AP is now a natural home for us, says Zoho chief

| Updated on: Jan 15, 2018
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“Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was the only reason for us to start a centre in Renigunta,” said Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu, when asked for reasons to start his new centre in the small town about 15 km from Tirupati.

“I was not thinking about expanding in another State other than Tamil Nadu. But, when I met him in the US in May for the first time, his force of vision and determination made us to be in Andhra Pradesh. I was impressed by his dedication to the State and he wanted Zoho to be in AP. We want to be long-term partners for growth and employment generation in AP. We were not looking at sops or benefits,” Vembu told Business Line at his new Renigunta centre last week.

Vembu said, “Everything moves fast hear. We met in May, and the State government was ready with all clearances and wanted us to explore starting in July or August. But, it takes some time for us to get our act together in terms of construction and having right employees in place. We have lots of Telugu-speaking employees from AP working in Chennai, and they can be relocated to Renigunta, which is now a natural home for us.”

Renigunta is its third office in India after its international headquarters in Chennai and a centre Tenkasi in southern Tamil Nadu. It has a capacity for 150 employees who will be hired locally over next six-nine months. Zoho intends to expand further in the region and plans to build its own campus on nearly 50 acres. It will also house a branch of ZohoUniversity, 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, said Vembu.

On selecting smaller places such as Tenkasi and Renigunta, Vembu said: “We like places that are smaller cities where we can invest got to make our talent. That’s our vision. Renigunta is located in southern part of Andhra Pradesh, and is not far from Chennai,” he said.

On company’s future plans, he said: “We would like to double in next three years to around 10,000 people, and we don’t want to bring all those people into Chennai but spread them across. It fits our philosophy and vision on how development ought to be.

Published on January 15, 2018

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