SAP India bets on internet-led businesses to boost growth in India

SAP is looking at expanding its presence in new segments such as internet-led businesses in India while continuing to bolster its play in sectors like oil and gas, public services and retail

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SAP | Internet technologies | Indian business

SAP is looking at expanding its presence in new segments such as internet-led businesses in India while continuing to bolster its play in sectors like oil and gas, public services and retail, a top executive said.

Speaking with PTI, SAP Indian Subcontinent President and Managing Director Kulmeet Bawa said that while the environment has been extremely volatile because of the pandemic, there has also been a fast-paced adoption of digital.

“Despite all of this (pandemic-related changes like remote working), business has shot up exponentially. We’ve had amazing business results over the year, the last three quarters specifically,” he said.

Bawa added that three or four years ago, organisations, enterprises and MSMEs were talking to the company about ‘why’ they should go digital, but in the last one year, the questions have all been around ‘how’.

“How do we do this faster, how do we do this in a better manner, how do we adopt digital more holistically through a business transformation lens rather than a typical lift and shift or a technology lens those are the questions.

“These are more focused on holistic business lens rather than a technology lens and we are seeing this across MSMEs and enterprises,” Bawa noted.

The executive pointed out that there has also been a rapid adoption of cloud technologies, and the German enterprise software major, which has traditionally been an on-premise solutions provider, has also embraced this shift as customers are demanding that.

“We work today across 25 or 26 industry segments, and we are deep into each of them.

“Oil and gas and, CPG, retail, public services we have been deeply ingrained in these segments and we are building further into that. We are also going deeper into some areas which are newer for us,” he said.

Bawa said areas like banking, financial services and insurance was not a stronghold for SAP but the company has been strengthening its presence in that segment.

“…insurance has always been good for us but typically banking or financial services in the long tail of fintechs as we call it, is a brand new area…we are actually investing a lot in internet businesses, that’s a big area of investment and focus for us,” he added.

Talking about its micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) vertical, Bawa said the segment has been doing well and is an important segment for the company.

“I think we are going much deeper with a lot more investments, trying to do a lot more for the MSMEs…

“MSME is one of the key pillars of our India strategy and it’s very close to the heart of our leadership team because that’s one area where we can actually make a dent and help the Indian economy,” he said.

Asked if there was an impact of the pandemic on its MSME segment, Bawa said “we’ve seen a lot of traction coming in from this segment, even over the last few months”.

He added that the business has been more than what the company has seen in the past. “But, if you want to talk about the business landscape that we are seeing, there is a volatile environment in terms of the demand and supply,” he added.

Bawa said the pandemic has brought digital-first organisations to the forefront all across, and the smallest businesses are grabbing the opportunity to develop and build agile and resilient business models that can be pivoted based on the demand.

“A lot of MSMEs that we are seeing are going digital-only rather than digital first and that’s again a very very interesting scenario. We used to talk about the lines between online and offline blurring for a long time.

“But, today, I would say for a very large number, those lines are actually blurred and some of them are moving to the other side, talking about digital-only,” he added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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