SAP to double headcount in India within three years
Jul 01, 2003
German software giant SAP said on Monday India was one of its key markets in Asia and it planned to double the headcount of software engineers in the country within three years to 2,000. "India is a key market in Asia for SAP. It is one of the focus areas where future growth will happen for SAP," said SAP chief executive Henning Kagermann on his first visit to India. "We are the market leader in enterprise applications [in India] with a 59.6 per cent share and have 400 customers," Mr Kagermann told reporters in this southern city of Bangalore, India's technology hub. He said India was a source of highly-skilled software professionals for the German firm. SAP Labs India, the development arm of SAP, has already announced it will invest US$20 million for a new centre in Bangalore to develop products for its Indian clients and do research for global markets. The centre will be completed this year and in the first phase can house 750 engineers, rising to 1,100 in the second phase. "The current facility [in Bangalore] is the first and largest SAP development centre outside Germany... and it undertakes core development activities globally," Mr Kagermann said. "In India... we will continue to invest. We are building a new campus. Strategically one decides where is the best place in the world to put in resources, and India is one of them," he said. Mr Kagermann said the firm was also rethinking its "internal operations" and hinted more work could be outsourced to India. "India is a candidate.... It will be a hub for the world. It will [be used] to support global operations. In the next three years, we plan to double the total number of people," he said. SAP India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SAP, was set up in 1996. Headquartered in Bangalore it has a corporate office in Bombay and branch offices in Calcutta and New Delhi. SAP Labs India was founded in 1998 and employs about 600 software professionals. Clas Neumann, joint managing director of SAP Labs India, said SAP Labs was planning to start a business intelligence unit which would employ 86 professionals. "The team will develop business intelligence solutions. Of the 23 solutions that SAP develops worldwide, work is on in the Bangalore centre for more than 16 of them," Mr Neumann said. In India, SAP customers include Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, the Tata group, Bajaj Auto, automaker Mahindra and Mahindra, Wipro Technologies, Infosys and Indian Oil. Mr Kagermann said there was no change in the global economy and the IT (information technology) spending of global firms. "The world economy might get better towards the end of the year or the early quarter of next year," he said.