Leading at Roblox is a series that explores the career journeys of Roblox’s leaders and discusses their roles, philosophies, and management styles. In this profile, we get to know Garima Sinha, Senior Director of Product, who heads up our Social Team within the User Group.
Let’s talk about your career path to Product leadership. How did it all start?
GS: I’ve always been interested in technical innovation. I studied Computer Science Engineering in Delhi in order to begin a career in the technology industry. After college, I took my first full-time role as a Product Manager. This was a bit unusual, as most PMs enter the position after a few years of general engineering experience. But I jumped in and learned quickly. In order to thrive, I had to have a “doer” mindset and not shy away from challenging problems. Many of these traits guided how I lead today.
Two years later, I pursued my Master’s degree in Software Management from Carnegie Mellon. From there, I had some amazing opportunities in the heart of Silicon Valley at companies like Meta (then Facebook), Thumbtack, and Instacart. I started my role here at Roblox in April of 2022, and this first year has been nothing short of amazing. I am doing some of the most innovative work of my life.
What does your current role entail?
I’m a Senior Director of Product Management within Roblox’s User Group, leading Social. Our vision is to enable one billion people to connect, play, learn, communicate, and work together in high-quality 3D immersive co-experiences. On the User Group, I lead Product for two of our verticals: Connections and Communication. Our focus is on building the products that empower free, expressive, and immersive communication on-platform, and our mission is to enable and mimic real-world communication in virtual co-experiences. Building these features safely and at scale has never been done before, and our team is so excited to reimagine the way people communicate.
What’s one thing you’ve learned as a leader at Roblox?
Everyone in an organization is unique, and what energizes someone and gets them inspired varies across individuals.
Through my time as a leader, I’ve learned that managing each of my reports in the same manner just doesn’t work. I need to be able to adapt my style to my people – and by extension, to the situation and context that we’re in at that moment. It’s easy to default to my own preferred management style, so I’m often checking myself and ensuring that I’m aligning to the individual’s needs, not just my own. My goal is to help everyone do their best work while holding a high bar, and empowering them to reach it.
At the end of the day, my job is to help my team do great work and grow as technical professionals. Grounding my approach to leadership in that objective has helped me coach amazing and diverse professionals who complement one another with their different styles and strengths.
How do you help to lead and build a culture of innovation at Roblox?
I believe in autonomy, ownership, and creating a culture where risk-taking is encouraged. I think it’s important to coach my team, but I also want them to have the space and creativity to take the steps that they believe are right for a project, without fear of failure. I’ve found that when my teams feel like they can own and drive their domain areas, they really step up and do their best work, and if people are not afraid to fail, they are not afraid to push the boundaries. If you can create that environment for your people, you’ll encourage innovation as a leader. I try to provide guidance, inspiration, and support, while encouraging folks to lean on their own instincts and experiences. Every day at Roblox, my teams are solving problems that none of us – myself included – have the answer to. By inspiring our people to push boundaries and explore creative options, we’re able to find these answers and innovate beyond our wildest imaginations.
The second thing I do to facilitate innovation is get my hands dirty with the team! I’m never shy about diving into the details – spending time brainstorming, whiteboarding, and problem-solving. We’re working to answer some of the world’s toughest product questions, so collaboration and knowledge-sharing are key. There’s no task that’s too big or too small for anyone to take on. It can be easy for leaders to get disconnected from day-to-day work. But for the type of work we are doing at Roblox – building things that no one has ever done before – it’s imperative that people of all levels dive right in. We’re changing how the internet works for the next 10 years, and we won’t be able to do that if we don’t all deeply understand everything in our product and in our stack.
If you had to choose a value that most resonates with you as a leader, which one would it be?
When I think about our progress toward our vision, I think we have two values that work together synergistically – Get Stuff Done and Take the Long View. We take action and frequently iterate to achieve a very high volume of work at scale. Our culture is action-oriented, and we’re constantly seeking solutions that enable us to build with velocity.
At the same time, we are a very long-term company and taking the long view is important for us. Our culture encourages intentional pauses: if we see something off or awry, it’s innate in our values to pause, step back, and rethink – even if that means a delay to ensure we get it right. We always prioritize building with safety and civility, which means creating the safest product features instead of just trying to ship things and check a box. We’re actively building for the future – even though we may need to wait weeks, months, or years to really see our vision come to life.
In closing, what excites you about the future of your team? What about Roblox as a whole?
I’m more inspired right now than I have been in a very long time. And I say that because I believe that we are at the crux of something huge. We are changing the way people come together. How they hang out with each other. How they communicate. How they play. We are so close to that future, and I’m very excited to make it happen.
Inspired by Garima’s story? She and her team are hiring! Visit our careers site to explore open roles.