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BENGALURU : SAP Labs in India is the largest research and development hub outside the headquarters of the German software major SAP SE. As India remains one of the fastest growing markets for the company, SAP announced a 500 crore investment earlier this year to speed up India’s digital agenda and support its customers’ transformation in the cloud. In an interview with Mint, Sindhu Gangadharan, senior vice president and managing director, SAP Labs India, talked about hiring plans, the India growth strategy and key business drivers. Edited excerpts:

What are SAP India’s hiring targets for 2021 and which roles would they be in?

This year we are continuing to hire for SAP in India and all its entities. SAP Labs India will onboard around 1,600 employees in 2021. The roles that we are hiring for include software developers, cyber security engineers, technology and cloud architects, research scientists, product specialists, machine learning engineers, DevOps engineers, and development managers. We kept up our hiring commitments of last year. Even during the unprecedented disruptions caused by the pandemic, SAP Labs India honoured the commitments made and recruited more than 1,700 employees as per the agreed timelines.

What is your India growth strategy? Which verticals are you focusing on?

Through its almost 50 years in operation, SAP has innovated to help customers run at their best. Early this year, we announced a 500 crore investment to speed up India’s digital agenda and support our customers’ transformation in the cloud. SAP’s commitment to support India’s growth vision remains a top priority. We will do this with deeper collaboration with our customers, ecosystem, and the government. An agile and scalable cloud technology co-developed in India is now being made available for enterprises. We are also accelerating our efforts to focus on customer success and innovation across our business applications and platforms. We recently launched RISE with SAP–a business transformation-as-a-service offering–that provides customers across all sizes the required services and software components to become an intelligent enterprise. Serving customers across 25 industries, SAP supports business processes that are tailor-made to suit requirements of each industry through its industry cloud portfolio.

Any updates on the completion of your new facility at Devanahalli in Bengaluru?

We are reviewing our second campus investment in a holistic manner. As you are aware, the pandemic has changed the specific dynamics of the physical workplace. It has hastened the realization that work is not a location, but it is what you do. In view of this fundamental shift that has occurred, organizations are adapting to new and changing conditions essential for success. An opportunity to re-imagine the future of work has never been more vital, and companies are exploring solutions that fit their best business needs. It is about creating a modern, inclusive, and flexible work environment built on collaboration and trust. It is about converging Work, Workforce and Workplace. We continue to evaluate the patterns that shape the future of work and explore a ‘hybrid’ workplace for greater future resiliency. We will follow up with suitable workplace transformation investments to enable our digital workforce.

What have been the key business drivers in the last few months?

At SAP, digital transformation has been a big business driver. We have enabled hundreds of small businesses to go digital with our ‘Global Bharat’ programme. We are also helping companies improve supply chain and industry-specific processes, connect through the business network, and embed sustainability as a critical measure of business success. Last year, we announced the Climate 21 programme to support customers in pursuing their climate-related objectives. Together with our network of partners, we are providing business transformation-as-a-service through our RISE with SAP. This offering will help customers redesign their processes for better business outcomes.

How has SAP leveraged its technology expertise to build solutions for covid-19 pandemic?

Since the covid-19 crisis hit us last year, our team in India has leveraged our technology expertise and innovation to provide rapid solutions to the government. Some examples include collaborating with the government of Karnataka to create a Relief Management Portal called Karnataka Fights Corona. We also joined hands with Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research to develop an agent-based simulation model to infer the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions of covid-19.

We also contributed to building a web application ‘covidresourceskargov’, which shares only verified data for critical resources. Almost every non-government organization in Karnataka has collaborated to constantly curate information, verify, and share it on this platform. Our teams are also supporting the Indo German Chamber of Commerce and its 4,500 members by leveraging our collaboration platform SAP Jam to build a marketplace to exchange covid resources among member companies

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