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We are Moving Towards a Hub-and-spoke Office Model: Zoho's Sridhar Vembu The company plans to boost its local workforce by 25 per cent

By S Shanthi

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SaaS giant Zoho Corp has always chosen a path evidently different from the rest of the business world. While most startups today chase unicorn status, Zoho has remained a bootstrapped company. Similarly, as IPOs become the ultimate goal, Zoho, since its launch in 1996, continues to be a privately held company, with over 10,000 employees.

Not just that, while the company develops products for the global market and has offices in the USA, India, Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates, its co-founder Sridhar Vembu, permanently moved to a village in Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu in late 2019 to support the development of rural India.

A Boost to Local Talent

Along similar lines, Vembu, on the occasion of Zoho's enterprise IT management division ManageEngine's 20 years celebration today, said that the company is soon moving towards a hub and spoke model. "We cannot train talent remotely," he said at the media briefing.

He also announced that by the end of the year, around 5 hubs and 5 spokes would be up and running. The hubs will be in Tier II, and III cities such as Tenkasi and spokes will be located in rural areas. The company plans to have 500-1000 employees in each of the hubs.

Further, ManageEngine, which contributes to 50 per cent of the overall revenue of Zoho Corp and employees 50 per cent of the total staff, plans to grow its Indian workforce by 1,000 employees in 2022. India is one of the top three markets worldwide after the United States and the United Kingdom for ManageEngine. The division has offices worldwide, including India, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Mexico, Singapore, Japan, China and Australia, as well as more than 200 global partners to help organizations tightly align their business and IT.

Shailesh Davey, co-founder and vice president of Engineering of Zoho, said the company plans to boost its local workforce by 25 per cent. The idea is to support regional economies. By having these spokes, employees need not move far away from homes, but at the same time can be mentored by an experienced workforce. This will also help rural areas become self-reliant.

"In India, we registered a YoY revenue growth of 63.2% in 2021, while our customer count increased by 26.3%, driven by demand primarily from the BFSI and IT services and solutions sectors. With three key pillars driving growth—hybrid work, cloud adoption and the government's digital push, ManageEngine plans to hire around 1,000 employees in the country this year for development, R&D and customer-facing roles," Davey noted.

S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 


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