How Sridhar Vembu is steering Zoho Corp to become one of the top technology players in the world

In a recent conversation with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, Sridhar Vembu, Co-founder and CEO, Zoho Corp, shares valuable insights into the SaaS company’s recent investment in Voxelgrids and more.
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Indian software-as-a-service (SaaS) company Zoho Corp recently invested Rs 35 crore ($5 million) into MRI technology startup Voxelgrids.

Sridhar Vembu, Co-founder and CEO, Zoho Corp, says the investment is part of the SaaS major’s strategy to nurture deep technology and R&D to sustain and acquire the know-how of critical technologies. 

Sridhar Vembu, Co-founder and CEO, Zoho Corp

“MRI machines are very advanced technology where super connecting magnets and all of that is involved. While this technology is interesting for itself, it also has broad ramifications in many different areas,” he says.

According to the Zoho founder, the Chennai-headquartered company wants to invest in these technologies and spread the investments across landscapes. 

Zoho’s broader strategy is to be a deep technology provider and emerge as one of the top five technology players in the world, Vembu says, adding that the company wants to possess deep technological know-how in a varied range of areas, including software, semiconductors, and medical equipment.

“We see a vast opportunity here, and also there is a pressing need in India for all these investments,” says Sridhar. 

There is a need for industrial and technological know-how, and since Zoho has vast experience in the field, they are in a position to invest in this, he explains. 

In India, he says, the country needs to have the advanced know-how, and make the critical technologies we depend upon in the country. Sridhar says while the government has chalked out clear objectives, now, it’s time for the private sector to step up, and invest in R&D to build these capabilities.

This has become a national goal now, and Zoho Corp is leading the charge in that aspect, he adds. 

At present, Zoho is heavily investing in remote work technologies not just for work-from-home but also for work from the rural offices.

“The trend of rural offices and expansion is here to stay,” Sridhar believes, and Zoho is trying to knit all of it together and form a unified culture. So far, the SaaS company has opened over 20 offices in rural areas in India.

“We are innovating in a lot of areas in remote work and enabling our own brand to be productive in this. We are then making those products available to the product market, enabling other companies to achieve similar kinds of productivity that we can achieve,” Sridhar says, explaining Zoho Corp’s current product portfolio. 

Recently, the company announced its foray into CRM with a very strong canvas offering. It also launched Catalyst — a full-stack serverless platform for developers in 2019 for infrastructure services.

“All of these are now demonstrating that Zoho is committed to deepening our technology stack and product portfolio,” shares Sridhar, charting out how Zoho will emerge as one of the top technology players in the world in the next 10-15 years.

At present, Zoho has 10,000 employees with great productivity, growing at a rapid pace.

“We are doing quite well. We are the largest product company out of India and we would like to maintain that lead and innovate further,” says Sridhar.

In the next five years, the company wishes to be multiple billion dollars in revenue scale. In 10 years, Sridhar says, Zoho is aiming to become a $10 billion revenue company.

Zoho plans to remain private and has no plans of fundraising now. 


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Edited by Suman Singh

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