Using technology to help the world run better

Client stories


15 July 2014

We led three Quests for SAP (Mumbai, the San Francisco Bay Area, and London), each for a group of around 20 senior leaders. The Quests were designed to enhance participants’ understanding of three inter-related concepts that are crucial to SAP’s mission to “help the world run better”: leadership, innovation and sustainability. 

As well as prompting a dramatic increase in buy-in to SAP’s core vision, the Quests delivered significant benefits in terms of building a cohesive leadership team. They also enhanced the strategic, global mind-set of the leaders as they step up to take on increasing responsibilities within this major multinational business.

“The Quest opened my eyes to a higher level of leadership – one that thinks and acts at a global level, with a high degree of responsibility and integrity, without reducing shareholder value.”

Jim Hagemann Snabe,

Board Member

SAP, Maersk, Allianz, Siemens, Bang and Olufsen, World Economic Forum

Here’s what some of the participants said about their Quest experience:

“The word ‘transformational’ almost seems like an understatement for my experience. By the end of the first day, I already realised how little I knew.”

Rohit Gupta, Head of Custom Development at SAP Labs India

“Leaders’ Quest provided an insight into how leadership, innovation and sustainability are all interconnected by exposing us to real life scenarios. Every participant came back with a better understanding of how each of us can contribute to make the world a better place.”

VR Ferose, Managing Director, SAP Labs India

“The Quest is a transformational experience – if you are ready to confront your own preconceptions and rethink what leadership is meant to achieve in the 21stcentury.”

Peter Graf, Chief Sustainability Officer, SAP

Example of impact: Creating new partnerships to create social impact

One participant on the Mumbai Quest, Andy Dey, Head of SAP’s HANA team in Bangalore, was inspired to seek out new ways to use SAP’s cutting edge technology to social impact. Andy had initially been sceptical about the Quest: having grown up in India he had seen poverty-stricken areas before, but as he later acknowledged: “only from the outside. I never actually went into one.”

As he engaged social entrepreneurs for the first time, Andy was fascinated by how they managed to utilise the power of business while also addressing a social need. He also noticed that the issues they were facing were similar to the ones faced by SAP customers every day – questions like “How can you help me expand my business?” and “I’m having a supply chain problem.” Andy realised that SAP was in a position to help: “what is our biggest asset? It’s our IT knowledge.”

On the Quest, Andy met leaders from Childline, India’s first toll-free helpline for street children. Working with a large network of partners throughout India, Childline has taken millions of calls and is keen to analyse its data to see which social issues arise most often. Until now, it has not been able to map digital patterns often enough, but Andy’s team is helping it use HANA to work in real time. “This is something we do on a day-to-day basis,” he says, “so why not do it for them?”