German software maker SAP is enhancing its focus on India to drive key technological innovation from the country. Tech experts at SAP Labs in India are working on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain, quantum computing, and robotic process automation.
“We also look at how can we totally reimagine the way things are done and how these technologies can help in doing so,” Sindhu Gangadharan, MD, SAP Labs India, said in an interview.
As part of this, the company aims to double its talent in India by 2025, Gangadharan said. Currently, SAP has about 14,000 employees in India, of which, about 12,000 are in SAP Labs, the company’s research and development (R&D) unit.
“SAP Labs in India is the largest R&D hub for SAP globally and we are the only location where we have the entire breadth of our product portfolio in one location,” Gangadharan said.
SAP Labs India represents the entire breadth of SAP’s product portfolio and contributes to flagship products such as SAP HANA, the platform for next generation applications and analytics; SAP S/4HANA, the real-time ERP suite for digital business; and holds key product responsibilities across the Customer Engagement, Human Capital Management, Analytics, and Internet of Things portfolios.
As part of its expansion plans, SAP is opening a second centre in Devanahalli in Bengaluru with a seating capacity of about 13,000 employees. “We expect to have the first phase of our new office operational by 2025 or earlier,” Gangadharan said. While Bengaluru remains the largest centre, SAP Labs has smaller offices in Pune, Gurugram, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.
Globally, SAP Labs in India works in sync with its other labs in hubs like Germany, China, Canada, Brazil, and the US. It has a total of 20 labs in 18 countries.
While SAP Labs in India works for global customers, it also focuses on localising products for Indian customers. “GST, E-Way Bill, solutions for sustainability reporting are some of the good examples of localised products,” she said.
SAP has chosen India as its largest R&D hub by design, given that the country has become the largest consumer of technology and has a strong ecosystem of customers, academia, and talent pool, Gangadharan said.
Recently, SAP Labs India launched a centre for digital government at its Bengaluru campus to focus on capacity building, programme management, and implementation of Digital India’s projects undertaken by the various ministries and departments. The centre aims to promote the adoption of technology-based solutions in India’s public service sector through specially curated digital upskilling programmes for public/ government officials.