Digital India created opportunities for tech players: Marketing Head, SAP, APAC & Japan

Zarina L Stanford speaks about the growing clout of the Indian digital ecosystem and how global players are looking at participating in this transformational journey and leveraging the opportunity that India presents.

e4m by Ruhail Amin
Updated: May 10, 2018 8:59 AM

India continues to get attention at global forums for being the hub of technological innovations and the powerhouse of big data. The government’s Digital India mission has fast paced India’s transformation into a digital economy, which in turn has opened up new opportunities for technology giants to invest in India.

Given this context, Zarina L Stanford, Head of Marketing, SAP, Asia Pacific & Japan, spoke about this growing clout of the Indian digital ecosystem and how global players are looking at participating in this transformational journey and leveraging the opportunity that India presents.

Edited Excerpts:

Can you tell us about the importance of the Indian market for SAP? What kind of opportunities do you foresee in this market?

India is one of our largest growing markets as far as the growth potential is concerned. More specifically, we have been able to capitalize on it. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has driven the Digital India initiative and a lot of conversations around it. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) reform and other such reforms can help companies like SAP become the enabler and deliver more value. Moreover, every single company that you could imagine globally is in India. Also with a population of 1.3 billion, India has a lot of spending power. Given all these factors, India is definitely one of the largest growth potential markets for us.

Where does India stand in driving the innovation that SAP undertakes globally?

India is one of our largest SAP employee base for the region. Part of this is not only about operations, but also for SAP India Lab. In that lab, there are actual product solutions for the global market. A number of our products and solutions are actually developed, designed and rolled out from India. This shows that India ranks high as far as driving innovation at SAP is concerned.

With the whole Digital India push, how much support is public sector in India seeking from technological companies like SAP?

Our leadership team in India is heavily engaged with the public sector, as well as some of the corporations that are public sector related. Moreover, we are already working very closely with the government on GST implementation, so the demand for involving solutions for public sector is on the rise in India.

Is there a shift from pure play enterprise solutions to more consumer centric ones?

The world of the B2B and the world of the B2C has turned upside down. Now, it’s really about C2B. The consumers are so empowered right now that all of us playing in the digital space have to listen to what is important to them, and serve the content wherever they want, and how they want. This is the reverse of the earlier business model. We now talk about marketing to one. Consumers want to be approached as the ‘only person’. With that marketing approach, the consumer insights and the behavioural insights are primarily sourced through data. To us marketers, there is no choice but to be relevant to each and every individual.

Finally, has India become the powerhouse of big data? How is this benefitting players like you?

If we look at the Digital India initiative, India has become the big data powerhouse. Moreover, India is the world’s fastest growing e-commerce market and the fact that GST, which is the world’s largest and most pervasive tax reform, has all data at the heart of it; all this has undoubtedly made the country the powerhouse of big data. These shifts in turn have opened up many new opportunities for players like us and we are constantly looking at leveraging the new possibilities in India.

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