The 38-year old VR Ferose is in the list of IT head honchos in India whom Infosys co-founder and executive co-chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan sees as going places, because of his talent management acumen. Football, snooker and reading books on movers and shakers are the vibrant passions of this senior vice-president and managing director, SAP Labs India, the R&D arm of global German technology firm, SAP. Setting aside a new paperback on the life and times of Olympics blade-runner Oscar Pistorius, Ferose reflects on SAP Labs, its employees, clientele, business and business philosophy to M Sarita Varma, in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:
Although SAP Labs’ long-serving ERP solutions suite is the breadwinner, we hear that the new in-memory platform Hana Edge is the prima donna in the market. Does that define the future, given that your customer base includes big players like Vodafone, MTS, ONGC, Power Grid, HDFC, Essar, Tata Motors and ITC?
The excitement over the new solutions product is justifiable, since Hana fetched us 85 million euro in Q2 of 2012. Out of mobility alone, we had notched 54 million euro in Q2. We are plying Hana now in the cloud space too. Hana is a compressed data storage system that enables faster processing. For instance, in Hana, 1 TB of data can be compressed up to 100 GB, enabling it to be processed up to 100 times faster. It is a winning combination of processors getting faster and memory becoming cheaper. This has set firms making a beeline for Hana. It gives value applications for small players too.
In which sectors do SAP Labs’ ERP suite help small players?
The biggest slice of our customers are in SME sector. In India, we have 3,880 SME customers and globally 98,500 customers. We intend to double the addressable market by 2015. Besides the 24 mainstream industries that we cater to, we have charted out 22 readymade micro-vertical templates. This is for assorted sectors like plantations, real estate, city gas distribution, sugar, gems and jewellery, poultry, dairy etc. We have been able to reach out to very far flung places like Haridwar (in Uttarakhand), Keonjhar (in Orissa) and Raipur (in Chhattisgarh).
Besides Hana, we have a wide portfolio of solutions like SAP Business One, SAP Business ByDesign and SAP Business All-in-One.
One wouldn’t usually associate software firms to tinker with medical research. In SAP Labs, even this is happening. What is the new engagement with