Alex Covic, Product Manager in Belgrade, Serbia
Alex Covic

Product Manager in Belgrade, Serbia

Member since July 9, 2019
Alex is a business-focused, customer-centric product manager and consultant coming from a startup background. He brings a decade of experience building and scaling international companies, running startup accelerators, and launching new products for traditional organizations. He is experienced in adtech, telco, fintech, eCommerce, consumer apps, and B2B.
Alex is now available for hire

Project Highlights

  • Mapped out a highly-complex workflow for a top 5 global tech company. Formulated a roadmap and action plan for improvement.
  • Consulted a 10,000+ member organization through digital transformation and built 10+ web and mobile products in the process.
  • Led development of a tool that radically improves gathering, processing, and publishing of data on global water consumption.

Expertise

Education

Employment

  • Digital Product and Business Consultant

    2018 - PRESENT
    Untangle Digital
    • Led the development of digital products and services for startups, corporations, and NGOs, supporting them through the entire product lifecycle.
    • Conducted market and user research, discovery, and ideation to discover opportunities for innovation and growth. Designed and facilitated ideation and validation workshops and created and executed product development and go to market strategy.
    • Served as the product owner and manager responsible for translating business and user needs into product features. In charge of wireframing, user stories, and backlog management. Responsible for on-time and budget delivery of projects.
    • Hired and led remote distributed and in-house Agile product development teams (developers, designers, marketers) for client's products.
    • Worked with startups like Scratchy.com, Taboozapp.com, Evoality.com, and corporations and organizations like The International Water Association, Societe Generale Bank, and wbcsd.org.
  • Founder and Chief Product Officer

    2015 - 2019
    Probe & Query
    • Founded a boutique web and mobile design and development agency and grew it from 0 to 15 employees in less than 18 months.
    • Formed and led in-house and distributed multidisciplinary teams of designers, developers, and managers.
    • Served as the chief product officer on products for clients like the World Health Organisation, The International Water Association, and De Watergroep.
  • Program Manager

    2014 - 2016
    ICT Hub
    • Created and delivered ICT Hub's startup acceleration programs.
    • Helped launch 10+ startups through the two 3-month long batches of the acceleration program.
    • Organized and delivered workshops and events that helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and freelancers develop and improve their business, product and go to market strategies.
  • Program Director

    2013 - 2014
    SEE ICT
    • Co-created the curriculum and led batches two and three of the Startit Accelerator, the very first startup accelerator in Serbia.
    • Focused on discovery, product development and fundraising, defining the value proposition and the business model, MVP development and validation.
    • Saw teams that went through the program go on to raise over $5 million in investments and $20 million in revenue since.
    • Accelerator alumni include https://farmia.com/, Drytools (merged with https://alchemy.cloud/) and http://fishingbooker.com/.
  • Innovation Consultant

    2013 - 2013
    Endava
    • Worked with the top management and the R&D department of a leading regional IT Company PSTech (acquired by Endava - NASDAQ:DAVA).
    • Focused on the creation of new products that would diversify the company's business model and encourage internal innovation.
    • Led the discovery, ideation and validation process & defined the business model, product and go to market strategies for future products.
    • Helped establish the company's Internal Innovation Pipeline, a structured process & an internal tool for collecting and validating ideas for new products and services.
    • Conducted a series of internal education workshops to empower employees and foster the innovation culture inside the company.
  • eCommerce Manager

    2012 - 2013
    M San Group
    • Overhauled the growth and acquisition strategy for https://ekupi.rs, the leading eCommerce platform in South East Europe.
    • Increased the number of buyers by 240%.
    • Lowered CAC by 40%.
    • Increased revenue by 60%.
  • Founder

    2009 - 2011
    PopBox
    • Headed all marketing and business development related processes - including initial conception, product development, team management, sales, and marketing - in Serbia's first in-text advertising startup.
    • Fully bootstrapped, built, and launched the product and closed several major local and regional publishers and advertisers.
  • Expansion Manager

    2009 - 2010
    Fortumo
    • Led Fortumo's expansion to several countries in Eastern, South Eastern, and Central Europe.
    • Conducted market and legislation research, service localization, negotiations with infrastructure providers and other key figures in the respective markets.
    • Managed all Fortumo's marketing activities in Southeastern and Central European markets, and took part in Fortumo's global marketing efforts.
  • Country Manager

    2008 - 2008
    Fortumo
    • Established, developed, and managed Fortumo's market entry and presence in Serbia.
    • Conducted market research, service and content localization, user acquisition, PR, marketing, and customer relations.
    • Developed a hugely successful affiliate program that was later expanded globally.

Project History

  • Digital Workflow Optimization
    Mapped out a highly-complex workflow for a top 5 global tech company. Formulated a roadmap and action plan for improvement.

    In early 2020, Alex was asked to analyze and improve a digital publishing workflow centered around communications (email, content creation, and localization) that included a top 5 global tech company and several of their vendors.

    The highly-complex process wasn’t very well documented and included a number of legacy tools and procedures.

    Alex conducted 20+ hours of interviews to map out the workflow, recognize pain points in the process, and gather requirements. Based on those findings, he identified and prioritized the areas of improvement and translated those into:

    - BPMN diagrams showing the current and future workflow states
    - Backlog and roadmap for the future improvements to the workflow
    - Time and cost estimations for the above
    - Corresponding playbook and executive summary documentation illustrating the current and future workflows

  • Scratchy
    Redefined the ideal customer and the value proposition of an existing product, increasing KPIs by over 200%.

    Scratchy is the scratch card game that lets you play for real prizes from the brands you love.

    At the same time, Scratchy is a powerful business intelligence tool that translates in-game interactions into customer insights for brands and retailers.

    Brought in as a product consultant for an existing product - which at the time had 2.1 and 2.4 stars on App and Play Stores respectively.

    Conducted ethnographic user research and to understand the users' needs, pain points and expectations. Translated the findings into a new value proposition and product strategy, and defined user stories, development goals, and a product roadmap.

    Led the multidisciplinary product development team through several product increments, resulting in an increase of usage metric KPIs (sessions and interactions per user, time in-app, etc.) by over 200%.

  • Tabooz
    Formed and led a distributed product development team to successfully launch an MVP. Pivoted to a more profitable market.

    Tabooz is a safe digital space designed to foster mental health, identity, well-being, and confidence in youth by addressing cultural, social, and systemic taboos.

    It's also a content platform that offers entertainment, storytelling, resources, information, and access to local support and helplines.

    As a product consultant, I've formed and led an agile, distributed product development team through several product iterations, conducted customer discovery interviews to gain insights used to shape the product, and served as a touchpoint between the customer, the product team and various stakeholders.

    The product had a limited launch at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

    The learnings gained from the MVP launch and customer discovery resulted in a pivot and product being rebranded as Evoality - the personal evolution tool for businesses to provide employees with the knowledge, information, and resources to support diversity, inclusion, equality, and wellbeing.

  • The International Water Association
    Consulted a 10,000+ member organization through digital transformation and built 10+ web and mobile products in the process.

    Alex was a product and digital transformation consultant for The International Water Association, a 10,000+ member strong traditional organization in the water sector.

    During this time, he helped create and executed much of the strategy that completely overhauled many processes inside the organization, revamped and modernized their core offering, and created 10+ web and mobile products in the process. He also helped the organization diversify and open new revenue streams based on those products.

    Highlights include:

    — Helping The IWA transform their main offering and revenue source (yearly membership packages) to a SaaS product (https://iwa-connect.org/).

    — IWA Learn, a professional development marketplace for the water sector that enables the organization to publish premium and free, online and offline educational programs.

    — IWA Events, a web portal that lists and showcases best events in the sector,

    — The Source Water Magazine, a web and mobile mag for the water sector.

  • Water Statistics Platform
    Led development of a tool that radically improves gathering, processing, and publishing of data on global water consumption.

    Every two years, The International Water Association
    collects data on water consumption from 200 cities and
    prepares a comprehensive report on the water industry.

    This took a lot of work using spreadsheets and email.

    Alex was brought to solve this problem and come up with a solution that would make this process easier, faster, and less effort and resource-intensive.

    He started by analyzing the data to and interviewing dozens of water industry researchers to understand their process and the issues that we're facing.

    The effort resulted in waterstatistics.org - a data visualization platform that streamlines gathering, processing and publishing data on water from 39 countries and 198 cities.

    WaterStatistic.org makes information on the global water consumption public and easily accessible. This helps the industry and government make better decisions while keeping the public informed.

    Best part? Instead of waiting two years for the data to be gathered and processed and the report to get published, new data now becomes live almost in real-time.

  • IWA Learn Platform
    Led product design and development of IWA Learn, a leading professional development platform in the water sector.

    The International Water Association is a global non-profit organization and knowledge hub for the water sector. As the product and innovation consultant for The IWA, Alex was asked to help the organization's learning and capacity development department plan and execute the design and development of IWA Learn, a leading professional development platform for the water sector.

    His responsibilities included user research and discovery to define the feature set, MVP backlog, and roadmap planning, as well as sourcing, hiring, and leading the design and development team that executed the project.

    Today IWA Learn hosts over a hundred free and premium online and onsite professional development and learning opportunities and serves over 40,000 users every month.

  • The Source Water Magazine
    Led the team that developed the web and mobile mag. Executed the growth strategy that resulted in 12,000 signups in 3 months.

    The Source Water Magazine was a leading publication for water professionals that is distributed to the members of The International Water Association as one of the membership benefits.

    As part of the organization’s digital transformation efforts I’ve consulted on, I’ve formed and led the team that developed the iOS, Android, and web versions of the magazine and integrated it with other IWA’s digital assets (membership community portal, the main website, etc).

    Further, I’ve led the launch of the magazine and created and executed the growth strategy that resulted in 12,000 signups in 3 months and created a stable readership base that’s highly valuable for advertisers in the water sector.

Education

  • Progress towards a degree in Business Informatics and eBusiness
    2004 - 2006
    Belgrade Business Academy for Applied Studies - Belgrade, Serbia
  • Progress towards a degree in Psychology
    2000 - 2003
    University of Belgrade, Faculty of Psychology - Belgrade, Serbia

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