This week on Behind the Scenes we're talking to Florence product manager Shaan Mangat.
Shaan did a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics; very different to working at a tech start up! Read on to find out more about his journey to becoming a product manager...
Who are you and what do you do at Florence?
I’m Shaan, I’m the product manager for the care home experience side of things at Florence. My team is focussed on everything care homes see and experience. My role is looking at how we can help users solve their problems in order to deliver a great quality of care.
A big part of my day-to-day is working with our team on what we’re building, which consists of a lot of collaboration with design, engineering and developers. Another big part of my job is talking with our care homes to understand their pain points and make sure they are happy with the Florence experience.
I probably speak to five to seven clients a week to get feedback on things we can improve. If we’re testing new features I work with them, especially if they’ve said they are experiencing the problem we are trying to solve. I also work closely with our operations and sales teams.
What made you want to join Florence?
I’ve been working in product within tech for a few years. I’ve worked at some different places; from small startups toa bank and to a newer tech company, ‘UNiDAYS’. I think I’ve got quite a breadth of experience in the industry.
What I wanted for my next role was to tackle a real problem that is being faced within society today. I follow current affairs closely and my degree was focussed on PPE, so I think addressing a genuine problem with technology was something I was drawn to.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
I think ‘don’t be afraid to make mistakes’ in everything you do. When you do make mistakes, learn quickly.
I guess there’s an agile practice of ‘fail fast’ which I think the tech team at Florence operates on quite heavily. We move at pace, we’re willing to fail fast. If something’s not working we work to understand why and then iterate.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Florence?
I think that ties back to my previous point. We operate at a really solid pace and our output is both high and of great quality - it’s a very good environment to be in for that reason.
I enjoy places where you have a good quality output whilst having a good initiative. Especially in tech you can get caught up in building things for months and not giving your users and value at any point. I think we’re really good at shipping things to users multiple times a week and fixing problems as they come and when.
We’re proactive but also reactive with any issues. If something needs to be fixed, we’ll fix it quickly.
What’s the biggest challenge Florence is facing at the moment?
As we scale, it’ll be the operational side. We’ll need to bring people in to help us run things and grow but we’ll also need to keep up that pace that I mentioned earlier.
We need to make sure that they’re onboarded well for that to occur.
What’s a fun fact about you that might surprise us?
At university I studied something that wasn’t exactly relevant to the technology sector. Halfway through my degree, a few mates and I started up a project which consisted of a mobile app where you could monitor club queues and ticket availability in our university area.
There was a big problem within the student community of excess queuing in Exeter. The BBC wrote an article about it which was a pretty crazy experience! I guess that was my entry to startups and tech.
What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking about joining Florence?
I would say definitely get involved. I think it could seem like a massive problem we’re solving and maybe people could be a bit daunted by the fact of what we’re trying to do. But I would say jump in and get involved!
Where do you see Florence in five years?
Within the UK I see Florence being used in every care home in some capacity to solve problems that we help with; whether that be filling vacant shifts with permanent workers or flexible workers, Florence Academy or Rota.
Internationally I guess we’ll be at the point we are now in the UK in the countries we’re expanding to. We'll be filling shifts in lots of other places!
Think Florence sounds like the place for you? Check out our available roles here.
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