Headquartered in Chennai, Zoho is a comprehensive suite of online productivity, collaboration and business applications for businesses of all sizes. With offices in Pleasanton, Austin, London, Tokyo and Beijing, Zoho Corp. serves the technology needs of millions of customers worldwide. It is one of the biggest success stories coming from India (read our detailed interview with co-founder Sridhar Vembu) but as a business, ZOHO has always been focused on the overseas market. ZOHO globally conducts User Conferences under the name 'Zoholics' and now, it has announced the Indian edition which will be held in Bangalore on November 20-21. We got in touch with Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist at ZOHO to know more about this move:
YS: Tell us about when Zoholics was started, what has been happening in other countries?
RV: Zoholics started as a small event in our Japan office in 2009. We later borrowed the name for the main line of events in US and globally. We do four annual events in US (details here) and we do roadshows in several countries. Most of these events focus on product training. The events are intimate gatherings aimed to encourage dialogue between our employees and users.
For the first time we are doing a Zoholics event in India. We hope to do several events moving forward. This is just the beginning.
YS: How does Zoho look at the technology startup space in India? What does the ecosystem need?
RV: The technology startup space is in its infancy stages in India and we believe it is bound to explode in coming years. The time is right, the market is there, the talent exists and various other aspects are aligning and we expect to see several product companies emerge out of India and make a global impact in coming years. What we need is companies thinking big, thinking about products (not services), thinking about scale, thinking about global audience etc. What the ecosystem can use is some experience and possibly some guidance. That is where Zoho comes in.
YS: What is the intention with Zoholics India? What are the expectations?
RV: As the largest product company from India, over the past 18 years we have learnt a lot on creating products out of India and selling to the global market. We have made our share of mistakes. We stumbled at times, we picked ourselves up and moved forward to where we are today. We thought sharing some of these experiences - from nearly two decades of creating products - can help other entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs in India. That was how Zoholics: India was born. We also wanted to make this a platform where we can meet, learn from other entrepreneurs. We want to contribute to accelerate the next wave of product based companies out of India.
More details about the event on their website: Zoholics India