Zoho Corporation is India's largest IT company. In 2020, it had 10,000 employees and a turnover of $590 million.
Zoho creates digital products that are used all over the world. The most famous among them are the Zoho CRM customer relationship management system, as well as the Zoho Office Suite, an analogue of Microsoft Office.
The company is private, develops with its own money and does not attract investment. The main office is located in the Indian city of Chennai. Zoho divisions are also present in the US, Japan, China, the Netherlands, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
The founder and CEO of the company is Indian billionaire Sridhar Vembu.
The story of Zoho
The company appeared in 1996 under the name AdventNet. Wembu co-founded it with his American partner Tony Thomas. In the early years, their business was based on computer network management services.
Things went well at first. AdventNet served Cisco and other large Silicon Valley clients. In 2001, the company entered the rapidly developing Japanese market.
But that same year, AdventNet almost collapsed due to the financial crisis known as the dot-com bubble. Out of 150 customers, the company has only three left. However, Wembu had enough money to refocus AdventNet on software development, which proved to be a salvation.
The company began offering corporate clients a set of services for managing IT infrastructure under the general name ManageEngine. By 2003, 60% of AdventNet customers were on the prestigious Fortune 500 list.
In 2005, AdventNet released its CRM, which soon became the company's main product. At the same time, the Writer text editor, the first application in the future office suite, was released.
The business formula that has helped the company compete at the international market can be described as: more features at a lower price. The specifics of the Indian economy helped AdventNet implement this approach. As the salaries of local programmers are lower than American ones the company was able to afford a huge staff. In 2007, AdventNet had six times as many programmers as CRM market leader SalesForce.
In 2008, the number of AdventNet customers reached one million. On the back of the success of CRM and office applications, the company decided to change the name, which was associated with network technologies - the previous basis of the business. As a result, AdventNet was renamed Zoho in 2009. Under the same brand, the company's key products were relaunched.
In the years that followed, Zoho evolved along three lines: e-commerce and productivity; IT infrastructure management services; internet of things. A separate division has been formed for each within the company.
By 2019, Zoho's Zoho customer list has reached 50 million users. The pandemic and the massive transition to remote work tools, which Zoho specializes in, has contributed to the growth of the company. In 2021, the number of users of its products has grown to 75 million.
Interesting facts about Zoho
- The company has been attracting personnel since school age. To do this, Zoho invites future specialists to specialized IT schools and pays scholarships to students. 15% of the company's developers came from these establishments.
- Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu supports the development of rural India. This is where the company's schools are located. Wembu himself also spends a lot of time in the village, running Zoho from there. Many employees also work remotely from villages.
- The name Zoho comes from the acronym SOHO (Small Office Home Office), which reflects the company's focus on employees in small or home offices. But since the soho.com domain was taken, management registered the Zoho name.
- Company slogan: “Made in India. Made for the whole world."
- Sridhar Vembu refuses from third-party investments in order to prevent a negative impact on the business from the outside. According to the executive, this allows Zoho to spend more on product development and support than on growth to please investors.
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