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Why Domain Experience is must to be a SAP Functional consultant?

Now days I am observing that more & more youths are turning towards SAP as a career. With the help of my experience & knowledge if I decode this trend, I can figure out following reasons:

  • Glamour & Buzz around SAP Career
  • Money & Perks involved in SAP jobs
  • One of the way to enter into IT from your domain(sales, production)
  • Job opportunities availability

This trend can be well understood with the given reasons.

However I am observing that today’s youths are trying to enter into SAP career by keeping aside mandatory prerequisite. For the sake of entry into SAP, they are adopting shortcuts. However to be successful in your SAP career, if you possess all theprerequisites, it would be in your favor & there are more chances of winning the game.

According to my beliefs & understanding, I will say following are the prerequisite to be a junior or entry level SAP functional consultant:

1) Graduation Degree(Post-Graduation in Business Management like MBA is preferred)

2) Domain (functional) Experience of 3 years.

3) End user/core team experience of any ERP – Preferred

4) SAP Certification (Not mandatory but preferred)

Today I will talk here about importance of domain experience & why I am quoting it as a must factor? I will simplify my reasoning through 5 bullet points so it would be easy to understand for each of us.

1) Always remember, you are in consulting – Just refer the dictionary & try to find out meaning of word “consulting”. According to, consulting means employed or involved in giving professional advice to the public or to those practicing the profession.Meaning is very simple.  For consulting you need solid experience. Consulting is an art or science which requires extensive knowledge & wisdom which can be earned through genuine experience only. There is no alternative to that.

2) Knowledge of enterprise resources – My friends you are planning a career in SAP which is an ERP which simply means Enterprise Resource Planning. And if you do not know what are the resources required to run a enterprise then how you are going to plan it? Very
basic question. Planning enterprise resources i.e. man, material, machines, money cannot be done by just reading any book. You need actual domain experience to do it swiftly & efficiently.

3) Business Process Expertise – What is the role of a SAP functional consultant in a project? Very simple answer to this question is incorporating all existing business process of enterprise into SAP ERP so that firm could transact on day to day basis in a very disciplined & controlled manner to bring productivity & efficiency.  Without actual process knowledge this would be a very daunting task. If you are SD consultant you must know important process related to Sales & Distribution. 

While speaking  with client, you have to speak in business language & not SAP language.

You will not get to know business language in any business school. For that you need real time experience. Business process knowledge will play very significant role while speaking with client. For example if you do not know ARE forms, how you will map export process in SAP & how you will answer customer queries?

4) Integration between different functions – After selling any goods or service,customer account will get debited & company revenue account will get credited. Its nothing but integration between Sales& Finance department. You will come to know this while working in an organization selling goods or services & collecting payment after that. At the time of follow up for payment you will learn credit management & payment term configuration in SAP SD which is integration.

5) Suggesting Improvements – When you suggest improvements to your client, you have to be extra careful because you are pointing out something which is practiced by clients for years. You can suggest improvement only when you know the process thoroughly. You know pros & cons of the process. Again domain experience for this is inevitable.

Hence friends do not make rush, do not make any hasty decisions before entering into SAP career. Jobs will not run away. Jobs would be always there for right skilled candidate.  You can do following things to improve your business knowledge:

  1. Gain some meaningful domain experience.
  2. Understand the business process from its roots.
  3. Ask questions to seniors.
  4. Contribute to business decisions through your inputs.
  5. Learn from your bottom of your heart.
  6. Work hard & understand joints between different functions.
  7. Try to improve your existing processes with your business insights.

SAP world will welcome you with open arms. Then you will become the guy that SAP world needs. You can contribute to SAP eco-system with your knowledge & wisdom.

Please do write to me with your feedback & suggestions. All the very best & god bless all of you.

Balaji Parsewar

Certified SAP SD Consultant

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  • Balaji

    I have a very personal question…..I am into IT sales for past 8 years….now want to get into SAP Functional Consultant domain…..i want to know….after becoming FC,

    1. will my previous sales experience be counted as 0

    2 Do companies take SAP freshers like me….who have sales experience but no SAP exp…will the company HR consider my sales experience

    3. Lastly, the basic question…what is the average salary dat can be offered for my profile… reply from your experience… this would be the basis on which I would make a career shift



    • Navdeep,

      1. Your sales experience will be considered along with SAP skills. But priority would be SAP skills.

      2. Its very dificult to crack SAP job merely on the basis of domain experience.

      3. SAP certified fresher – 3L to 5L



      • hi Sir,


        in 3rd point you mentioned SAP certified fresher, will only certified fresher get 3L, what about non certified freshers with domain experience


  • Hi Balaji,

    I have a personal question as well which may apply few other members as well.

    I have been working in a manufacturing/Supply chain Industry for the last 8-9 years now and have no experience in terms of software/technical knowledge.

    With the strong business knowledge, is it worth getting a SAP functional certification and move my career into SAP as a functional consultant? I am 35 now and want to make sure my next step in my career is a firm one.

    Any help/thoughts is appreciated.

    • Vinoth,

      Getting entry in SAP consulting without SAP knowledge is really difficult task.

      As I explained in my earlier post, after 9 years of domain also, you can join as a Associate Functional Consultant which would fetch 3L to 5L (may vary) salary.

      At this age, it would be a bit risky decision to migrate to SAP.

      Still will recommend to carry out a through market research & then only take a call.



  • Hey Balaji

                     i  really appreciate your valuable feedback, i just have one question, i also want to shift my career in SAP landscape but i am a bit confuse about how to go about things, as per my educational qualifications i  am a MBA graduate in IT& Marketing but i don”t have any domain experience so could please suggest me on what should be my approach to enter into SAP landscape..?

  • Dear Balaji,

    Really a nice articel.

    I was working in core domain of Production Planning with SAP as end user.As was interested in SAP,got a chance to change the path from core to domain,changed carreer to SAP & currently working as support for Business process like a link inbetween the plant and funcational team (normally it covers modules like MM/PP/QM,other modules a little bit as FI/CO are with support of functional team).Being interested in PP,I would like to move into consulting of PP with QM.

    Also whether caertification will be required to move on ? or can carry with in hand experience?

    Seeking your advice in the same.


  • Hi, Balaji

    Totally disagree with your 2 points of view:

    “According to my beliefs & understanding, I will say following are the prerequisite to be a junior or entry level SAP functional consultant:

    1) Graduation Degree(Post-Graduation in Business Management like MBA is preferred)”

    I really do not understand why MBA is preferred for SAP consulting?

    It can be preferred for SAP management (like PM), but with SAP consultants/abapers it is just loosing money and time!

    MBA is really helpful after acouple years of management role, not earlier!…. For instance, if you are working as PM(or architector) of SAP projects with couple of years – It would be helpful for you…….another sitiation – it is just wasting time…..

    the second point that I desagree:

    Today I will talk here about importance of domain experience & why I am quoting it as a must factor?”

    In general, of cource, domain experience is preferred and would be helpful fo consultants, but not must or mandatory factor!

    I know a lot of experts that started without domain experience and has good results……

    It is much better to work 3 additional years as SAP SD(your example) consultant instead as seller or SD user!

    Most of domain experience you will not use because of different specific of SAP prohect.

    For instance, you have experience as Seller in FMCG goods. Ok, good experience, but your SAP project will be as SD consultant in automotive company. What experience will help you in that project? domain in FMCG company or as SD consultant in previous projects?


    • Hi Pavlo

      When I see reference to MBA in the Careers space, I notice it is usually from members who are from India (I could be wrong). It makes me wonder if their MBA courses – as well as what point in your career you obtain one – is quite different other countries. In Australia, most people get a few years work experience behind them before turning to an MBA. A SAP expert would not necessarily need an MBA but a SAP power user/business person might.

      Domain experience, again I’m noticing for India is a requirement for Education or Certification. I recall seeing a blog on pre-requisite. This too might have been someone’s attempt at coming up with a checklist approach to obtaining skills to succeed.



      • Hi, Colleen

        I don’t know how it is in India, but to enter in most of MBA programs(not even so prestigious like Kembrige, but also in CIS countries) it is the mandatory factor to have official management experience around 3-5 years (it is like have finished school to enter to the university)


      • In India, the normal duration for MBA course is two years.  This can be regular or correspondence.  Students who enroll for regular studies won’t be able to gain work experience since they need to attend colleges / classes regularly.  On the other hand, people who are already working in a firm and would like to get additional qualifications, will do correspondence or part-time course.

        Coming to domain experience, not in all fields, this is required in India.  Only when it comes to SAP Certification, it is a mandatory for functional consultants to have minimum couple of years experience.  Not sure, why SAP have made this as a mandatory only in India, if not for rest of the countries.

        • Thanks Lakshmipathi

          It’s always nice to learn more about how the world works 🙂

          Back home (Australia) completing an undergraduate degree (Bachelor) for my generation seems to be the equivalent to my parent’s generation finishing Secondary (High) School. So now, a Master’s degree (post graduate study) is becoming a bit like a Bachelor’s degree in terms of competition. Within SAP world, once you’re working on the system few employers look at post graduate education and focus more on your SAP practical experience and SAP training. Some are starting to look for Certification as well (unless your reputation in the industry is good). All my own opinion of course 🙂



  • Thanks Lakshmipathi G for necessary explanation.

    Pavlo, Colleen I always feel Domain experience act as catalyst in your consulting career.

    Its good to have thing.

    Thanks for your valuable contributions to my post.


    • Hi Balaji

      If you are in a functional area then yes it can be a good approach. In my case, I work on SAP Security. I could argue IT training was my foundation but I never obtained work experience with domain experience of IT security before joining SAP security. My first job was SAP support,

      I agree with most of your suggestion but feel that some advise in relation to “importance” will change depending on country and field of expertise. Hence, I do not think an MBA would be necessary for a technical person.



  • Dear Balaji,

    Your Post is very useful. Luckily i got a SAP SUpport Consultant job 5 months before.

    I want to excel myself as a SAP HCM Functional Consultant.

    Please suggest me some ideas regarding this

  • Hi…..  Nice Article..

    I have 10 years of Experience in the field of Project Management of Construction.. would like to know the route i have to take to get into SAP Career from my present functional career..

    Do i need to go for formal training into SAP now or are there openings where they pick Functional domain employees and then train them to induct into the SAP domain.

    Would like to some advises or comments from your end on this

    Nitin Shenoy

    • Hi Nitin,

      I feel you should stick with your current job profile. Domain experience acts as mere value addition in SAP SD role however company did not considers it while offering pay package. No point in starting SAP career as fresher or entry level functional consultant. salary would be very less.

      Despite of this, if you wish to migrate to SAP SD then suggest you to go for SAP certification from authorized institute. Will cost you around 2.40 lacs. Many blogs available on this topic. Please search forum.

      Good Luck.