) recently revealed its decision to expand its social sabbatical
program in emerging markets by increasing the number of people
that are sent to guide the entrepreneurs of small to midsize
companies. This increase is estimated to be by more than 100%.
The initiative falls under the company's Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR) agenda, which aims to advance education and
entrepreneurship in developing nations.
SAP's social sabbatical initiative was launched in 2012 and
initially catered to three countries - Brazil, India and South
Africa with 30 employees. Beginning this year (2013), the program
has been extended to cover entrepreneurs in China. The company,
by investing more than $2 billion in the next couple of years,
aims to have a broader presence in the emerging economies like
China, which are growing more than 2% every year.
After this phase, SAP is also planning to invest as much as
$2.44 million for the leadership skill development of its 72
employees who would be working closely with the selected emerging
nations. The company expects to have twin benefits through this
investment; firstly providing its employees with more exposure
for innovation and development and secondly enhancing
entrepreneurship in emerging economies.
The participants receive mentoring during the program and once
the program is over they receive comprehensive training sessions
specially designed to develop and utilize their experience for
working at SAP.
Aimed at enhancing the sabbatical's impact, SAP follows a
strategy for selecting assignments. The strategy ensures that the
project can be completed by regional team even after the
sabbatical is over.
A research from Pyxera Global, a non profit organization that
partnered SAP in developing the sabbatical initiative, notes that
the number of people sent for such international sabbaticals have
increased fourfold in the last five years and the trend is
expected to continue.
SAP currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the
software industry that are more promising at the moment include
Dealertrack Technologies, Inc.
Trend Micro Inc.
all three carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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