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Reshma's Story

At SAP, we believe that when you bring everything you are, you can become everything you want.

I made the right choice by coming to SAP, a company that is so true to its values – the values of openness, of inclusiveness and of being employee-friendly and, more importantly, family-friendly.

Reshma Karnani

Reshma Karnani had many plans for 2017. Having a baby wasn’t one of them.

Which is precisely why she says her story is really a tale of gratitude.

"I joined SAP in 2016. After 20 years of working in a corporate environment across APMEA. Here I was planning my strategies, fast starts and other big deliverables for 2017, when the news took me completely by surprise.

My doctor said, ‘Congratulations, you’re going to have a baby’. What! I had to do a double-take.

Can’t be! Something’s amiss, perhaps I’m hearing things! Those were the first words that sprang to mind. It was less than a year since I had joined SAP. Surely it was too soon after my arrival to have such an eventful, life-altering change in my personal life.

Initially, I was wary of what my leaders would think and how they would react to the news. But it had to be done, they had to be told. So I set up some time with my immediate manager and my leader, along with my HRPB. My attitude was: ‘Let’s give them the news and see if I still have a job’.

The news had sunk in by now and while I was certainly excited, I was also quite nervous about the impending meeting. When the time came, I told them our life-changing news and in the midst of the conversation I eased up, realizing that they were actually very happy for me. Indeed, I wasn’t dreaming. They congratulated me, wished me luck, supported me professionally and personally over the next few months and they too celebrated the birth of our beautiful daughter.

I remember being in the hospital, thinking of the day we were blessed with Urja, our daughter, and at the same time thinking of SAP, a company I chanced working with and gradually one which became my extended family, my home. Today, I can proudly say SAP values each of us and that it really is possible to be a working mother. In a world where time is money and money is everything and where we hear about ROI, KPIs and profits, this was an experience that melted my heart.

As parents, we aspire for Urja to learn self-efficacy and kindness, two things anyone can rule hearts with. We want her to dream too, and to grow up to become a person who fulfills meaningful dreams. One of the things I want for her is to reflect my own ambition, which is to make a difference to the world. As a small child, I wanted to become a teacher, a dream I will fulfill upon my retirement. Today, at SAP, I work in the capacity of a loyalty and advocacy expert trying to create a better world for our customers and their customers too.

What I learnt and will always remember and cherish from this experience of becoming a mother is that I made the right choice by coming to SAP, a company that is so true to its values – the values of openness, of inclusiveness and of being employee-friendly and, more importantly, family-friendly.

When I first heard about this book, I grabbed the opportunity to let everyone know my story, of how SAP helped me stand tall at the most crucial personal time of my life – motherhood.

Combining a full-time job with a baby is certainly daunting. It makes for a hard day’s work, but with friends, colleagues and co-workers like the ones I’ve found at SAP, who says we can’t have it all? I am intensely proud of belonging to (as opposed to just working for) this organization, because it has a real soul.

I have to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported me on my journey to motherhood. But this is not the end of my story. Not at all. There will be a day when I in turn will have the opportunity to give back to someone else. And when that day comes, I won’t forget to send the elevator back."

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