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The Early Talent Summit 2020 was organized in a virtual format on 5th November. This year’s theme revolved around embracing SAP and driving innovation to be ‘The Next You’, enabling the Early Talents in India to network, collaborate and learn together. The response to the summit was overwhelming, with our ETs actively participating and showing us why they are the future of SAP.

The day started with a warm-up that got the ETs in action followed by ‘Complete the Meme’ activity, where they got their creative juices flowing trying to come up with entertaining quotes for empty meme templates. It was followed by welcome note from Mayank Bhatnagar (Vice President, SAP Business Network and Diversity & Inclusion Lead in India) who encouraged the ETs to be the change-drivers in the organization. We also had a video message from Ann-Cathrin Ell (Global Lead, SAP Early Talent Experience), who motivated the ETs to immerse themselves into the values of SAP and make full use of the networking and learning opportunities offered through the flagship event of the Early Talent Ambassador Network in India, the Early Talent Summit.

Shraddhanjali Rao (Vice President, Human Resources) shared some valuable lessons quoting her personal experiences and inspiring the ETs to dream big and chase them. The message she drove home was to look at things with a fresh pair of eyes, taking initiatives, and to realize the immense potential the power re-innovation possesses. One of the quotes that stuck with the ETs was “Bad decisions make for good stories”. She also encouraged them to be the drivers of their careers at SAP and leverage the various platforms and initiatives that enable SAP employees to be their most authentic self at work.

There were a set of activities planned for the participants, first being “Inclusiveness Assessment”- a web-based quiz-of-sorts that had certain workplace scenarios and possible choices which allowed them to confront various situations and possible reactions that would enable them to foster a more inclusive environment. Annice Joseph (Global Co-Lead, Inclusive Career Journey) shared stories promoting acceptance, better understanding of internal bias, equal opportunities and being an ally; ultimately introducing ETs to SAP Corporate Strategy of reinventing how businesses run with an inclusive mindset.

The next activity aimed to reinforce the principle of prioritizing customer satisfaction, aptly called ‘Customer Centricity’. The ETs, divided in groups, played the game of choices with the aim to maximize performance while keeping track of budget to ensure customer happiness and deliverables. Chandramohan Sankaran (Development Manager, SAP Cloud Platform and D&I Mentor) elaborated on how landing a customer, quick onboarding, embedding continuous value for offerings and expansion through feedback loops drives effective businesses forward. ETs were also enlightened about various “Talent Agility” initiatives at SAP by Dhriti Agarwal(Quality Specialist).

It was followed by a social lunch moderated by Early Talent Ambassadors in various breakout rooms which allowed participants to interact and make friends just like the office lunch experience! Post lunch, the ‘Virtual Beats’ session saw our energetic participants dancing and creating music in collaboration with each other, followed by Revanth Krishna (Early Talent Ambassador) showcasing the “Wall of Acceptance” which had notes from ETs across India which was done as a pre-summit activity, drawing attention to the power of positive thinking and empathy. This was followed by a display of thanks to fellow colleagues using SAP Appreciate tool fostering the #AttitudeOfGratitude.

We also had video messages from leaders across India, Sindhu Gangadharan (SVP & Managing Director, SAP Labs India), Debashis Banerjee (VP & Site Lead, SAP Ariba India), Jaswinder Singh Dhillon (VP & Site Lead, SAP SuccessFactors Cloud Operations), Priyadarsana Panda (VP & Head, Application Consulting Group, SAP Solution Delivery Center India), Vasavi Rongali (Director, SAP CallidusCloud India), Abhishek Anand (Director, SAP Concur India), and Mankiran Chowhan (Managing Director, SAP Concur India), sharing with the ETs their stories and anecdotes that exemplified the SAP’s How We Run behaviors.

We then progressed to ‘The Dollhouse’ activity which put the innovating abilities of the ETs to a test, where they had to build miniature furniture simulating one of the rooms in a dollhouse using household items. Sailaja Vadlamudi (Application Security Lead, SAP Labs India) then spoke about how innovation and people are interlocked, further detailing the SAP People Strategy. She emphasized on innovation being the point of existence to stay ahead of the curve, and the need for ETs to leverage their difference to their advantage to bring about a positive change at SAP.

At last, ‘Mission Sustainability’ activity saw ETs collaborating and putting their thinking hats on, to make their way out of challenging 3D virtual escape rooms by solving puzzles and answering questions related to sustainability. Gunjan Patel (Head of CSR for APJ and India) then shared about the various initiatives in SAP towards education, health awareness, sports, community inclusion, environment and disaster rehabilitation, further encouraging them to sign up for volunteering opportunities on SAP Together.

Yash Agrawal (Lead, Early Talent Ambassador Network, India) closed off the summit with the key takeaways of the day and a thank you note. This power-packed event saw the Early Talents taking home a unique experience of interacting on a virtual platform in an engaging manner, with the day-long event seeing 164 participants across India locations(Bangalore, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune) and the overall event receiving an average rating of 4.6* out of 5 (where 1-boring and 5-fantastic). Here are few feedback which we received:-

“Never thought I would be able to attend this start to end considering the length of the session but honestly I didn't even know when this session came to an end and it was so captivating and engaging. Hats off. Cheers.

Love SAP.”

“I am pleasantly surprised at how great today was. Knowing it was virtual, I did not have high expectations considering limitations. But everything - the talks, inclusiveness assessment, customer centricity, doll house, and mission sustainability enabled excellent collaboration and interaction among teams, plus I got to know so many new people. Really grateful guys, thank you for such an amazing event!”

Given the current situation due to the COVID pandemic, the Early Talent Ambassador network is proud to have conducted the Early Talent Summit 2020 successfully and having enabled the ETs to Evolve, to be their most-authentic self; Embrace, to foster inclusion in everything they do; and Empower, to amplify personal sustainability and create a greater social impact.

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