Eursap’s Ask the SAP Expert: Ganesh Padala
Eursap’s “Ask the SAP Expert” is designed to give you up-to-date information on the latest SAP news, featuring key thought leaders in the SAP space, as well as regular interviews with the best SAP consultants in the business.
This month, we feature Ganesh Padala, an experienced SAP MM and WM and EWM consultant, who shares his knowledge in regular YouTube videos totalling over 3 million views and over 39,000 subscribers. He also has 15,000 students in 131 countries for the various Udemy courses he has designed. He has amassed a LinkedIn following of 45,000 professionals, making him one of the most followed SAP professionals on the platform.
Hi Ganesh, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat.
Can we start by understanding a little bit about you and your background and how you first got into the world of SAP?
Hi Jon, good day. Firstly, thanks for giving me this opportunity to share details with the SAP community.
I was born in a small village in Andhra Pradesh, India. My father is a farmer, and my mother is a home-maker. I am the first graduate in my whole family and completed my post-graduate in Organic Chemistry. My first job was as a Production Officer at Asian Paints Ltd where I was first introduced to SAP for the regular production activities. I developed an interest towards learning the tool and decided to become an SAP MM consultant.
I made my way through learning and practising SAP MM and finally started my SAP journey in December 2011 from Highbar Technocrat. I am so grateful to them for trusting me and providing me an opportunity to begin my career in SAP. Here is the link to my Journey to SAP – https://youtu.be/ZJ79vNN4cY4
Did you always know that you wanted to be involved in IT – and in SAP in particular?
I never knew that I would work in IT/SAP. My masters is in Organic Chemistry and my first job was in the paint industry. However, my job at Asian Paints was the reason my interest developed towards SAP and my career transitioned in 2011. I never looked back.
After this role, when you became a consultant, you eventually moved to Singapore. What prompted that move?
I was exploring career choices and researching banking jobs. Or thinking to continue in further education with an MBA. I was confused about the wide range of choices and finally decided to pursue SAP, since I was familiar with the application at my job. That was one of the best decisions I have taken which brought a paradigm-shift in my career and life.
After gaining some experience and confidence as an SAP Consultant and collaborating with international clients and projects, I thought of trying overseas opportunities. I tried for more than two years without success. Then I decided to try by myself through LinkedIn and YouTube. Finally, I received offers from three countries and I chose Singapore.
I have been in Singapore for five years and I am enjoying the journey with multiple projects and global exposure. I worked on four Implementation projects along with few other tasks in the last five years.
You’ve been active on YouTube, uploading regular videos around SAP tips and training, and your reach has expanded to over 39,000 subscribers now (see https://www.youtube.com/@GaneshSAPMMWM/about). What made you start out on this path?
The primary reason behind the YouTube channel is associated to my nature to help others. The motivation behind this helping nature is the hardship I have seen in my family. To give a brief overview – we were a lower middle-class family and I had to skip the thought of studying engineering just to avoid the additional burden for my father. I always wished to grow in life and change the way my parents lived and uplift others around me. This motivation was strong and I started my first charity in 2007 with part-time home tuition while studying a post-graduate degree.
After learning SAP I understood its true potential and how rewarding it can be for someone’s career. S=I wanted to continue teaching without home tutoring and wanted to reach more aspirants. I started online training classes and slowly began recording videos. This eventually led to my YouTube channel in 2015. Being a shy person, I was not comfortable in the beginning – but I understood that there is a real need and people are looking for this knowledge. The compliments from viewers around the world motivated me to do more and spread the knowledge.
And can you remember your first video?
Yes, I remember. I made the video on SAP MM Purchasing Overview. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/N2Hh4ErusBk
How do you decide upon the content of your videos?
I made the videos of the key topics from SAP MM and SAP WM. But the key points considered in deciding the latest videos are given below:
• Learning points or interesting concepts which I come across in my day-to-day SAP activities
• Any issues or concepts which I learn as part of my self-learning
• Requests as comments on YouTube
• Topics from the issues/requirements which I come across in any groups.
You are also active on Udemy, with twenty-two courses and over 15,000 customers in 131 countries. What came first – YouTube or Udemy?
YouTube was first. I started YouTube in 2015 and Udemy began in 2019. I had a few students from the USA, UK and other countries during 2016 who suggested I share the courses on Udemy. I sometimes doubted myself as to whether my content was ready to be on Udemy. Later I noticed that a few people were utilising my videos at training institutions to teach their students. Though this is a form of hijacking my efforts without my consent, it made me happy because it was a clear indication that my endeavour to spread knowledge was working. This boosted my confidence and I started with Udemy courses in 2019 – it helped me reach one hundred students in the first year. Slowly I learned a few best practices which benefitted thousands of students by reaching 131 countries around the world.
And which do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy YouTube the most. These numbers always motivate me:
• Three million views on YouTube
• 350,000 hours of knowledge sharing with the SAP family since 2015
• 39,000+ subscribers on YouTube
• 15,000+ students from 131 countries on Udemy
Do you have anything you are currently planning in terms of videos or courses, which you could share a sneak preview of with our readers?
I have the following topics in mind which will be made in the coming years:
• SAP Extended Warehouse Management
• ECC to S4 HANA Migration and new innovations in S4 HANA
• Contemporary issues and learnings in SAP MM/WM
• Supply Chain Management business knowledge
• Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Warehouse.
Talk to us a little about your website (https://ganeshsapscm.com/), which houses some blogs about SAP.
I started this blog in July 2015 with around fifteen documents. As I was an introvert and less talkative, I never imagined that I would make 500+ SAP videos. I was comfortable making documents and later I was habitual in making videos. Primarily videos will help to teach each step with explanations and helps to reach maximum members. Nowadays I use my blog to upload YouTube videos, Udemy latest updates and sometimes new blogs.
It must be difficult to fit in a full-time role as an SAP consultant with creating content and courses. How do you manage to fit it all in?
I have one reason – passion. And I do not create make-to-order content as this would just add extra pressure. I am a full-time employee, which is my priority now. I always create content whenever I wish, and I enjoy making videos or documents as much as I like watching a movie or web series. Otherwise, I couldn’t possibly make this many videos! I can say one thing – if we can’t enjoy the work we do, we will never get satisfaction, and also never continue doing so for a long time.
Let us talk a little about S/4HANA. How has SAP S/4HANA changed things for you in terms of your roles, social media and course content?
I have been reading articles and discussing S/4 HANA. In 2016 I was part of a Model Company setup for a project bidding. But I recently started working on SAP ECC6 Warehouse Management to S/4HANA Stock Room Management. As our company is migrating from SAP ECC6 to S/4HANA, I will be involved in multiple S/4HANA activities in the coming days.
As I manage Procurement, Inventory Management and Warehouse Management, S/4HANA gave enough scope to make the content from different new topics. It made me think about new scenarios and sharing new functionalities with our SAP community. I hope S/4HANA Fiori apps will make an enormous impact in user experience to manage their regular activities. I have already uploaded a few things and more will come.
And when you think about SAP S/4HANA and all the innovations it has brought in comparison to the ECC6 world, can you pinpoint any specific favourites?
As of now, my favourites are given below:
• S/4HANA Fiori Apps which will give better experience to the users
• Serial Number and Handling Unit Management in S/4HANA EWM
• Simplification of Database tables
• S/4HANA on Cloud which helps to get more low and mid-range customers
You are an expert in warehouse management. There has been lots of changes in SAP S/4HANA in this area, with the advent of extended warehouse management and stock room management, particularly now there are offerings around embedded EWM, decentralised EWM and basic and advanced EWM. Can you demystify the area a little for our readers?
As per my experience and interaction with a few existing clients who are currently using ECC6 SAP WM, most of them prefer to go to S/4HANA Stock Room management. SAP makes all existing customising functionalities, and most of the standard functionalities of ECC6 SAP WM are available in S/4HANA Stock Room Management. I have provided more details in this link http://surl.li/dwche.
But the approach is different when it comes to new clients who are planning to implement Warehouse Management. They prefer to go with S/4HANA embedded EWM which comes with lot of new functionalities. Compared to decentralized EWM, embedded EWM has much more scope in the future as most of the companies migrate to S/4HANA or implement SAP S/4HANA.
Coming to your own personal development, it must be difficult to keep yourself abreast of all the new features in SAP S/4HANA. Are there any favourite online resources you turn to to help you?
I refer to the latest SAP Press books and E-bites. I follow blogs from SAP experts on SAP Community Network and SAP notes in Service Marketplace. I refer to the EWM Book from Mr. CK Reddy along with standard SAP materials.
With everything going on in your world, it must be difficult to carve out any free time. Do you ever get time for hobbies and interests?
Yes, I do! I give time to myself and my family. SAP vlogging and blogging have become my best habit but not simply as a professional task. My main hobbies (other than SAP) are cycling, watching comedy videos, swimming and chatting with friends.
Finally, our favourite question we like to ask our interviewees. What advice would you give to any new consultants just starting out in the industry? And the same question for existing SAP ECC6 consultants struggling to come to terms with SAP S/4HANA?
I would suggest all SAP jobseekers select their module after getting a basic idea about the functionalities available in that respective module. It is better to select a module based on their education and background too. Readers can check this link which helps in choosing the right SAP module.
And all the members must understand the SAP Certification is an entry to the interview but not the ultimate step to getting the job. One can practice the questions for the exam, but they must learn in depth and practice well. Many jobseekers are preparing for the interviews but not for managing the role of SAP Consultant. This is causing multiple issues such as less command on the system and a lack of deep understanding about the scenarios. Less practice leads to less confidence.
I also recommend learning business process and solutions along with requirements, whether it is ECC6 or S/4HANA, as the difference is less. A functional consultant may not even spend 10% of the time on configuration during an implementation project. There are many other skills such as listening and understanding the business requirements so you can propose the proper solutions which help businesses run their activities without hurdles. Another important aspect of being in a work environment is to build our professional network. People should interact with other team members and maintain the required rapport with business teams and other teams.