Hong Kong: Germany’s SAP AG, the world’s biggest maker of business software, plans to increase its workforce by about 7% in China and India, hiring as many as 600 people in coming quarters as it targets expansion in fast-growing Asia.
SAP, which derives 16% of its revenue from Asia-Pacific including Japan, aimed to increase employees by 200-300 each in China and India, where its staff strength was about 2,600 and 5,500 respectively, a senior executive said.
“China and India are the two places where we are scaling the most,” Stephen Watts, president of SAP Asia-Pacific and Japan, told Reuters in an interview.
India was its biggest subsidiary in Asia-Pacific including Japan, where the company employs about 11,500 people, he said, adding that SAP was looking at bringing in people in consulting, account management and support.
“Given that the company is getting into the innovation cycle, we are bringing very strong high value-added solutions to the market,” said Watts, who is based in Singapore and visiting Hong Kong.
SAP, which competes with Oracle Corp globally and companies such as Kingdee International Software Group Co Ltd in China, sees huge potential in public sectors, retail, and in financial services such as banking and insurance in Asia.
The software company’s revenue in the second quarter was €513 million ($733 million) in Asia-Pacific including Japan, up 20% from a year earlier, largely boosted by markets such as Japan, China and India, it said in a statement.
Globally, revenue totalled €3.3 billion during the second quarter, when SAP also took market share from arch rival Oracle for the first time in 1-1/2 years.
SAP said it expected to reach the high end of its 10-14% growth forecast in 2011 for software and related services, confounding fears of a slowdown in economically fragile Europe.
“This is Asia. We should be growing faster than the world. I think that is sustainable,” Watts said.
He added that SAP was also not ruling out acquisitions, but declined to elaborate. Last year, SAP acquired Sybase for $5.8 billion, and in 2007 it bought Business Objects for €4.8 billion.
“We are always absolutely always going to consider that as an opportunity. Is there anything planned that I can talk to you about today? No,” he said.