Nair has recently been appointed SAP’s first ecosystem and channel director, which will see him managing the software giant’s extensive partner network across Africa, ensuring that SAP’s growing "ecosystem" – as the network is referred to – is supported and developed.
This means building the right sales teams and ensuring that they, in turn, build leads into SAP’s ecosystem across the continent.
Nair’s role is an affirmation of SAP’s commitment to working "indirectly" through its network of partners.
“SAP Africa recognises the important part its partners have to play in the success of its business – particularly on the African continent,” comments Nair.
“I share my new colleagues’ excitement about the growth opportunities in Africa, and one of the key aspects of my role is growing SAP’s partner network in Africa, while maintaining and strengthening relationships with the extensive ecosystem we already have in South Africa.”
Yet Nair remains realistic about the challenges he is likely to encounter, particularly when venturing outside of South Africa.
“Although we know of the abundant opportunities for doing business in Africa, my key challenge will be to identify where – geographically – they exist and which potential African partners would be willing to work not only in their own markets, but across the continent too,” he explains. “So in a nutshell, it’ll be about marrying the right tech partners with the right opportunities in the right locations.”
Prior to joining SAP Africa, Nair spent over a decade working for Microsoft, where he oversaw the development of the company’s business in both the South African and Gulf Region.
“We are delighted to welcome Desmond to the fold at SAP Africa, both in his new role and as a Board member,” says Pfungwa Serima, SAP Africa’s MD.
“He brings with him a wealth of experience in building business in new, exciting and challenging regions, and we are confident that he will strengthen SAP’s footprint in Africa even further. We have made great headway on the continent over the last 10 years, and we look forward to what we can achieve with our partner network over the next 10.”