Meet Inne — Product Owner at Coupang
Product Owners play a critical role in leading projects to success and creating a product that customers love. As a Product Owner who addresses challenges and identifies opportunities, Inne talks about how Coupang empowers you to leverage different perspectives and experiences.
Please introduce yourself. How did you first find yourself in the tech industry?
I’m Inne. I joined Coupang as a PO (Product Owner) in 2015. When I was young, I stayed away from math and science. So it’s also a surprise to me that I ended up working as a PO in the tech industry.
When I was given the opportunity to join Coupang as a PO 6 years ago, jobs in planning were considered more common in the Korean job market. PO was also a new job title for me, but I decided to take the job because it is attractive how POs are given the authority and responsibility to plan and implement a new business or service. has the authority and responsibility. In Coupang, we call POs the 'mini-CEOs'. I think this is an accurate description. By taking up a new challenge and beginning a new journey with Coupang, I was able to successfully build my career in tech to this day.
What is your work philosophy? What guides you to success?
I believe my job is to help others, including my colleagues and our customers. If someone finds something difficult, I stop and think if there’s anything that has gone wrong or if there’s room for improvement.
One of the Leadership Principles at Coupang is ‘Wow the customer.’ And this is important to me and what I do at work. I’ve worked on many projects to launch new services — not only for Coupang’s end customers but also for Coupang’s partners and sellers. A successful project or product is about ultimately providing a valuable experience to the end customers.
In your opinion, what are the three main things required to be a leader at Coupang?
For the last 6 years at Coupang, I’ve met many diverse colleagues with unique backgrounds. Many leaders at Coupang showed leadership and even influenced my personal growth. And the three things they had in common were that they were always passionate, communicating, and motivated.
With one’s passion, a good leader can bring positive energy to his or her colleagues and the team. This helps everyone grow personally and professionally. An effective communication skill is also important to understand and lead the team to reach a common goal, especially at a place like Coupang where we have diverse organizations. This also ties in with staying motivated and also motivating the team to achieve success.
A leader’s role is valuable to drive the team forward and help individuals demonstrate their talent and passion at the workplace. I’m lucky to have met many excellent engineering leaders at Coupang.
How is the work-life balance as a PO at Coupang?
Overall, the work-life balance at Coupang is good and we have very flexible work hours. But when there are times I need to put in additional effort to achieve success, I am more than willing to do so. I think we all agree at Coupang that results are more important than the number of hours you work.
What is it like working as a woman at Coupang?
The gender ratio of my current organization is 50:50. There are many other female POs, too.
Coupang is also a gender-inclusive workplace. I recently went on maternity leave and I’ve now become a working mom. Coupang is very considerate of employees with children and provides many welfare benefits and programs like WFH (work from home) and daycare.
We also have affinity groups. There is one called WIT (Women In Tech) for female developers, designers, POs, and PMs. This is a great opportunity to share various experiences and discuss learnings from different projects and products we work on.
What advice do you have for women at Coupang?
Coupang offers many opportunities for everyone — regardless of one’s nationality, age, gender, background, etc. Coupang is a place where you can get exposed to numerous opportunities. When I joined Coupang, there were times when I was hesitant about stepping up, leading my colleagues, and voicing myself. But after a year, I found myself to be on a track to be a confident leader. I’m thankful that Coupang has provided me with all the opportunities, and I’m still excited every day for what’s ahead.
You mentioned earlier about WIT (Women In Tech), a group that helps women empower to grow as successful leaders. Please share more about your future plans.
We want more female leaders to engage with other female colleagues at Coupang, especially those who are interested in women’s leadership. We hope to be more involved in Coupang or community projects together. It’s important that mentors and mentees and members or WIT to constantly support the growth of everyone.
Thank you Inne for sharing about what it’s like to be a PO and a female leader at Coupang. To explore more tech roles at Coupang, visit our "Teams" page.