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Why SAP wants to have deeper engagement with tech start-ups

SAP believes its cloud platform and wide industry expertise can provide the foundational technology platform for start-ups to enable a faster growth trajectory.

Fifty-year-old global technology company SAP is helping start-ups, considered the next growth engine for the Indian economy, reach the next level. Given that all start-ups 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 (start-ups) with a solid foundation on the cloud platform and enables their products to become enterprise-grade level.” Being enterprise-grade level shows that the start-up’s product or service ticks all checkboxes—such as security, customer experience, or handling workload without any disruptions.

According to Sanket, start-ups 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 start-up and SAP can provide that single source of truth,” remarks Sanket.

This could mean how start-ups can monitor their supply chain functions, reach out to customers, understand finances, and employee engagement, and importantly, be compliant with the regulatory requirements. “Start-ups 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 start-up ecosystem. Around 400 tech start-ups 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 start-ups help the customers of SAP. “We pitch this story to our customers and tell them how the solutions of the start-ups will add more value to them,” he adds.

As for sectors, SAP works with start-ups across edtech, healthtech, fintech and more. Start-ups 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 start-up, for example, will have to adhere to the regulatory norms while an edtech start-up will have to capture the experience of teachers and students and healthtech start-ups 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 start-ups.

In this journey, Sanket also sees new requirements coming from the start-ups 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 start-ups would require the guidance of SAP in addressing the needs of this market. As part of its future for its engagement with start-ups, Sanket says it is working with the government to understand new policies and their implications on the start-up ecosystem. An example here would be the new regulations proposed around personal data.

The article was originally published on Yourstory on 23rd November 2022.