Rajesh Nerlikar is a startup product advisor who brings to companies product management best practices from over 10 years in the role, including experience from 3 startup acquisitions. He helps companies craft a compelling vision and strategy to realize it, incorporate behavioral science into designs, prioritize the right things at the right time, define the right Agile product development processes, conduct customer discovery interviews and hire rockstar product people.
Rajesh started his career as a software engineer in Accenture’s government consulting practice, where he transitioned into a business analyst role to help health and human services agencies better serve their citizens. After getting his MBA, Rajesh started his own company to encourage residential energy efficiency through social media. Using that experience, he joined Opower as a Product Manager, where he improved the user experience of their core Home Energy Reports product while increasing operational margins as the company prepared to go public. From there, he joined HelloWallet as their Senior Product Manager, where he managed the core Financial Wellness product and launched a new retirement planning product to better help employees reach their financial goals. After HelloWallet was acquired by Morningstar, he was asked to move to Chicago to become the Director of Workplace Products, where he managed a cross-functional team of 17 and a $40 million dollar product portfolio that included 2 robo-advisor platforms offered to employees through their employer’s retirement plans. After moving to Austin in 2017, Rajesh joined Foster Innovation as a partner, reconnecting with the former VP of Product and Design at Opower, Ben Foster.
Rajesh lives in Austin with his wife, two sons and dog. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA in Consumer Marketing and Entrepreneurship from The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.