Work is a key pillar of life

Dilipkumar Khandelwal

CEO mantras at work and at ease

Last year when he turned 40, Dilipkumar Khandelwal, the Managing Director of SAP Labs India, took up running. In barely six months of donning his jogging shoes, Khandelwal, who is also the Executive VP, Enterprise Cloud Services, SAP SE, lost 17 kg.

On the work front, it may be uncertain times for the IT industry, yet Khandelwal says product companies are not really facing the heat. His thoughts on:

The automation threat

The challenges product and services companies face are different. We are growing at a phenomenal pace and this is not limited to a specific region. Product companies are witnessing growth across the globe. Far from being a threat, we see automation as an opportunity to remodel business processes. The crux of this change will be led by software technology.

Hiring de-growth

Our growth plans have not changed, we continue to hire in India as per plan. The number of people we are hiring this year in India will be approximately 800 to 1,000.

This is the same as the average hiring in the last two or three years. Four years ago, at SAP Labs India we were 5,000 people. Now, we are over 7,000-strong.

Millennials at work

Earlier we used to hire experienced developers. Over the last five years, we shifted strategy to hire more early talent graduating from colleges. This demography will have a significant impact on the design and creation of new software.

In the last 4-5 years we have hired a high percentage of millennials too. They have a key role to play and the software industry needs to establish an effective engagement model to leverage their strengths.

We provide a wide array of choice from flexible working hours, job rotations, fellowships, freedom to choose your own teams, and so on. If you look at SAP Labs India today, there are close to a 1,000 employees who have completed over 10 years in the company and currently 60 per cent of our hires are directly from the universities. I believe we have the right mix of experience and fresh talent to deliver on our strategy.

E-mail overload & stress

Many people ask me what is work and what is life. I have a simple answer to this. Work is one of the key pillars of life. My mantra is “do what you love and love what you do”. You need to find your passion, be it work or personal life.

At the age of 40, I realised I was overweight. I took up long-distance running six months ago and since then I have lost 17 kg. Today the first thing I pack for travel is my jogging gear. I also play badminton over the weekends, but it’s in running that I have found a lasting passion.

Food fads

I love every vegetarian cuisine, especially tasty Thai food. Though I was born and brought up in Mumbai, I cherish South Indian cuisine the most.

Giving back to society

For SAP, CSR is not about the 2 per cent we contribute. It’s about how our employees volunteer their time and participate in various initiatives that make a difference. In today’s world, there is enough money pouring in through philanthropy. But time is at a premium. Most of our employees actively volunteer for our CSR activitieso. For our National Digital Literacy CSR project, some of the courses are conducted by SAP volunteers. For our social entrepreneurship programme, SAP employees provide support and guidance in technology to startups which operate in the social space. They also actively volunteer for the Swachh Bharat initiative.

Published on June 07, 2017
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