Christian Klein, SAP’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Member of Executive Board, was on a four-day trip as a part of the prolific economic delegation traveling with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Klein, regarded among the youngest to helm a global technology company, kicked off his visit on a high note meeting the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, and several other dignitaries from the Indian government.
India has much to offer and we’re very happy to be a partner for growth and transformation
Sharing his experience on being part of the delegation, Klein pledged SAP’s support in helping the country realize its ‘Digital India’ and sustainability ambitions. He further underscored the role SAP will play in shaping India’s future with synergies at play between the two technological ecosystems, coupled with the pool of young talent available, raring to go and who have the right attitude to win.
Read: German Chancellor meet Prime Minister Modi with a high-profile economic delegation: UNI
Excited about what next 25 years will bring
The Chancellor also undertook a two-hour tour of the SAP Labs India campus in Bengaluru where he received a glimpse into SAP’s innovations and demos in the areas of digitalization, sustainability, digital supply chain, e-mobility, and human capital engagement. “The work SAP is doing there and worldwide is crucial for Germany’s and India’s future in the field of digitalization, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The fact that Germany’s biggest digital company is succeeding in India with Indian expertise and ingenuity is a great example of the living bridge between our two countries,” he remarked.
Sindhu Gangadharan, SVP & MD, SAP Labs India and Head, SAP User Enablement, said, “Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to SAP Labs India is a historic moment for us as we mark our 25th Anniversary of building breakthrough innovations centered around people, purpose, and power of the ecosystem. As SAP’s largest R&D location, we’re excited to fuel India and Germany’s bilateral relations and partnership in the areas of new technologies, digitalization, sustainability, and climate change.”
Read Chancellor Scholz talk about SAP India’s crucial role to fuel Indo- German partnership in digitalization
Sustainability, Skilling, and Supply Chain Resiliency are top priorities
Klein also spent time meeting and interacting with business partners and customers such as Wipro, Asian Paints, etc. to understand business needs and priorities in the ‘new normal.’ He participated in an industry dinner roundtable hosted by SAP Labs India for some of the key companies operating out of India, with the likes of Jagadish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra, Manoj Kumar, CEO Naandi Foundation & Araku Coffee, Daniel Kraft, CEO – Lufthansa, Irina Ghosh, COO – Microsoft, members of NASSCOM (India’s IT Industry trade body) and Indo German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC). There were some great conversations, where the leaders expressed gratitude towards SAP’s India ecosystem for their support to the company and exchanged thoughts on how the partnership can be leveraged further, while reaffirming SAP’s commitment to India’s growth.
SAP’s growth is purely built on organic growth
In an exclusive TV interview with CNBC TV 18, Klein shared his excitement about SAP’s future with Punit Renjen as the new Chairman of Supervisory Board at SAP. He said, “Deloitte is one of our largest partners, Punit and I’ve had a wonderful working relationship in the past. We, all the people of SAP are happy to have him onboard and are very excited about the years ahead with Punit as our Chairman.” Laying down the global strategic roadmap for the company, he also noted that SAP is very confident in its mid-term targets, its pipeline is super strong and is built purely on organic growth.
Watch Christian Klein in conversation with Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor of CNBC TV 18
Building the world together
Klein also spent time interacting with over 6,500 employees joining hybrid at SAP Labs’ campus at an All-Hands Employee meeting. Drawing on his own experiences at SAP, Klein shared anecdotes of his meteoric rise in the organization — from an intern student to now becoming a global CEO.
Will double down on investments in India
Taking note of the country’s growth trajectory and phenomenal talent potential, Klein emphasized on the company’s plans to double down its investments in India, in the areas of cloud infrastructure and people. He emphasized that India remains “a winner” and “a bright spot” in a world that reels under global uncertainties. “We are seeing a lot of business for our solutions,” he told Romita Majumdar and Surabhi Agarwal of The Economic Times in an exclusive conversation.
Thanking Klein for reinforcing his confidence to the market and validating India’s value to furthering SAP’s global ambitions, Kulmeet Bawa, President & Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent noted, “Our commitment to India has never been stronger, with a zillion reasons why India is the shining star of growth and resilience. Writing is on the wall – SAP India is a crucial partner to building India and the world.”
Find a mentor, be positive and hone a hobby
There would have been no better way to wrap Christian’s India visit than hosting an informal, interactive, engaging ‘#LunchWithCK’. If there’s way to summarize this luncheon, it was definitely a masterclass with Christian on how to lead with empathy, humility, and gratitude. Klein met up and interacted with colleagues in Mumbai who showcased their many talents and answered his queries. The hour-long session also brought out his softer, humane side as he shared his professional and personal life stories, eliciting gleams of smiles from the audiences. He also urged young colleagues to “find a mentor, be positive and hone a hobby” to ladder up through #lifeatsap.
Manasvi Vakharia, a young Early Talent shared her experience, “His energy, his passion for a sustainable future and learning that his daughter was born the same day he was appointed CEO were the highlights of my day!”
Among the many special moments Klein experienced, some remain his favorite, “there were so many special moments that will stay with me such as visiting and watering my tree in Bengaluru (a great SAP tradition), meeting Pandeyji, who has been working in our Mumbai offices as the security guard since the very first day and taking part in some beautiful traditional ceremonies.”
Thank you Christian for the incredible, energy, passion, empathy and reinforcing your confidence in India as the “place to be!”