Freelancer Insides - Kumaresa Sereetharan, SAP specialist and ABAP programmer


Kumaresa Sereetharan is an SAP specialist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With over 11 years in the business, he has honed his skills well enough that he gets jobs simply by word-of-mouth and has held on to clients for years at a time. But how did he get to that point?

Hi Kumaresa! can you tell us bit about yourself?

My name is Kumaresa Sereetharan or Kuma for short, and I am from Malaysia. I have over 11 years of experience consulting in the SAP world both in Malaysia and USA. I am an ABAP programmer, CRM/Billing/FICA techno-functionaland IS-U technical architect. As a freelancer, I have been consulting for about four and a half years, most of which is with the same client here in Malaysia.


Tell us about your career – How did everything start? Where does your interest in data, SAP and IT architecture comes from?

I am a trained Electrical & Electronics Engineer. As I was going through my education, I found that I enjoyed programming very much. It came naturally to me. So much so that my final year project was related to a genetic algorithm application in engineering. After graduation, a friend told me about SAP. It looked pretty interesting despite it being more 'business' than it was 'science'. After a great deal of thought, I signed up for the ABAP course and certification and I never looked back. The same company that trained me for my certification gave me my first job as a trainer and consultant.


What was your inspiration and when did you actually decide to become a freelancer?

I wanted the freedom and the opportunity to face new challenges. I always strive to push myself harder and further. Being a freelancer gave me some level of freedom. There were no office politics to deal with; I just needed to deliver top-notch work. This motto has been driving me from day one, even while I was a permanent staff. As a result, I have gotten repeat contract roles from the people I used to work with, and I have been able to keep abreast with the latest technology.


What kind of projects do you enjoy most working on? Are there any particular project do you feel especially proud of?

Personally, I like working on projects where everyone works as a team towards a specific goal. Such teams create a sense of fulfillment, especially at the end of a project. There have been actually two projects in my life that I am particularly proud of. I led these projects to a successful Go Live on schedule with zero defects. The solutions proposed were so versatile that the clients themselves were able to maintain/enhance them for the future.

Being a freelancer gave me some level of freedom. There were no office politics to deal with; I just needed to deliver top-notch work.

Do you use other freelancers or companies to provide skills that you don’t possess?

Upskilling is something very important every freelancer needs to do. Typically, if I do not possess a particular skill, I try to learn it on or prior to the job. I wouldn't apply for a role unless I have confidence to execute it wholly by myself. 



How is to be a SAP freelance consultant in Kuala Lumpur? How do you find new clients that are interested in your services? Do you mainly work with local clients or remotely?

Kuala Lumpur has a decent freelance market. Niche skills that are hard to come by can become very valuable. Most of my work has come through word of mouth or by referral. Basically my work sells itself. I work with clients from all over the world. My main client in Malaysia makes up most of my daily work. I provide ad hoc consultancy to other consultancies/clients across Malaysia. Occasionally I do part time work for clients in the U.S.


What about Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with our IT-network?

I find that freelancermap has got a lot of good opportunities. Lately it has become much better. However, I feel that it is mostly catered to folks in the European region mainly due to language, work visas and long term on-site requirements.


How do you set yourself apart from your competitors? What makes you special?

I guess one of the reasons why my clients keep coming back to me is the value I bring with the solutions I provide. I can work independently and my designs are able to stand the test of time in terms of performance and scalability.


What does a typical work day look like for you?

Ha-ha. This really varies. When I only have one job, it is pretty much a 9 to 5 working day to me. But when working on multiple projects, it can get hectic. To give you an idea, once I was working on 3 different projects at the same time, I used to work 120 hours a week. I did that for 3 months. It was challenging but I think with proper time management, it wasn't that big of a deal.


What are the top three books, blogs or magazines you read to stay up to date in your niche?

Always, is the best. Besides these, I keep myself relevant with breakthroughs in the computer science world by reading science blogs.


What are you most excited about for your business in the future?

Technology is evolving rapidly. I am excited to see how new technologies get adapted into traditional industries to improve businesses on a large scale and how we as consultants can help businesses integrate that.


Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?

Keep learning, keep innovating and keep applying!


Where to find Sereetharan

Kumaresa Sereetharan - SAP Consultant


Kumaresa on freelancermap

LinkedIn profile: Kumaresa Sereetharan - SAP ABAP and IS-U Architect

Phone number: +60172750699



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