SAP aims to build Saudi presence through local recruitment

SAP KSA looking to take 60-70% of new hires from Saudi market to reinforce local understanding and customer care

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By  Mark Sutton Published  March 4, 2008

SAP is setting aggressive growth targets for Saudi Arabia, according to Sergio Maccotta, managing director of Middle East and North Africa region, SAP AG.

Maccotta says that the company is aiming to have 30% of its total headcount in the Middle East, approximately 50 staff, based in the Kingdom under its KSA subsidiary, with the majority of staff drawn from the region.

"Saudi Arabia has always been one of our strongest countries in the Middle East, and we are continuing to reinforce our own presence there. Customers demand more local presence, we can't have only people from outside [the region]. We to need jumpstart with staff with SAP skills, but we also need local understanding," he said.

The company will aim to take 60-70% of new hires from the local market, Maccotta said, and is speaking to universities across the region to build up local abilities. SAP will also look to attract existing SAP Arabic staff from other regions.

Following the acquisition of SAP Arabia, SAP now operates in Saudi Arabia as SAP KSA, with a main office in Riyadh and a branch office in Khobar to service clients in the industrial eastern region.

The company counts many major Saudi companies among its clients, in the kingdom, including Saudi Aramco, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), and the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA).

Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP AG said during his recent visit to the region: "SAP is investing in Saudi Arabia because it makes strong economic sense. Beyond the energy sector where SAP has a long and rich history supporting the growth and global expansion of Saudi Aramco, we believe that SAP is a key enabler of innovation in all sectors, innovation that is crucial to sustained economic growth and the creation of wealth."

"SAP innovates in close collaboration with our partners and customers based on an in-depth understanding of their business challenges and aspirations. Innovation must be built on a solid and efficient IT infrastructure to empower companies to become market leaders in their industries," Kagermann added.

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