SAP raising investments in India: Bawa

Software maker to focus on SMEs, start-ups as it moves to ‘true-cloud’ mode

With increased focus on the SME and start-up segment in India, German software maker SAP’s investments in the country are rising as it transitions to becoming a ‘true cloud’ company, said a senior company executive.

“India continues to remain one of our fastest-growing markets globally,” said Kulmeet Bawa, president and MD, SAP, Indian Subcontinent.

“It has always been very very important because of a variety of reasons… scale, demographic dividend, abundant opportunities, a cloud-first mindset. What is happening in the start-up ecosystem… we are extremely fascinated,” added Mr. Bawa.

Economic transition

“I think, clearly the transformation of the Indian economy is underway.” He said the company was now ‘diving deeper’ into the SME segment as well as the start-up ecosystem to build an innovation hub in India so ‘overall investments are going up.’

On its strategy for SMEs, which account for almost 80% of SAP’s customer base of 12,000 in India and which have been among the worst-hit by the pandemic, he said, “SMEs have really got impacted but we have not changed our strategy.”

“In fact, we are doubling down into that space because SMEs in India today account for about 29-30% of our GDP.A lot of India’s future today is banking on MSMEs. We are… helping them embrace digitisation, focussing on upskilling their workforce and enhancing overall business value.”

Faster digitisation

Mr. Bawa said organisations were turning digital faster than ever before, especially so in the past six months, but that it was important for them to hop on to the digital bandwagon with agility, and nimbleness and that that was possible only on the cloud.

He added that with work-from-home and education-from-home, there was a ‘huge’ sense of urgency among Indian firms to embark on or to culminate the digital transformation journeys even faster.

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