what problems are important to them, how they make decisions and what matters most – and try and translate that into opportunities to create beneficial products for them. We want to play a part in our customers’ lives. I suppose success in my role looks like building a product or service that is distributed to customers, delivers great value to them, and allows us to maximise on the opportunity. To get from the start to the finish, it’s a process of research – understanding our customers and the market, finding the product, utilising it well and understanding how staff members can service the product and how partners can help us manage it. It’s a real pick and mix – we need Marketing, Pricing, Engineering, and Data Capabilities to come together to create a great product.

What got you into Product Management?

I’ve been on a journey within Admiral to get here. I started here 13 years ago, when I was 17 and fresh out of school. My friend told me about the job, so we both applied, and I got it, not him! I did nine years in customer facing roles, on the phones, as a Team Manager, as an Operations Manager and eventually I ran my own function. Working in such a large Contact Centre meant I was able to support customers, manage teams and develop a passion for helping people develop their careers. However, I wanted to have a bigger impact. I saw first-hand how customers used products and services, and I wanted to improve them, but I was at the wrong end of the delivery chain. An opportunity arose for me to join Veygo, and initially I ran customer operations. I had a chance to get involved with the products, building something from nothing, and I jumped at it.

What is your favourite thing about your role?

There is no ceiling in Admiral Pioneer and I love that. We can do anything, within our strategy and vision of course. We can use Admiral’s core capabilities to spot opportunities to service more customers across more products than we do today – and so the sky is the limit.

Secondly, I get the chance to see my work come to life. What I put blood, sweat and tears into every single day eventually ends up in the hands of lots of customers. When it goes right, it’s incredibly rewarding.

How would you describe the culture at Admiral Pioneer?

We say it a lot around here but it’s the best of both worlds. Admiral Group is an amazing castle. It’s such a strong business, with plenty of customers, strong products, it’s a great place to work – overall a phenomenal result. Admiral Pioneer is a centre of creativity, innovation, big go-get-it opportunities within that. We can create, innovate and move quickly at Admiral Pioneer, but we’re also able to use all the secret ingredients of Admiral. Most start-ups don’t have that kind of support.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced at Admiral Pioneer?

Taking the shackles off people. Here, you are encouraged to be as creative as you can, move as quickly as you can, and make the most of all the support that you can. I encourage my team to go and get it – dream big, move fast, no idea is off the table. It’s harder than you think for people to adjust to that.

What is the best piece of advice you have?

Dream big, and work on things you’re most passionate about. Make the most of all the support and tools you have around you. If your dreams aren’t big enough, you will fail, so be bold. There is such a wealth of talent and skills across Admiral Group and Admiral Pioneer that can help you turn those dreams into a reality.

Who is the Admiral Pioneer fit?

Someone who is ambitious and wants a progressive career, with more responsibility. Being passionate about customers is also key. We care deeply about how businesses can impact people’s lives, and we want to challenge the status quo and ask whether things can be done differently. Being a good team worker is also key - nothing at Admiral Pioneer happens because of only one person– it’s a team that works well together and really cares about getting it done.

What are you most excited about within Admiral Pioneer?

I think of Admiral Pioneer as being a toddler within Admiral Group. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it matures – we have a strong customer base, different ways of working, happy customers, great products and lots of opportunities for staff to get involved. We’re seeing that growth already, and that is very exciting.

What is different about your role at Admiral Pioneer?

I think the support structure is exceptional. Admiral Pioneer is a hub of experienced, knowledgeable people that use their skills and talent to support those around them to do big things. In another business, I don’t think that would be the case. We have a network of people who have been there and done it, and can talk through vision, shape strategy, and solve problems. It feels secure and comfortable, and I work more efficiently.

What would you tell your younger self?

Think about what you want people to say on your retirement day. Think long and hard about it – and write it down – in your wallet, on your PC screen, on the wall. Live and breathe those goals every-day. Build up a strong reputation as quick as you can, and Admiral is flooded with opportunities for you to grab hold of.

 

Have a look at our current vacancies in Admiral Pioneer!


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