Why SAP wants to have deeper engagement with tech startups
Fifty-year-old global technology company SAP is helping startups, considered the next growth engine for the Indian economy, reach the next level.
Given that all startups are cloud-native, SAP believes its experience, technology depth, and reach in this area can help these new-age companies reach greater heights. SAP has more than 230 million cloud users across the world with over 100 solutions covering all business functions.
In an interaction with YourStory, Sanket Deodhar, VP - Unicorns & Digital Natives, SAP India, says, “SAP plays a key role in providing them (startups) with a solid foundation on the cloud platform and enables their products to become enterprise-grade level.”
Being enterprise-grade level shows that the startup’s product or service ticks all checkboxes—such as security, customer experience, or handling workload without any disruptions.
According to Sanket, startups do not reach out to SAP to seek disruptive technology but desire a strong foundation to get a 360 degree of how their organisations are functioning. “There is data coming from all sides for a growth-driven startup and SAP can provide that single source of truth,” remarks Sanket.
This could mean how startups can monitor their supply chain functions, reach out to customers, understand finances, and employee engagement, and importantly, be compliant with the regulatory requirements.
“Startups rely on us to provide that simplicity and remove complexities which can fuel their growth aspirations as well as innovation cycle,” Sanket says.
SAP already runs global accelerator programmes, such as SAP.IO Foundries, to connect with the startup ecosystem. Around 400 tech startups have so far taken part in the programme.
Sanket says the key focus of its engagement is to see how innovative solutions built by these startups help the customers of SAP. “We pitch this story to our customers and tell them how the solutions of the startups will add more value to them,” he adds.
As for sectors, SAP works with startups across edtech, healthtech, fintech and more. Startups such as Credable, Talview, Koinearth, and Worxogo have been a part of the technology company's accelerator programme.
According to Sanket, each of these segments have different requirements. A fintech startup, for example, will have to adhere to the regulatory norms while an edtech startup will have to capture the experience of teachers and students and healthtech startups have the need to reach out to locations outside of metros.
Sanket says the expertise of SAP in all these sectors enables them to provide smoother experiences for startups.
In this journey, Sanket also sees new requirements coming from the startups as they expand their reach from the metro locations and go deeper into Bharat. He says the requirements of Bharat users will be different and startups would require the guidance of SAP in addressing the needs of this market.
As part of its future plans for its engagement with startups, Sanket says it is working with the government to understand new policies and their implications on the startup ecosystem. An example here would be the new regulations proposed around personal data.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti