Zoho, a company that has a broad set of front- and back-end business software, has defied that growth and investment stereotype to great success. Zoho reports that revenue last year exceeded $1 billion — although as a private entity, it didn’t supply an exact number. Yet it has never taken so much as a penny of external investment.
By developing the company on its own terms, Zoho has been able to build a strong internal culture steeped in R&D and product development, growing slowly but steadily without having to deal with any investor interference whatsoever.
Zoho’s product catalog, which exceeds 50 products, covers everything from a traditional office suite to business intelligence, finance, sales and marketing, customer service and too many other software categories to list here. Using a freemium model to drive usage, it competes with giants like Salesforce, Google, Microsoft and Oracle yet has found a way to thrive in spite of such a harsh competitive landscape.
We interviewed Khoo Chia Ching, ZOHO’s Regional Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific, in this week’s iNNOVATE Tech Show Exhibitor Highlight.
1. Can you give us a quick back story on ZOHO software and summarize its recent growth?
With 55+ apps in nearly every major business category, Zoho Corporation is one of the world’s most prolific technology companies. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with international headquarters in Chennai, India, Zoho is privately held and profitable with nearly 11,000 employees.
In 2022, Zoho announced achieving a rate of 38% year-over-year growth and surpassing the 80 million user mark. Zoho also celebrated opening 59 new global hub-and-spoke offices in rural areas and small cities over the last two years to expand into new markets and further support local communities.
2. Considering the pace at which the SaaS market is growing, how important is it to keep innovating to stay in the game?
It is definitely essential and innovation is at the heart of what we do at Zoho. We are constantly adding to and improving our ecosystem of applications. Zoho is able to do this as we invest in our internal R&D capabilities and have full ownership of all the applications and solutions we offer to our customers.
3. Can you give me a sense of where the growth in the cloud is?
I think for SaaS cloud usage is already very established. For new companies, cloud based technology is the way to go as it greatly decreases adoption time and costs, allowing businesses to go to market at a much faster speed.
4. Businesses are constantly talking about AI and Machine Learning in recent years. How does Zoho incorporate this into their solutions?
Zoho’s chatbot Zia is available in a wide range of our product offerings, Zia is now equipped with natural language processing capabilities and is able to search across applications for the user if they are using one of our integrated solution platforms.
5. How are Smart ERPs better than their not-so-clever, older counterparts? How will ERPs get better over the next two years?
The key to “Smart ERP” is the ability to provide analytics and automate processes based on data to improve productivity significantly. For Zoho, our platform products have been getting key updates on their analytics capabilities to give business owners a better overview of their businesses, and hopefully actionable data for them to use in automation.
6. What can visitors to your booth at the iNNOVATE Tech Show expect to see?
They can experience our commitment to helping businesses run better, principles behind our thoughtful products and also meet the dedicated people working in Zoho.
ZOHO WILL BE EXHIBITING AT THE INNOVATE TECH SHOW 2022 HELD AT MATRADE KUALA LUMPUR FROM 19-21 OCTOBER 2022 WHERE THE GLOBAL DRONE CONFERENCE IS CO-LOCATED.
IF YOU’RE IN A CONUNDRUM ABOUT HOW TO DIGITALISE YOUR BUSINESS, JOIN THE C-LEVEL ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION ABOUT THE INDUSTRIAL USE OF AI & ROBOTICS IN ASIA ON 21 OCTOBER. REGISTER HERE FOR YOUR FREE PASS AND EVENT UPDATES.