Zoho sees scope to tango with Reliance Jio, opens new facility in Tirupati
Social customer relation management (CRM) tools, which help in maintaining customer engagement strategies, and cloud-based business applications are now the talk among cloud-friendly companies. Competing with global giants like Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Zendesk and others, Chennai-based Zoho Corporation is in the fray to capture a large slice of the pie in the social CRM tools market. Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani also threw his hat into the ring on Tuesday by announcing, in a meeting of business leaders and policymakers in West Bengal, that Reliance Jio plans to launch cloud-based applications for retailers to help them better manage their customer business and relationships with suppliers. Zoho, however, welcomed the move and suggested that there was room for collaboration. “We are an application layer. With many cloud companies hosting from India they, including Zoho, will be open to partner with Reliance Jio for using the infrastructure as it reduces costs,’’ says Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist, Zoho. “Zoho is a single platform with all the applications needed to run a business completely from the cloud,’’ says Sridhar Vembu, CEO. Zoho’s suite has now become the ‘operating system’ for business, with a single cloud suite of 40 applications to run an entire business.
Meanwhile, expanding its footprint in the country, Zoho opened a new office in Tirupati. It has earmarked Rs 100 crore to be invested in the next three-four years for its expansion in tier two and tier three cities. The new office has the capacity for 150 employees to be hired locally over the following months. Zoho intends to expand further in the region and plans to build its own campus. The Tirupati office will also house a branch of Zoho University, Zoho’s in-house training programme for skill development, wherein high school students are recruited and trained in software programming over a period of 18 months.
Those who complete the course are recruited by the company as employees. Around 15% of Zoho’s 5,000 employees have come through this programme. Currently, Zoho University has branches in Chennai and Tenkasi, with a total strength of 100 students. The target is to double the workforce to 10,000 in the next two- three years. More than 30 million users around the world (across 220 countries), across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself. Zoho Corporation is privately held and profitable. Zoho is headquartered in Pleasanton, California, with international headquarters in Chennai and additional offices in Austin, Amsterdam, Singapore, Yokohama, and Beijing. “About 60% of our clientele are Fortune 500 companies and there are about 3.5 crore users who have a subscription deal,’’ he said. The reason is that the company offers a cost-effective solution. “There are about 40 applications in our suite, which cost about Rs 1,000 a month in India and $30 per user per month in the US, which can assist any kind of company,’’ Vegesna added.