His installation at one of India’s most coveted CEO seats took many by surprise, for Sikka is the first non-founder CEO of India’s bellwether software company and will assume office at Infosys at a time when the going is tough. But Sikka, who was a member of the executive board of SAP AG and in its global managing board heading all SAP products and innovation before being named at Infosys, is no stranger to challenges, having been responsible for development and delivery of all products across SAP’s portfolio.
Born in Madhya Pradesh and raised in Baroda, Sikka, son of a railways engineer, joined the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda for computer engineering. However, he soon left it to move to Syracuse University in New York where he did his BS and MS in computer science followed by a doctorate at Stanford University. Before SAP, Sikka worked at Xerox research labs and also founded iBran and Bodha.com. He worked for Peregrine Systems when the company acquired Bodha.com.
In 2008, he introduced Timeless Software as a key element in SAP’s product development, where users face no disruption even when the tech landscape changes. Sikka is best known for SAP HANA, the company’s new database technology which, till date, has his stamp on it.