Mr Kulmeet Bawa
August 29, 2022
“The last few years have seen a performance upswing in the metals and mining industry and a lot of it can be credited to tech-led transformations,” says President & Managing Director, SAP Indian Subcontinent, Kulmeet Bawa in conversation with Supriya Sundriyal, Corporate Communications. As a valuable IT partner of Jindal Stainless, Mr Bawa takes us through the two-decades-old relationship that Jindal Stainless and SAP share, and talks about the upcoming projects that both the companies will be working on.
1. Please tell us about yourself.
I was born and schooled in Delhi. I come from a defence background; my father was an Indian Naval Officer which naturally motivated me to seek a career in the Armed Forces. After graduating from the NDA, I served as a commissioned officer in the Army for 12 years, before making my way to India Inc.
A military upbringing encourages you to try out different things, challenge yourself, and take risks. Qualities such as adaptability, discipline and team building are ingrained into us, and this helped me hone my leadership skills from an early age. Looking back, all of this has contributed to my successful transition from the Army to a business role. I took up my first corporate job at Sun Microsystems as a sales representative, followed by successful stints at Microsoft, Adobe, and a start-up in Singapore. In 2020, I returned to India to take charge of SAP’s operations in the subcontinent.
I am equally upbeat about the start-up community in India and have invested in various emerging start-ups. This is because we’re home to a young STEM population, who are ready to innovate for the world and can unleash a new entrepreneurial wave and economic development. I am also passionate about promoting and mentoring early talent by providing a safe environment in which they do not fear failing while expressing their fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, allowing the organizations to flourish and thrive.
As for my hobbies, I love travelling and enjoy a good game of golf. I love exploring new cuisines and delicacies, but nothing beats the joy of a simple, home cooked meal.
2. What have been the milestones of SAP’s journey under your leadership?
I joined SAP with a clear mandate of delivering an exceptional SAP experience to our customers and employees across the country. We’ve been on a transformation journey since then, both internally and externally, embracing the agility of a sustainable and true-blue cloud company. I am proud of the fact that SAP is enabling India’s digital transformation to become a $ 5- trillion economy.
Last year we celebrated our silver jubilee, marking 25 years of our operations in India. It demonstrates our commitment to developing compelling value propositions for enterprises that are aligned with our nation-building agenda, which includes fostering digital literacy, social entrepreneurship, and skills development.
Today businesses that use SAP as their digital core system of records contribute over 60% of India’s GDP. Our customers account for 55% of India’s generation capacity across thermal, hydro, nuclear, and renewable energy resources; 8 out of every 10 cars on the Indian roads are manufactured by SAP customers.
India remains a high-growth and high-priority market for SAP worldwide and I’m committed to driving the company’s global ambitions to a robust and mature 14,000 customer base. As the second largest R&D center for SAP, we are 15,000 employees strong, making us an innovative talent hub. I am also excited about the work we are doing with the digital natives and internet-led businesses, by helping them scale and co-innovate with industry expertise and best practices.
3. Why is SAP relevant for the metals and mining industry? In your opinion, what are some of the best SAP practises/services currently deployed in the metals and mining industry?
The last few years have seen a performance upswing in the metals and mining industry and a lot of it can be credited to tech-led transformations. The clever utilization of these technologies such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Artificial Intelligence, Digital Twins and cloud LoB applications going beyond digital core have made companies more efficient, productive, and safe, thus bringing transparency, accuracy, agility into various business processes.
SAP has been serving the metals and mining industry for more than 5 decades now and continues to be at the center of these transformations in the industry. We have been closely working with industry stakeholders to understand sectoral challenges and opportunities, and jointly build solutions that support modernization.
With a strong global customer base in this industry, our solution portfolio addresses all core areas and business functions from the supply chain, manufacturing, human resources to sales and marketing, as well as other evolving priorities like sustainability.
4. When and how did SAP’s journey with Jindal Stainless begin? What are some of the initiatives that Jindal Stainless adopted early on? How have they improved the Company’s profile?
Jindal Stainless and SAP India have a strong valued partnership that spans over two decades. Jindal Stainless has been an early adopter of core ERP. The Company understood the power of technology early on and has been playing a key role in the transformation of India’s manufacturing sector. Some of the major initiatives include Jindal Stainless’ marketing and sales transformation with the shift to SAP Sales Cloud and Hybris Commerce, advancing its competitiveness and business differentiation.
The Company has also leveraged SAP applications and technologies like transportation management, SAP BW/4HANA, and Datawarehouse Cloud, charting a massive digitization roadmap for itself. To put things a bit more in perspective, it enabled business transaction time and report analysis to become 10 to 15 times faster.
SAP is committed to supporting Jindal Stainless’ push to lead the industry’s digital transformation, cloud adoption, and sustainability agenda.
5. What are the upcoming projects that SAP and Jindal Stainless are working on?
Jindal Stainless’ transition to becoming a cloud-first company is being enabled by SAP’s RISE framework. A core shift to the next generation S/4HANA, BTP, and SAP Ariba will transform Jindal Stainless’ procurement and enable it to redefine its business outcomes and value of SAP investments. This journey has further potential to generate significant business value in areas such as assets, sustainability, and supply chain.