Africa catapults SAP techies into big league



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Hyderabad: The success of an entrepreneur lies in either creating a new product or service, or taking your product to a new and untapped market. While the big names of the Indian IT industry were busy competing for cash-rich Western markets, Roopa Karemungikar and Sandeep Vanga of Altura Consulting, a Hyderabad-based SAP Products and Services provider have quietly conquered the growing SAP HR and Payroll market in the world’s second largest continent, Africa.

“After working in India for some years, we found that the way consulting was happening in India was just backend. We wanted to expose the pool of Indian consultants to global scenarios.

So we formed Altura in October 2007 with a zest to make a difference in India,” says Roopa, an alumnus of IIT-Chennai, who was born and brought up in Hyderabad. However, by the time they entered into the market, SAP was a very popular technology and had many service providers some big ones and others non-serious players.
“We found that establishing ourselves as a SAP service provider was a difficult proposition. We focused in specialising and started working in a niche area of HR payroll,” the 40-year-old entrepreneur recalled.

As the famous quote in The Alchemist goes, ‘when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realise his dream’, lady luck smiled on Roopa and Sandeep during the first year of Altura itself.

“We had some savings, but no outside funding. We recruited some interns and trained them for six months. By the time they became good in their work, we got awarded a big project from Ethiopia for a public sector client. Later we discovered that it was \the first successful HR implementation in East Africa and that gave us very good recognition. It brought in the initial cash flows and launched us seriously into the business.”

Roopa, however, was not satisfied with the journey. So Altura hired a management consultant in 2012 to chalk out the future business strategy. “In the first five years, we were established as a prominent SAP player in Africa, though we were relatively unknown in India,” Roopa said smilingly and added that the company has decided to step out its strongholds. Its 70 per cent business comes from Africa, while its clients in India include some big names including Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Heritage Foods and the Singareni Collieries.

It has recently been appraised at Level 3 of the CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). “Altura” Roopa says, “is planning to expand into newer markets such the Middle East, South Africa, United Kingdom and South East Asia. It is also considering raising funds from a private equity player to help in its expansion plans”. So the template is now set. Hyderabad may see tenorminnw pharmacy canadaflomax for sale
Altura joining SAP’s global big league.