The word on the street is that one can learn more about enterprise software by listening Sridhar Vembu for one hour than reading hundreds of books on the subject. And it is difficult to agree any lesser.
Sridhar Vembu, the man behind the rise of enterprise software pioneer Zoho Corporation, has mastered the art of turning software programmers out of high school dropouts. Instead of depending on top-ranked tech institutes for quality engineers for his venture, Zoho conducts aptitude tests and interviews. Those who qualify are offered seats for the 18-month programme at Zoho University, and a high-salary job at the end of the successful term.
“You don’t need a college degree to innovate or succeed in life. Software is a handicraft. It is created with a craftsmanship-like approach by a small team. While the surrounding might be hi-tech, the process is very human,” says Vembu.
When & where?
IIT-Madra Alumni Sridhar Vembu started ‘AdventNet’ in a small apartment that was located in a Chennai suburb, Tambaram. From a modest beginning in 1996 as a software company serving network equipment vendors, to a global innovative online applications provider after re-christening as Zoho in 2005, the company has put the unknown suburb on map while giving path to clueless dropouts.
Ever since 2005, Zoho has added a slew of SaaS products in its cart and the company’s software are today used by multi-national companies like Amazon, Suzuki and Air Canada.
From there to here
From 1 million users in 2008 to 20 million in 2016, the company recently launched a ‘GST-ready’ cloud-based product called Finance Plus to help businesses manage their taxes under the new system. Zoho research platform Tofler announced that the company earned Rs 1557 crore in revenue in 2016.
The latest addition in the company is Zoho One, a revolutionary all-in-one suite to run an entire business, launched in July of 2017.
“Today, with three divisions under the Zoho Corp. brand — WebNMS, ManageEngine and Zoho.com, and now Finance plus suite and Zoho One in our portfolio, we continue to be privately held and are profitable,” concludes Vembu.