Sandeep Nahata tells how TalenTeam has become SAP’s highest-rated SuccessFactors partner in Europe in just 9 years and with 25 employees.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Sandeep Nahata: We are quite fortunate, everyone is keeping well. While concerned about what was going on around us, we decided to celebrate this time as a family, do more family activities and spend more time with the children. We also decided to engage ourselves with the local community. We supported local park communities to go virtual and also enabled a few primary schools to take their teaching online by providing Zoom technology and training sessions. While we have made the most of the time at home, we all look forward to moving back into what was normal before.
Business-wise, personally, for me, it was a good challenge to try and assess the potential impact on the business if the virus didn’t disappear in a few months as many initially expected, the impacts on our customer teams and, most importantly, our employees. Knowing that everyone reacts differently, many would be affected either directly or through family members and what we could do to support them. This also introduced our Friday Virtual Social team meetings which seems like it’s here to stay!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded TalenTeam.
Sandeep Nahata: Growing up in India, I have always valued the need for education, and through my 20s, I realised that we never really stop learning! This is where my strong interest in corporate Learning Management and HR processes started. I worked in various roles as a tech consultant, implementation architect, and business analyst project manager with various organizations in Australia, Singapore, and the UK before I decided to start up TalenTeam. The key motive behind starting TalenTeam was to provide a consulting service that helps customers get the most out of their SAP SuccessFactors HR solutions. In just nine years, TalenTeam has become SAP’s highest-rated SuccessFactors partner in Europe. With just 25 employees, we help businesses and organisations unlock the true potential of the workforce, receiving 60% of our global business from SAP referrals due to the trust that we have built and the expertise that we have shown over the years.
How does TalenTeam innovate?
Sandeep Nahata: TalenTeam’s mission is to help customers provide the best HR services to their employees through the use of SAP SuccessFactors. This includes regular reviews of the customer setup, enhancements, and addressing their challenges through product enhancements or work around. We also create add-ons and extensions to the SAP SuccessFactors Product to bring in functionalities into the cloud environment that really help transform the experience within SAP SuccessFactors platforms. Technologies are changing at a rapid speed, and while a large enterprise application can take time to adopt the newer technologies, SAP’s open approach towards partners allows us to innovate and bring the best for the customers.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Sandeep Nahata: The pandemic has been a challenge for all business. TalenTeam has played its part and has in many instances shown flexibility on payment terms for our customers. Many companies have also sought better terms/discounts due to the pandemic. We initially saw a slowdown in business activity but this largely recovered later last year.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Sandeep Nahata: We were able to adapt quickly by switching to remote working. It was important to support the team through these times, knowing that each individual is dealing with this situation differently. We even took on six new graduates since the beginning of lockdown, supporting them to work remotely with a manager, a mentor, and a buddy as they apply their academic knowledge in the workplace.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Sandeep Nahata: As a market leader, we see it as our role to share our knowledge and expertise. We constantly provide digital training webinars to support our clients on various issues or just knowledge refresh sessions on specific functionalities of SAP SuccessFactors. Since the beginning of lockdown, these webinars have continued to grow in popularity. Attracting live attendees and further views of the recording, the audience includes our clients from all over the world. Sessions cover a whole range of topics around SAP SuccessFactors, industry trends, and other issues, including coping with the mental health challenges of lockdown.
Each year, we host a free symposium for clients and non-clients alike to gather feedback about how the systems are working in the real world. We bring together speakers from SAP and client organisations to describe their experiences, innovations, and learning. In 2020 we moved the session online and had over 300 attendees. The success of the 2020 event, despite the global situation, speaks for its reputation and quality. From the symposium audience, we create supportive peer groups of attendees to enable them to go on supporting and learning from one another. We focus on sharing information and best practice, building strong relationships, and empowering people across the industry.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Sandeep Nahata: No, our innovative approach and plans to help customers resulted into constant work.
Your final thoughts?
Sandeep Nahata: The time we are living in right now is unique in so many ways. While we are experiencing the new normal, supporting the community around us is more important than ever. This is a very significant time for everybody.