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Debsoumo Das

Debsoumo Das: Architecting Digital Experiences

Fostering Innovation in B2C Products for Health, Wellness and Beyond!

Can technology redefine how we experience health and wellness? Debsoumo Das, the Chief Product Officer at Urban, believes so. With over 9 years of expertise in B2C digital products, his journey from consulting at KPMG to leading product management in health and wellness showcases the transformative power of innovation. In an era where the role of a product manager was still nascent in India’s tech scene, he ventured into the uncharted, enhancing user experiences on digital platforms.

His journey began with enhancing user experiences at KPMG, pioneering in a field where the role of a product manager was a rarity. The allure, he explains, lies in understanding user behavior, a journey that started with consulting but has now evolved into the realm of health and wellness at Urban.

Debsoumo’s career transitioned into building B2C digital products with a focus on marketplaces, taking him across competitive markets worldwide. From the UK to the Middle East and back to India, he has contributed to various facets of the product life cycle, from discovery to market fit, growth, performance optimization, and ensuring exceptional user experiences.

His motivation stems from the ever-evolving nature of the industry and the opportunity to impact lives through innovative digital solutions. Whether fostering engagement, implementing conversion rate optimization strategies, or navigating challenging markets, his experiences have fueled his passion for creating meaningful products on a global scale.

In a world increasingly shaped by digital experiences, Debsoumo stands at the forefront, demonstrating how the fusion of expertise, passion, and innovation can indeed reshape our daily lives and well-being through the products we interact with.

Dive into the wisdom shared by Mr. Das – a transformative leader who personifies the relentless pursuit of excellence in the dynamic landscape of digital product management.

Can you please brief us about Urban and its inception story?

Urban started back in 2014 as a massage-at-home service, a concept born out of the desire to streamline the process of booking wellness treatments online. But what started as a way to book treatments online has become much more. Today, stands as the #1 wellness platform in Europe, offering a diverse array of treatments, including massage, wellness, beauty services, drips, diagnostics, and more. Our footprint extends across major UK cities such as London, Birmingham, and Manchester, and we’ve even ventured into Paris, France. Backed by prestigious VCs, we’re proud to have built a network of over 4,000 freelance therapists. These professionals undergo thorough training and vetting, delivering over 20,000 hours of treatments per month, and this number is on a significant upward trajectory.

At the core of Urban is our novel booking system. Customers simply enter their location postcode, select a treatment—this filters the therapist based on their qualifications—specify treatment duration, and voila – they receive a list of available times. What sets us apart is the real-time calculation of therapist arrival times based on their chosen mode of transport.

The journey from a massage-at-home service to Europe’s premier wellness platform has been incredibly rewarding, and we’re excited about the continued growth and impact Urban is making in the realm of at-home wellness services.

Highlight a significant project or achievement from your time at Deliveroo, Careem, or Uber in product management.

An achievement that I’m particularly proud of is leading the development of High-Density Locations (HDLs) during my tenure at Careem in the Middle East. HDLs represent complex mega-structures like airports and mega-malls, where traditional ride-hailing experiences face challenges for both riders and drivers. Recognizing the untapped potential and revenue in these locations, I initiated a comprehensive business model from scratch.

The journey began with extensive research in key markets, understanding local dynamics, customer pain points, and business landscapes. I presented a compelling business case and value proposition, gaining leadership buy-in and support. Leading the product exploration, I collaborated with cross-functional teams to build features that enhanced the HDL experience for both riders and drivers.

The unique solution allowed for flexible ride initiation for customers and a virtual queue system for drivers. Notably, it catered to non-smartphone users and those without a data connection, a groundbreaking feature in the industry. This initiative quickly scaled across airports, mega-malls, and business parks in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, contributing significantly to the region’s rapid growth for Careem.

How has your consulting experience at KPMG influenced your approach to product management and customer satisfaction?

During my tenure at KPMG, I worked with the customer experience team, collaborating with clients to enhance their users’ digital journey. Notably, one of our significant projects involved India’s largest cinema chain, comprising over 1700 screens nationwide. Delving deep into understanding their customers and their behaviors—both on and off the platform—we immersed ourselves in their experiences through extensive customer journey mapping.

This skill of customer journey mapping has profoundly shaped my approach to product management. By comprehensively understanding users and empathizing with their challenges, I’ve cultivated a mindset that seeks innovative solutions. It’s about stepping into the users’ shoes, observing their behaviors, and anticipating their needs at every step. This deep understanding becomes the foundation for effective problem-solving and customer satisfaction in the area of product management.

In your role at Deliveroo, how did you understand user intent and enhance the customer search experience?

Enhancing the customer search experience has always been our guiding star, considering that over 40% of Deliveroo sessions engage with the search function. To create a differentiated experience and spur further growth, understanding user intent became crucial.

Our approach involved an in-depth analysis of qualitative data collected by primary research teams. This qualitative insight helped us formulate hypotheses, which we rigorously validated through effective A/B testing using quantitative data. Our research revealed that users employ the search function for both navigational and discovery purposes.

While at Uber, what challenges did you face in supply engagement and retention, and what innovative solutions did you implement?

One of the primary challenges I tackled at Uber was the intricate landscape of supply engagement and retention. It involved maintaining robust engagement levels for all stakeholders—drivers, partners, and vehicles—ensuring consistently high supply hours, forecasting attrition, and implementing proactive measures to prevent it.

To address this challenging issue inherent to on-demand marketplaces, I conceptualized and developed India’s first automated supply engagement dashboard. This groundbreaking tool provided vital insights into driver and vehicle engagement levels on the platform. Its unique capabilities allow for identifying churned supply and predicting supply at a higher risk of churn. With this valuable data, we implemented targeted efforts, combining strategic product features with business measures, to retain at-risk customers and win back churned supply. One such initiative was to introduce highly targeted yet attractive incentive programs, fostering continuous engagement without incurring significant costs.

How do you stay updated on industry trends and technologies, and how does continuous learning contribute to your role as Chief Product Officer at Urban?

In my role as Chief Product Officer, shaping the overall product vision and strategy and ensuring that we stay ahead of the value curve are of paramount importance. We operate in the dynamic health and wellbeing industry, but I perceive our position in the larger space of the on-demand marketplace as This broader perspective allows us to draw inspiration from the entire marketplace while focusing on industry-specific needs and competition.

Remaining heavily influenced by the latest trends and technologies is crucial. For instance, we targeted repeat users by leveraging proven marketplace strategies. Introducing innovations like the ‘re-book bar’ streamlined the re-booking process, significantly enhancing the customer experience and boosting adoption and conversion rates. Additionally, we revamped the ‘favoriting’ feature for users to curate a list of preferred therapists.