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Roopesh Panchasra

Vice President, Global Executive Recruiting

Roopesh's Story

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

People are the heartbeat of SAP. The energy and passion we all share is infectious and so incredibly powerful; this is why we work extremely hard every day to help each other succeed.

Roopesh Panchasra

“Boundless”. This is the word I would tell you if you asked me how to describe what working at SAP is like.

I started at SAP in February 2016 and was immediately immersed in an environment that offers limitless opportunity, feeling of purpose, and room for growth. In my role, I have the privilege of leading the teams responsible for global executive-level recruiting. We help shape the direction of SAP by uncovering and helping to hire the leaders that will contribute to steering our company and keep us on the winning path.

The position I am in today was being recruited for by an SAP-appointed executive search firm who had reached out to discuss the role. At the time, I led many of the Talent teams at a competitive financial and human capital management software company and was not looking for a move but they were so convincing that I agreed to meet with a few of our SAP leaders. And the rest is history!

The HR leadership team I met with during my interview phase was incredible. Their passion and energy were infectious. I remember coming away feeling like they not only understood Executive Search, but had the appetite to create an impactful business in this area for SAP. This was music to my ears.

My impression of SAP during that time was that this is a progressive place where empowerment and growth were the norm and if I joined, I too could find myself working in an environment of smart, motivated people with real human values. When I did make the decision to join SAP, one of the first things that I felt was that SAP does, indeed, have such a strong culture. Many companies talk about culture but SAP is a company that really brings to life the values that are the most important to its employees. Our culture is honest, supportive, and intentional. We have strong beliefs and are laser-focused to ensure each and every employee feels encouraged. SAP considers itself fortunate to have such a devoted workforce and this is reflected in so much that we see around us in terms of employee wellness and support.

I was born in the London and have lived in this great city all of my life. About 3 years ago, my wife and I were blessed with the most precious twin baby girls, who have completely taken over our lives. Life outside of work really revolves around my children and the many people that make up a family unit that I am very close with. I am fortunate enough to be part of a company that recognizes that when you are happy and fulfilled outside of work, it makes you more creative and focused on the job.

Within SAP, my work takes me to many destinations with extended stays in a number of incredible places but still allows me to be based in London where my heart is. These global experiences have been truly enriching and have come to be part of countless special moments during my time here. One experience that I remember distinctly is when my global team met for the very first time for an offsite event near our headquarters in Germany. Seeing people that had worked together for years meet each other for the first time was very special to see. People smiling, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company was a moment that I will surely remember.

The investment I have seen SAP make in its people goes far beyond such examples of building bridges. I see on a daily basis the commitment the Company makes in developing the tools and skills its employees need to deliver at their best. At whatever level you interview, at it is critical to come away knowing that the Company genuinely wants you to make a difference and there is a need for transformation, disruption, and leadership.

This is what adds to SAP being such a boundless environment for success. We have happy leaders who have a fruitful, productive and enjoyable experience when interacting with their teams. The experience at every touchpoint, whether it be with candidates, hiring managers or each other, needs to be sublime. Only then can we be considered a success.

Some early advice that was given to me by my manager was to spend as much time in HQ as possible to get to know the leaders, better understand our culture, and know how to build a lasting strategy by understanding my stakeholders’ needs. This advice was priceless and is one of my main motivating factors, which pushes me to deliver personally and for the Business.

So as you can see, “boundless” is the word I want to resonate when you are thinking of a career at SAP. Do not underestimate the pace a company of our size can operate at. Expectations are high at whatever level in the Company you join so if you are the kind of person that relishes a challenge, wants to be accountable, and can be at your best working in a team, then you should absolutely explore possibilities at SAP. If you want to inspire whilst being inspired, then you will love it here.  My first visit to Germany was for an internship. This was a few years after the 9/11 tragedy, an event that changes people’s perspectives on tolerance and respect. I read about several stereotypes before coming to this country, and wondered how I could survive while staying true to my identity. Being a minority posed new challenges: to grapple with my perspectives and understand the viewpoints of others. Living a year in Germany proved that those stereotypes were not true and I met many wonderful people during my stay. I also gained confidence to embrace my uniqueness and its advantages, and realized I have control to navigate who I am and what I will become.

I returned to Germany for study in 2012 and sought a working student position at an international company. But not just any company. I wanted to work for an organization that values its people, has a working culture that supports my values, and has a purpose to create a better world. It may sound naïve but if we believe in something, it will eventually become a reality, right?

A friend once said, if you ever work at SAP, you can work anywhere and everywhere in the world. Furthermore, SAP offers a variety of opportunities for international students such as myself. This was my impetus to apply. I received a couple of rejections along the way, but determination prevailed and I was eventually accepted. September 2012 marked the beginning of my SAP journey in the Project Management Office for the HR EMEA/MEE region, where I got to witness SAP’s commitment to putting people first and how seriously the company values its employees’ well-being.

Since April 2018, I am in a new role as Business Development Specialist for the Customer and Strategy Office (CSO), EMEA North. Here, I have gained insights into how we are shaping our innovation and technology, not only for our customers but also for a better community. At the CSO, I am part of a team that passionately advocates customer expectations to enhance the end-to-end customer experience. Our job is to bridge strategy and execution by working as an incubator for new business areas to accelerate adoption in the EMEA region. I am supported by a truly international team whose members come from India, Netherland, Germany, Brazil, France, Finland, Denmark and Indonesia. It is an exciting place to be and I hope to elevate this journey to become what I want in the future.

There are many things that motivate and inspire me at SAP. Firstly, the opportunity to support and give back to the community. I have joined several volunteering events including our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-led month of service initiative, and 1 Billion Lives where I have met many passionate SAP colleagues who share ideas on how we can contribute to society and change the world through our expertise. I have also been active at Culture@SAP where we promote diversity of cultures through events such as the annual Culture Day and Southeast Asian Day at our headquarters in Walldorf. True to my friend’s sentiment, I also appreciate how flexible SAP is. I can choose to work at my office desk, from my living room or from my hometown in Indonesia. It does not matter where you are if you put consistent effort into your work.

Thirdly, SAP’s commitment to support cancer and disease research is truly inspiring. Coming from a family of a survivor – my niece was 14-months-old when she got cancer – as well as having lost my youngest brother to a rare blood disease, I am keen to see how technology can help in our fight to save lives. I trust SAP will innovate and bring us closer to a cure.

My SAP journey can be summed up as exciting, diverse and with purpose. It is only possible because SAP appreciates everything that I bring and supports me to become everything I want. The Chinese philosopher LaoTzu said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I took my single step at SAP back in 2012 and I am taking a new step every day. My wish is that you will take your first step and begin your journey with SAP.

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