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Saurabh Kabra — Member of the Month, September 2019

Last month, I did something I had never done before: interviewed a Member of the Month who had just become a former SAP employee. And I thought, “Well, probably will be a long time before I do that again.”

And now I have to ask…

“Does a month qualify as a long time?”

Yep, this month’s recipient is also a former SAP employee, although, honest, it’s just a coincidence.

Saurabh Kabra came to my attention recently because he earned the Skillful Solver badge. That’s not an easy mission to complete, and Saurabh nailed it with an acceptance rate of more than 40 percent for his answers. That was plenty enough incentive for me to learn more about Saurabh, and that’s when I discovered his linked profile: an SAP employee who answered hundreds of questions and earned an Avid Solver badge in 2018.

Former employee or not, Saurabh has the kind of qualifications we look for in a Member of the Month.

Anyway, not to worry — I ain’t ignoring the rest of you members and turning all my attention to colleagues old and new. Besides, I’m sure you agree: With his contributions, Saurabh definitely deserves Member of the Month recognition. And now he’s getting it — for September 2019.

Good to talk to you, Saurabh!

Thanks, Jerry. It is an honor to be selected as a Member of the Month among many other SAP Community members who may be working equally hard to help each other for SAP issues and share the SAP knowledge.

 


Congrats to Saurabh Kabra (left), pictured here with colleagues at an SAP workshop.

 

I know I’m catching you right before vacation, so I’ll try not to keep you too long. First…where are you taking a vacation from? Where you working these days?

I am currently working in Munich, Germany, with Maihiro GmbH, an SAP Gold Partner.

And what do you do there?

I am working as SAP Senior Consultant for Cloud for Customer (C4C) to support the customer implementation. My current customer is implementing SAP C4C and we are working for the global template implementation, which is integrated with SAP CRM, ERP, BW, and other third-party vendors. It’s a quite challenging project and I’m totally enjoying this.

So you’re based in Munich, but are you from there originally?

I am based out of Munich, Germany, but I primarily belong to Rajasthan, India. Come September 30th I’ll actually complete my first year in Germany.

Congratulations! Since we’re on the subject of Germany, you worked for SAP prior to Maihiro, correct? What did you do at SAP and how did you end up at your current employer?

Yes, I was earlier working with SAP Labs India in Bangalore. I was working with the SAP C/4 Demo Team which was earlier — when I joined SAP — known as SAP Hybris Solution Engineering Team. As part of that team, I was primarily supporting SAP Marketing Cloud and SAP Sales Cloud along with other SAP C/4 HANA–based products like SAP Subscription Billing, SAP Commerce Cloud, et cetera, et cetera.

While my role as well as team was really, really good, I was missing my dream of working abroad. I talked to my managers to see if there was an opening within our team to move abroad. There wasn’t — hence I started looking for roles outside India using LinkedIn as my primary job search platform.

Then one fine day I got a mail from Maihiro HR to schedule the first-round Skype interview and then another three rounds of HR and technical interviews, and then I finally had my contract letter. Then there was a two-month wait for my visa and other paperwork formalities. It wasn’t as smooth a journey as I was expecting — work permit delay or visa appointment date, et cetera, et cetera — but by God’s grace at the end everything fell into place and then on October 1st, 2018, I was sitting in the Maihiro Munich office.

 


Let’s play “Where’s Saurabh?” His pic caption: “Here I am with my wonderful team at SAP.”

 

What about prior to SAP? Where did you work, study, et cetera?

I did my graduation (B. Tech) from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore in the area of Electronics and Communication Engineering. Soon after my seventh semester, I did my final year project at ST Microelectronics as part of their Digital Communication Group (DCG) team for porting Android on ARM board. It was just a five-month contract to complete my project.

Then soon after my graduation, I joined Accenture Service Pvt Ltd as SAP ABAP Consultant at Gurgaon office for SAP CRM implementation project, which lasted for two-and-a-half years. It was the most learning phase of my career where I met with many friends or seniors who supported me whenever I needed them professionally — given that I was just out of college with no SAP experience in past.

Then from October 2015 to February 2016 I did another project for SAP CRM, which was just a country roll-out — a UK-based project for five months. Then I finally joined the SAP Cloud for Customer team at the Bangalore office.

For the “About me” portion of your bio, you have: “I am SAP CX Consultant supporting Technical Design for SAP Sales, Service and Marketing Cloud along with integration to other SAP products using CPI as middleware.” That’s pretty specific. I can see from your background how you evolved in that direction, but anything else you’d care to add about your current expertise and focus?

Accenture gave me an opportunity to work for SAP CRM and SAP Cloud for Customer, whereas my stay at SAP was quite focused on SAP Customer Experience (CX) or Hybris portfolio–based products like SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Subscription Billing, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Cloud for Customer, et cetera, et cetera. All of these products were new to SAP, as well as to the whole cloud world. In fact, SAP Marketing Cloud as well as SAP Subscription Billing was launched to market when I was with SAP. So we closely worked with the development team to find out the real potential of the product launched. And also given the focus SAP was putting in for cloud and now in Experience Economy, I decided to stay with SAP CX as my primary focus area.

In addition to congratulating you for Member of the Month, I should congratulate you for earning those Solver badges. How did you work up the confidence to answer so many questions?

Whenever I choose to answer any question then I make sure that either I have already faced these issues in past or I should reproduce similar issues in my test system.

Any advice for members who might be shy about answering questions?

If you do not want to answer any question, please do not answer but at least read through the question and its proposed solutions by fellow members. This will help you in two ways: One, it gives you future readiness for a similar problem which you might also face in your project. Two, it helps you to know the business process used by other customers.

You’ve answered hundreds of questions. Have you ever considered contributing blogs too?

Not in past since I have learned most of the things by going through those blogs and have not invented anything on my own. But definitely if I work on something new which is not available over SAP blogs, then definitely I will write some.

Here I am asking you if you’d be willing to do more work…and you’re getting ready for vacation. I really am a jerk sometimes. Where are you going on vacation, by the way…if you don’t mind me asking?

I am going to visit my friends and family in India. There is nothing planned as such. It will be more of a calm vacation to spend some quality time with family, with lots of Indian spicy food and no office emails.

Thanks for sharing your vacation plans. Anything else in particular you like to do during your free time?

I am a big movie buff. I really watch a lot of Bollywood films and sometimes Hollywood thrillers. Apart from it in my free time, I also read English novels or just take trips around Munich city. By the way, Munich is a really nice city with many open parks and surfing places.

OK, I should let you go enjoy yourself. With all you contribute, you certainly earned the time off. Congratulations again!

Thanks, Jerry. It was really nice talking to you. Hope we stay connected.

 

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