The city of forts - Pune is the bastion of Maratha pride, the seat of the great Maratha empire whose stories are still lionised today centuries later by its warrior people. This unabashed rootedness, which lends a distinct, unwavering character to this lush, green city does not mar but enhances its hospitality as thousands pour in every year from every corner of India in search of greener pastures.
If sister city Mumbai is where dreams come true, Pune could well be the city that would make it possible to take that first leap of faith. Pune’s metamorphosis as a centre for higher education over the past century has meant that the city unsurprisingly became one of the most sought after research and employment destinations in the country. The influx of new Punekars who call it home also meant that the real estate sector has been busy maintaining the city’s legendary, unbroken tradition of building awe-inspiring structures.
Fortified by the enormous success at Mumbai, city of millionaires, the Transformation Express glided through India’s first six-lane highway, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, to reach Pune.
Unveiling the third grand premier
Given Pune’s unique position as a manufacturing, IT and research hub, it is unsurprising that it is also home to a vibrant MSME community, warranting a third premier night for the Transformation Express. Mrs. Nikita Das (Senior Director, Brand and Business Marketing - SAP India) began the proceedings with the keynote address, soon followed by Rahul Singh (Vice President and Head of Marketing, SAP India) who described the pivots in India’s digital transformation journey and the various stages of migration to the cloud, particularly in the MSME sector. He also spoke of SAP’s outreach to the MSME sector through the Transformation Express.
The first customer to take to the stage was Mr. Sachin Bhandari (Chief Executive Officer, VTP Realty), who explained how the company, one of the largest players in the real estate market in Pune and indeed, the country, has employed SAP products to transition to the digital reality. Most notably, he underscored the importance of real estate companies taking up the digital transformation challenge to stay ahead of the curve.
Mr. Pushkar Bhat (Business Development Lead - SAP Digital Core, SAP India) then shared his expert comments on how technology has overtaken every sphere of life, now more than ever before.
The evening’s panel discussion, moderated by Ms. Vibha Raine (Regional Director, Sales, SAP India) featured Mr. Rakesh Bhan (Managing Director - Fischer Measurement Technologies), Mr. Amod Joshi (Chief Financial Officer - KSH International) and Mr. Vijay Maurya (Head, Technology - Millennium Semiconductors).
The bevy of business leaders, customers and other invitees then boarded the Transformation Express for its tour, exhibiting the same vivacity witnessed in sister city Mumbai.
Setting the digital story in stone
Day 2 of the Transformation Express in Pune began with a visit to the Panchshil Tech Park One in Yerwada, Pune, a prestigious corporate address for several IT companies and yet another of SAP’s real estate customers in the city.
The team from Panchshil Tech Park One were thrilled to explore the next-gen offerings featured in the Transformation Express, as it is not often that a real estate firm is at the forefront of a technology event. The inquisitiveness of the team to learn more was apparent in their enthusiastic participation in the Q&A session.
The partner event in the evening was conducted by SAP Partner Wurth IT India. Mr. Ankit Thakkar (Senior Director, Sales, SAP India) traced India’s growth as a leading global economy alongside the concurrent expansion of technology. Mr. Sumit Gaikwad (Head of Sales - Wurth IT) joined Mr. Thakkar in then moderating the panel discussion featuring Mr. Keyur Thakkar (Head, IT - Best Value Chem) and Mr. Mayuresh Kulkarni (Vice President, Operations - Rathi Group).
Ensuing the discussion, Mr. Mandar Deshpande (Associate Director - Wurth IT India) gave an overview of SAP products, while Mr. Nikhil Kamat (Sales Lead, ISBN Sales) concluded the evening with a close look at SAP Ariba.
The business leaders, customers and MSME representatives then went on board the Mobile Experience Centre, where they were given a guided tour.
Bidding adieu on a high note
The last day in Pune began with a visit to the Government College of Engineering and Research at Avasari Khurd, some 65 kilometres from Pune. Established in 2009 by the Government of Maharashtra to promote technical education in rural areas, the college seeks to empower students through technological excellence and contribute to sustainable development.
The SAP team was given a warm welcome by the students and staff. Mr. Wasif Mohammed (Lead Partner, India Subcontinent - SAP) and Mr. Vineet Rajan (Marketing Leader - SAP) inspired the students with their talks on how SAP is bridging the digital divide in India, thereby providing opportunities for youngsters to lead the change. Professor Sadanand Deshpande (Associate Professor - Mechanical Engineering, Government College of Engineering & Research), who is also the training and placement officer, spoke of how students can turn into problem solvers of tomorrow with the help of technology and working in companies like SAP.
The Transformation Express was then en route to two customer locations in Pune - VTP Realty and Flash Electronics. The enthusiastic teams at both sites had several questions about cloud technologies that could be implemented to improve business outcomes. Mr. Sanjeev Vasudev (Managing Director, Flash Electronics) was also present along with the team.
The whirlwind tour of Pune came to a halt at the last gala night in the city, at a partner event hosted by SAP partner SAVIC. Mr. Yuvaraj Thombre (Chief Process Officer - SAVIC) addressed a new group of business leaders on how SAP and SAVIC are working together to help businesses evolve in Pune.
Ms. Raina moderated the final panel discussion, which also featured Mr. Thirumoorthy Karpur (Vice President - SAP Practice, SAVIC) and Mr. Prashant Kurhade (DGM, IT - Pravin Masalewale).
Bidding Pune adieu, the Transformation Express is now headed to the south, with Hyderabad as the first pitstop of the deccan.
Fuelling discussions around digital acceleration powered by latest technologies and cloud innovation, the journey of the Mobile Experience Centre continues.
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