My name is Piyapong Kuhwan, currently a Product Owner at Thai Pet Industrial Company Limited. I have two bachelor degrees; one in Electrical and Electronic engineering and another one in Computer engineering. Previously I was a veteran game development team leader who was inspired to utilize a combination of creativity and programming skills to craft applications, before shifting from the gaming industry to packaging industry.
Journey in becoming a Product Owner, From the Gaming Industry to Thai Pet Industrial.
As mentioned, I worked in the gaming industry for more than 15 years, ranging from website games to mobile and NFT. I have gained a lot of experience and skills in the development of 3D as well as 2D space. With the opportunity to apply my skills to other industries, I have decided to join Thai Pet Industrial. Personally, I feel like the visions and missions of Thai Pet are very innovative and I truly believe that they will help Thailand in becoming a significant part in the global food and beverages value chain in the future. Currently, I am leading and the Product owner of Thai Pet’s CUBIC Platform.
One of the world’s largest exporters of processed agricultural products globally, the company aspires to help agricultural processors to preserve fine quality of food and beverage products to the world through the high-quality and hygienic rigid plastics packaging. The CUBIC platform will empower users to become more creative in their designing and developing of their food/ beverage packaging.
Any Industrial Insights you want to share?
In my perspective, there won’t be any big and fast changes in terms of the plastics industry or the technology directly working with these materials. However, it will be the trends of the demand that will significantly change. What kind of materials (plastic) people will be wanting the consumer. For example, plastic that is degradable in a quick manner or plastic that is stronger.
Fast moving technology
For technology like our CUBIC platform, it will definitely move along with the worlds’ technology updates. But it is very hard to see a clear picture even within the five years because it does move fast. One upcoming technology trend that we see a lot is the Metaverse. People are saying it will happen in five years but actually it might even happen in a year to come; technology is just that fast and unpredictable.
An advice on this is that we can start ‘now’. In our perspective as an organization as well as a product owner, we can start researching about the virtual world, planning our business model in that, finding human resources that will be directly connected and predict how we can be flexible and adapt when the changes come.
“In the 5 years to come, we might not know what we will be growing into. But we will have to prepare ourselves to follow that change”
What skills are needed for this industry
Other than being a programmer, I am also a lead. As a lead, I will also have to look after the members. It is important that I understand the tasks inside out before handing them over to my team.This will help you on how you evaluate which job will be for which member since we have to know what will fit their capabilities. The progress will move forward faster this way.
The reason is that if the resource allocation is wrong from not understanding the work, the work will come out wrong, timeline changed, budget changes and the progress halts.
“Product Owner vs Project Manager”
Project managers might be waterfall-based working where task A flows to task B and on. If problems are spotted at a point, they might have to go back to the start to scan the issues. But Product owners, we work with agile tactics where every project runs at the same time. This requires effective communication skills, knowing how to communicate with all parties at the same time to keep running smoothly.
Any final advice for the juniors wanting to join or to become a product owner
“Do not stop learning about new technologies. Try to always catch up because it will move faster than you think”
In relation to the question “Do juniors who are interested in joining this industry, aspiring to become a Technology Product Owner or join Thai Pet Industrial specifically, have to know the new technology that will be introduced soon?
My answer would be ‘Yes’. Honestly, knowledge from schools or past work experiences will not be as valuable as the new knowledge gained recently. This is because the world has moved on really far in a very short period of time. The things I have learnt in the lectures 20 years ago will not be valid now. However, I am not saying they are not important. They will have to be there as a basic domain expertise but we will have to keep adapting it to the new trends that are never ending.
“Sometimes, juniors may have more chances of giving a better contribution to the team due to their freshness in the way they think and the ongoing trends that they know.”