With 3 out of 4 MSME businesses seeking to implement cloud innovations this year, SAP renews its commitment to the digital-first narrative. We brought these innovations to the doorstep of tomorrow’s business leaders, with a unique mobile experience center, the Transformation Express.
When India began its digital journey in the 90s, we had limited bandwidth and dial-up connections that needed a prayer each time we logged in. Cut to 2022 – There are 1.2 billion mobile connections with 110 million being added every year. With 61% of Indians on the internet, we are one of the top global economies in the number of mobile-first digital consumers. Put simply, we are witnessing technology transformation in the truest sense all around us.
If anything, the pandemic accelerated the adopting of digital ways of working and revealed to us that we had the ability to go remote. It turned our assumptions about the workplace and transactions on its head. This digital thrust is being enabled by a slew of government initiatives that are making the digital first narrative a reality. We are looking at secure, presence-less, paper-less, and even card-less transactions in the future that will reinvent the ways that we know business works today.
There is no questioning that the past two years have been tough on us. But even in this landscape, we have seen start-ups and venture capitalists demonstrate success stories. Business models being disrupted by challengers that are forcing us to re-look at our long-held beliefs. In fact, we have seen changes in the way businesses work every month in the last 2 years. Young companies are questioning established norms and blending learnings from verticals to ring in a new order of business.
We sensed this shift, and in June 2020, we launched the Global Bharat Movement. It was aimed at making Indian businesses more globally competitive. We brought them on to the Ariba platform to give them world-wide visibility and sure enough, right through December 2021, we saw a spike in engagements, driven by this digital initiative. To understand our customers better, we partnered with IDC to commission the State of Mid-Market Report to garner insights into the minds of small and medium business owners. It was our deep-dive to better understand our client base, as 80% of SAP customers are from this segment. I will speak of two major insights that reaffirm our commitment.
First, despite not having a great couple of years, 68% of businesses expressed a desire to increase IT spending in the coming year. If you think this bodes well for a digital-first nation, wait for the second insight: 74%, that is almost 3 in 4 of the businesses surveyed intend to move into the cloud in the coming year. This is a game-changing trend in my view, as it talks about innovation at an unprecedented scale. The high-technology innovation game used to be played mostly by the larger companies – now this is being democratized by innovation moving down to smaller companies as well. These insights opened our eyes to the way the mid-market segment sees digital technology as an enabler to their aspirations, and to fulfil India’s dreams of becoming an economic superpower!
This gave birth to our flagship project of 2022 – the Transformation Express. Since the majority of our client base wants cloud innovations, we took this technology to their doorsteps. Our mobile experience centre traversed the length of the country, clocking 7000kms while showcasing the power of data, cloud innovations and the pathway to building digital resilience. While business disruptions may happen, digital resilience allows your business to bounce back and even harness the change for good.
The Transformation Express experience offered an immersive and interactive showcase of role-based solutions along with a peek into the future with drones and virtual reality (VR). It opened up possibilities for solutions in the cloud, with sessions for college students with both industry experts and cloud practitioners. It partnered our clients and local chambers of commerce to script a new chapter in the digital narrative that is going to drive our nation’s growth. With this, we recommit to the transformation needs of corporate India, its business owners and to the aspirations of our youth. To offset its carbon footprint, we planted a tree for every kilometre the bus travels – that’s 7000 trees planted.
The past 45 days have been a whirlwind with the Transformation Express anchoring 27 events for business leaders, experts, thought leaders and the government. We hosted over 150 speakers and panellists and engaged over 7500 businesses. Over 1500 students from 6 educational institutions joined the ride, as the bus visited 13 cities across 10 states in its epic 7000-kilometre journey.
Thank you for helping to make this journey the incredible success it has been. For me personally, those words of wisdom came alive: it really is about the journey and not the destination.
Know more about India’s digital journey with the Transformation Express.