Bringing a product to market will always be demanding – but with the right person overseeing the process, it can also prove to be a fulfilling adventure. It’s this spirit of adventure that guides iKhokha’s newest Product Owner, Barrie Knox-Davies, whom we were chuffed to welcome into the iK Tribe!
A New Journey
Barrie brings with him a lot of experience. He worked at Private Property for 15 years, having taken up previous roles in Sales, Customer Service Management, and managing the software division of the property listing service. This gave him a holistic view of how tech businesses work and the value they create for their users.
"Joining iKhokha was simple,” he shares, noting how the brand’s aim to empower South Africa’s business owners through fintech resonates with him. Barrie speaks with a zest for business. Having always had entrepreneurial vigour, his energy peaks when discussing the problems facing small businesses and the exciting new ways the iK Tribe’s product team plans to address these.
To Run Together
Our work at iKhokha has always been around effective collaboration. Teamwork and coordination are key for a successful product launch – and Barrie knows this better than anyone. As a product owner, he often finds himself in the middle of multiple functions within the business.
Although still new to iKhokha, Barrie seems right at home as he navigates a new team and environment. Naturally sociable, his easy-going nature allows him to easily take up conversations between departments, gathering key insights for various projects.
A Series of Pivotal Steps
When describing what his typical day looks like, BKD (Barrie’s nickname based on his initials) slips into a coy smile. He usually starts the day with coffee and stand-up meetings with his team. During stand-ups, members of the team take stock of where things left off on the previous day, what’s new for the day ahead, and flagging any urgencies.
From there, Barrie draws up a progress report on ongoing projects. Given that there’s always at least a few at iKhokha, this report allows him to prioritise his duties for the day ahead. He’s then able to take on the tasks most important to getting projects moving forward and have his team making further inroads to getting new products out.
Throughout the day, he liaises with various teams and departments across the business to get a better view of how his team can add value to products in development or giving other teams key insights and information into new or evolved products.
Keeping the Balance
Outside work, Barrie is an avid athlete. He’s completed staple races like the Comrades Marathon and has done multiple Ironman Triathlons. Although physically taxing, BKD runs in his downtime to gain mental clarity and keep fit.
He also enjoys spending time with his family, unwinding along the beautiful Durban promenade. On weekends, one might even catch BKD exploring the bustling Durban cityscape as he supports local businesses.
Never Sitting Still
An energetic persona, Barrie thrives on always being on the move. This running-based mindset informs his approach when it comes to professional projects.
Understanding the use cases of our merchants informs what we do and how we develop our products. Barrie’s drive to find and speak to entrepreneurs, even in his spare time, gives him an edge in solving problems through product development.
To Go the Distance
“Listen.” – Barrie Knox-Davies’ one piece of advice to aspiring product owners.
There are multiple ways to listen to your target audience. Using in-person visits, surveys, and platforms like HubSpot all help you gain deeper insight of what consumers need. Teams and businesses can only develop effective products after gaining this understanding. That’s why Barrie’s ability to speak to anyone and understand their problems allows him to lead teams that build award-winning products.
The Road Ahead
One of the most exciting prospects in joining the iK Tribe, for Barrie, will be helping to take SA’s small businesses online. Making online payment products accessible to everyone with iKhokha’s range of solutions underscores the ultimate meaning BKD draws from his work.
Are you also into product development and looking for a place to ply your trade with purpose?
Check out our vacancies here and #JoinTheHustle.