Zoho: a suite of Made in India apps solving challenges for businesses in India and across the world

Five apps from the Zoho stable beat some of the top apps in India to win AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge. The apps aim to increase the productivity of global businesses.

Zoho: a suite of Made in India apps solving challenges for businesses in India and across the world

Sunday August 30, 2020,

4 min Read


Sridhar Vembu, Founder, Zoho Corp Founder

Chennai-based software as a service (SaaS) major ZohoCorp recently won the Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, and bagged the first place in the business and office category.

Co-founded by Sridhar Vembu, the 25-year-old company serves the SMB and CRM market with cloud applications. It has over 45 business applications in the areas of CRM, HR, finance, office productivity, and customer service, and a customer base of 50 million users worldwide.

Commenting on winning the app innovation challenge, Zoho said in a statement:

“A nationwide open competition like this is the fastest way to quickly turn the spotlight towards apps that can make a difference in the everyday life of business owners. Although the products from Zoho have an established reputation across the globe, the competition wasn’t easy. From scalability and adaptability to local languages and privacy, the products were evaluated in such a way that it is easy for a small business to get started with, yet is comprehensive enough to handle complex requirements of a mature business."

The app innovation challenge was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 4 to boost domestic applications after India banned over 59 Chinese applications. It was organised by MeitY along with MyGov India, Atal Innovation Mission, and NITI Aayog, and aims to promote existing homegrown apps. 

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of India and the esteemed panel of jurors who evaluated all the apps. This is a significant milestone for us, and we are proud to continue to build world-class products that are made in India, for Indian businesses and the world,” the statement added.

Close to 6,000-plus startups and entrepreneurs applied for evaluation. Five apps from Zoho — Zoho Cliq, Zoho Workplace, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Expense, and Zoho Books — won in the office and business categories.

Zoho Workplace

Zoho Workplace is an integrated suite of productivity applications that become online workplace for teams working remotely across geographies. For teams that want to co-create, communicate, and collaborate meaningfully, Zoho Workplace centralises and streamlines all team files and communications.

What it offers: Next generation email, fully-featured online office suite, instant messaging and calls, organisation intranet, and online meeting and video conferencing.

Zoho Cliq

Zoho Cliq is an enterprise grade team communication and collaboration software built keeping security and organisational controls in mind to optimise workplace productivity.

What it offers: Simplified team communication, remote work tools like remote check-in, group calling, actionable conversations, organisation policy and configurations, and role-based security.

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is a cloud-based, GST-compliant double-entry accounting application that simplifies accounting and GST filing for Indian businesses. According to the company, Zoho Books helps business owners from non-accounting background manage all their accounting needs by simply recording what they buy and sell, and also helps file GST returns for these transactions.

Zoho Books is the first accounting software in India to bring banking capabilities within the application contextually. Using this capability, businesses can carry out important banking activities like reconciling transactions, making vendor payments, request a loan, and more.

Zoho Invoice

Zoho Invoice is a GST-compliant invoicing application that helps businesses digitise their invoicing and payment collection process. It offers a wide variety of ready-to-use and customisable transaction templates from the template gallery.

Zoho Invoice helps businesses collaborate with customers online through the client portal instead of having to work with lengthy mail threads. Customers can also make online payments via multiple payment modes like UPI, netbanking, credit and debit cards.

This application is used by professional services, consultancies, law firms, entertainment sector, travel and tourism businesses, construction firms, and many others.

Zoho Expense

Zoho Expense is a GST-compliant, online expense reporting and management application, built to streamline expenses, simplify approvals, and speed up reimbursements.

Managing organisational expenses is one of the toughest challenges for any business as it involves a lot of manual work, compliance regulations, and ample amount of time and money. The company said Zoho Expense was built with the purpose of simplifying expense reporting processes for managers, finance teams, and employees alike, with the help of robust features, powerful automations, and an easy-to-use interface.

Zoho Expense can also scale with a business as it grows. Thousands of businesses from various sectors, across 150-plus countries, are currently using Zoho Expense to control their spending and gain better visibility into their expenses.

Edited by Megha Reddy