Zoho case study
My name is gauhar ali
today we are gonna talk about
one of the most underrated legends of India.
This is the story of a man who went from being an ordinary
to becoming one of the biggest social entrepreneurs in
and he has a net worth of $2.6 Billion
This is the story of a man who is running a revolutionary
that can solve the unemployment crisis in India
by turning the remotest villages of India into the tech hubs
of the world.
This person that I’m talking about is the CEO of ZOHO
and goes by the name Sridhar Vembu
Sridhar Sir is a Princeton graduate who had the perfect job
in the silicon valley startup Qualcomm
and that is when he realised that there are so many Indian
working at crucial positions at multiple billion dollar
all across the world, and yet
very few Indian companies were strong contenders
in the software industry.
So, he decided to step into the ring with a vision
to build a software company that can empower the youth of
and that is how he started AdventNet
which then became ZOHO Corporation.
and since the past 22 years, ZOHO has gone from
an ordinary startup to becoming a billion dollar company
with an estimated market value of $5 Billion
but what’s more astounding is not the growth of ZOHO
but what Sridhar Vembu sir is doing with his company’s
He decided to start a revolutionary experiment
to solve the unemployment crisis in India.
Now, we all know that there is a huge gap between
the teachings of the college and the requirement of the
and even after 4 years of engineering,
millions of engineering students severly lack the skill
to work in the industry.
Now, every politician and billionaire in this country knows
and many have even spoken about it.
But very few have done something proactively to fix this
Which is why in 2004, the founders of ZOHO
started something called the ZOHO University.
and here’s where they started to on-board and train stuents
with skillsets and abilities at a very young age.
Now what is unique about this system is that
instead of asking fees and donations from the students,
ZOHO pays the student a stipend of ₹10,000 per month
throughout the tenure of the 2-year course.
and during this extensive training, students are taught
Mathematics, English, Programming and every other subject
that is needed to turn an ordinary kid into an employable
And after the course they get recruited in ZOHO itself
with an amazing package regardless of their degree.
And through this job, these students
get the golden opportunity to uplift their family
from all economic challenges forever.
and guess what ? These schools have been designed specially
to empower the youngsters from the villages of India
where let alone employment,
even education is considered to be a luxury.
because ZOHO believes that skillsets and abilities
are far more valuable than paper credentials.
and one of the most successful stories of the ZOHO system
is this boy names Abdul Alim
who was an ordinary security guard working 12 hour shifts at
but one fine day, one of his seniors decided to
tap into his potential and started training him.
Fast forward to a few months later, today, this boy
works as an engineer and takes up technical projects
in the very same company wherein he was working as a
And today close to 10% of the entire workforce of ZOHO
consists of ordinary kids like Abdul Alim
who became capable engineers after hailing
from the remotest villages of the country.
and not just that, today ZOHO is experimenting these models
in 10 villages in Tamil Nadu wherein 200 of its engineers
20 in each village will collaborate and build
a software for the world.
And the leaders of ZOHO are working very hard
to extend its empowerment models
to the villages of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh also
Now people, while most of us dream about
having corner offices in the city of Manhattan.
Vembu sir believes that village offices
would be the future of work, as village economies begin to
Which is why inspite of having his offices in 21 countries,
including America, China and Australia.
Sridhar sir stays in a small village named Mathalamparai
which is about 650 km away from Chennai.
And he operates his $5B company from this village itself
Now this is what you call ‘practicing what you preach’.
Now, the reason why Sridhar sir is a legend is because
the model that he is building is a scalable model
that can be replicated by several billion dollar companies
all across the country.
And instead of giving out donations for a short term impact
through this model, companies can create a long term impact
and also make a ton of profit.
This is how they can create a win-win scenario wherein
companies can get capable employees
and people can get opportunities.
Now if many such billion dollar companies
start setting up institutions like ZOHO
to build a direct bridge between academics and employement,
can you imagine what kind of a magical revolution
could come up.
This is the reason why we need to start promoting
incredible ideas like these. So that, we can have many such
leaders like Sridhar sir, who don’t just talk about the
but also act on the solutions
and this is what will make India a truly incredible country.
we can send out a very strong message out there
that world doesn’t need heroes, it just needs
a handful of gutsy people who stop waiting for them
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