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The recent SAP Industry Knowledge Exchange Summit (IKEX) brought together leaders, innovators and pioneers from across industries to discuss India’s vibrant tomorrow. This collaborative platform managed to serve as a powerful ecosystem for insightful discussions, industry-wide networking, meaningful conversations and so much more.

As we enter a new digital age driven by modern advancements, resilient networks and data-driven decisions, Indian businesses now have to evolve rapidly to compete on a global scale. The Summit culminated with a Plenary that revolved around the ever-increasing necessity of embracing digital transformation for modern enterprises. Leveraging data to make real-time decisions, utilizing modern innovations to ensure exceptional customer experiences and embracing data analytics to cater to volatile demands have become critically essential.

Leslie D’monte, Executive Editor at Mint, acted as the moderator for the star cast panel at the Plenary. Whilst setting the tone for the discussions and delivering the welcome note he quoted, “What exactly does digital transformation entail? I don’t think there’s only one answer. Digital transformation greatly depends on the sector you belong to."

Unlocking India’s Potential

After the opening address, Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan, Senior VP, Midmarket SAP APJ, took the stage to give us his invaluable insight into India’s growing digital economy. He highlighted key statistics about India’s digital growth; one such statistic suggesting that an impressive 60% of India’s GDP currently touches an SAP system. This goes to show the infinite potential that Indian businesses have in reaching greater heights through digital transformation.

Continuing on the topic of leveraging digital innovations for growth and progress, Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan reflected on the success of his own company. He stated, “SAP India has been seeing tremendous growth, astounding growth over the last couple of years and that growth is in part due to the growth our customers are experiencing. Our customers are relying on us for their digital transformation, strengthening their digital cores, and all sorts of digital and cloud technologies for their progress."

Following this discussion, Rajeev Gupta, Managing Director and Senior Partner at BCG, held a session titled “Digital Transformation – A Mandate or Still a Choice." In this session, Rajeev Gupta talked in detail about India’s journey towards becoming a $10 trillion economy without compromising on critical sustainability and environmental goals. Other notable talking points were about properly handling uncertainties, the close-knit relationship between business performance and technology adoption, and the secrets of creating a future-proof Indian economy.

Indian Economy’s Roadmap and Role of Indian Businesses in the Growth Journey

The biggest segment of the SAP Industry Knowledge Exchange Plenary was the Leader’s Panel titled “Indian Economy’s Roadmap and Role of Indian Businesses in the Growth Journey." Moderated by Leslie D’monte, this session included numerous industry leaders with many years of experience and countless stories to create an incredible environment for progressive discussions.

To kickstart this eventful session, R Ganeshan, L&T and Head of Corporate Centre, Radico Khaitan Ltd, discussed the role of technological transformation in the labor-intensive construction industry. He emphasized on the benefits of ERP systems such as SAP to empower the organization.

Continuing on the topic of digital transformation, Rajat Bhargava, CEO - Speciality Sector at RPG, discussed how automation can be utilized to pluck leaves and dramatically cut costs in the traditional rubber and tea manufacturing industries. He commented, “Overall, the way we’re looking at digital transformation is - there are 11 technology areas that we have identified and through those areas we just try to orchestrate use cases which are very relevant and beneficial for the specific companies."

Following this discussion, Vijay Sethi, Chairman, INDUS gave us his invaluable insight into the critical necessity of change management and the role business leaders have to play to ensure the digital transformation is a success. He said, “The key thing that one has to keep in mind is that only a small part of digital transformation is about digital technology, maybe 10% or 20%. But more than that, it’s about the people. That is the part where most people miss out and that is why digital transformation fails. Leadership commitment and change management have to be paramount. If the culture of the company is such that you put in tons of data and analytics but at the end of the day if someone sits in the conference room and says bring me all this data in an excel sheet then the whole thing is gone. You have to focus on change management from day one and the leadership has to show the way."

Bhavit Sheth, COO and Co-founder of Dream11, contributed to the discussion by sharing his experiences on the massive role of data analytics in decision-making for modern enterprises. He emphasized that in a world driven by data, being able to take real-time decisions based on insights gathered from data can be a huge competitive edge.

Drawing this immensely informative session to a close, SAP’s Subramanian Ananthapadmanabhan highlighted the role of technological transformation with respect to different organizations. Despite the diverse technological requirements across enterprises in different industries, the entire panel agreed that digital transformation holds tremendous value for every business and embracing technology is fundamentally essential to move forward.

The plenary at the SAP Industry Knowledge Exchange Summit set the stage for the industry to come together to work on a larger goal with a single purpose - ensuring India takes the next big leap on the foundation of digital transformation. If you’d like to join the SAP Industry Knowledge Exchange, sign up here!

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