India’s tech companies have a new superstar—the mighty product manager that has eclipsed almost every other role. The gold rush for hiring them, says Harshal Sanghavi, a product manager with the Future Group, was inevitable. 

The growth spurt of the product manager (PM), he estimates, is about five years old. It mirrors the rise of startups that have turned everything—from food delivery to dog-walking—into a product. “India’s IT firms have traditionally been about services. Building consumer products is a completely different ball game,” says Sanghavi.

The role first originated in Silicon Valley, where product companies like Google emerged in the 2000s.