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Suvarna Kartha

Campus Recruiter, SAP Talent Acquisition

Suvarna's Story

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


Fellowships give you the opportunity to explore. Even if you don’t see yourself pursuing that field in your career, the learning opportunities are huge.

Suvarna Kartha

As a recruiter, I feel empowered when I hire – a job can change a single life; the lives of an entire family, and the lives of the generations ahead. I will always be incredibly proud of the confidence and possible financial independence that a job offer bestows on students just out of college.

After seven years of honing my expertise in campus hiring at SAP, I decided to jump out of ‘the well’ and see the world of HR outside Talent Acquisition. Under SAP’s global fellowship program, I joined the HR Business Partner organisation for six months, as a member of the Great Places to Work project team under Shraddhanjali Rao, Head of Human Resources in India. A core team of three were identified to work on this project and I was fortunate to be one of them. In 2018, SAP was recognised by the Great Places to Work Institute as #1 in the Best Companies to Work For rankings in India. The pressure was on to defend our title position in 2019. The certification demands continuous improvement and employee satisfaction, and we knew we could not rest on our laurels.

In my stint, I learned about people policies at SAP, how our employees feel about those policies and, most importantly, how I can make SAP a better place to work! The process involved interacting with the best minds at SAP to come up with new and better initiatives to not only help us be a better employer, but also improve employee experience.

No one gets it right the first time, and I definitely made mistakes. Although I worried about these ‘failures’, Shraddha’s support helped me get through it all. Instead of reprimanding me, she taught me how to improvise and bridge the gaps to prevent such mistakes from happening again. The opportunity of working directly with our leaders was better than I could have ever imagined. Interacting with them closely helped me to understand what makes great leadership. We worked late hours to review the documents repeatedly and their dedication and passion towards our employees and the company continues to amaze me.

"When my fellowship ended, I returned to my team with a wealth of knowledge – from having a deeper understanding of the different functions of HR to best practices followed by companies around the world. The gains were far greater than I had expected."

One of the biggest lessons I took from my fellowship is that you must understand best practices of a field before you try and implement something new. I now take the time to do in-depth research before taking on any new initiative, and I’m working to instill a research-first mindset among my team members.

I also learned that it’s important to aim for perfection. There were instances where I thought I had done my job well, but on review, I could have done better. This has pushed me to go beyond my boundaries and achieve better results. As they say, ‘Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will end on the stars.’

When it was time for this year’s Great Place to Work awards to be announced, I was nervous. All of our work had gone into an eight-month rigorous evaluation process. We were one of 900 organisations, from 20 different industries, employing over 1.8 million people in total, being assessed.

Our leaders invited the core team to be a part of the awards ceremony. The experience of sitting in a room full of executives from the top 100 companies to work for in India was surreal.  The moment we were announced as the Best Company to Work for in India for the second-year running was one of my proudest moments at SAP.  Walking up to the stage with our leaders to receive the award on behalf of the organization was a very emotional one. The joy on our faces says it all!

Fellowships give you the opportunity to explore. Even if you don’t see yourself pursuing that field in your career, the learning opportunities are huge. I would recommend everyone to try something they’ve never done before and see the results yourself. You will be surprised by your capabilities and what you might achieve.

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