Rapid skills build up by SL professionals : SAP India MD
Sri Lanka has good people talent, as well as education, and building up skills of local professionals has been rapid, according to Peter Gartenberg, the Managing Director of the Indian Subcontinent office of leading global enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions provider SAP. He also added that SAP’s education efforts here were attracting a lot of interest, with many well educated engineers and consultants accessing these offerings.
Additionally, he opined that Sri Lankans were just lacking access to international quality content and that SAP had not found the local market to be lacking good talent. Speaking to the Business Times, and almost one full a year after the launch of SAP’s local office, Mr. Gartenberg also noted that Sri Lanka was a very fast growth market for SAP and that there were currently over 50 key clients here today. He also indicated that, while SAP had initially only gone after clients in discrete manufacturing industry, there was already growth in many other industries such as Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), telecommunications and services. He further noted that it was SAP’s intention to approach many more clients in its second year, including tapping 24 different domestic industries.
Commenting on the area of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Mr. Gartenberg noted that, in India, 70% of SAP’s client portfolio were SMEs, or as SAP preferred to refer to this segment, emerging businesses.
And this was where SAP has a massive market share advantage. Further, in Sri Lanka, the client portfolio was a good mix between large business and SMEs. He also added that this was important as oftentimes the greatest innovation came from smaller businesses.
In addition, Mr. Gartenberg also commented that Sri Lankan companies are looking more globally, and not just at India, when it comes to expanding their reach. He also noted that local companies were coming to SAP for advice on how to grow internationally and had shown interest in areas that include services, Business Process Outsourcing, as well as other outsourcing contracts, and even apparel.
Here for the local leg of SAP Forum 2012, an ongoing global client event for the company, Mr. Gartenberg also highlighted that SAP had just launched a localised rapid deployment ERP solution called ‘Vishmaum’ for the discrete manufacturing industry which incorporated Sri Lanka centred specifics such as Nation Building Tax, VAT, With Holding Tax, Statutory Regulations and Sales Commission Calculation. This was launched last week in conjunction with Prism Informatics.
He also noted that SAP had partnered with the Just In Time (JIT) Group in a capacity building education initiative, where JIT training centres would offer SAP certified training for students with the goal of training 100 within one year. He also noted that JIT and SAP were also working with universities to include SAP content in courses.
At the same time, Mr. Gartenberg also signalled that a new centre of excellence set up with local partner John Keells Holding would build local competence in areas such as mobility, with a focus on mobile commerce, applications and analytics.
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