Cloud services provider Zoho, on Wednesday, said it is building its own large language model (LLM), similar to OpenAI’s GPT and Google’s PaLM 2 models, but also added that it is hiring less this year amid global macro headwinds.

The software as a service (SaaS) provider said the project for AI and relatec technology is being overseen by its founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sridhar Vembu, and is being worked on by the company’s R&D team in India.

“We have been working on AI for a decade now. When customers needed ChatGPT integration, we gave them that by integration with 13 of our apps as we announced recently. In the short term, we have built the integration with ChatGPT, but we are also building proprietary large language models that will be capable of summarising, paraphrasing and adapting to new tasks,” Praval Singh, Vice-President, Marketing and Customer Experience, Zoho, told reporters here.

No timeline

He also added that the company has not set a specific timeline for it. On lay offs, he said the company has around 12,000 employees globally, of which, 90 per cent of the employees are in India. Also, AI or ChatGPT is not about replacing jobs, but “our engineers are using more AI these days than before” and need-based hiring is still on.

Zoho has presence in 50 locations globally, including eight in India, and its data centres locations include Mumbai, Chennai, Shanghai, Dallas, Sydney and Melbourne.

Singh noted that while there are economic shifts, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are looking to optimise on cost and value, and Zoho solutions are even more relevant in these times.

“That is the silver lining and that is the reason for us being bullish more so in India. Certain parts of the world are more challenging, but in India the opportunity we have, the headroom that exists, the solution capabilities that we have, and customers we are bringing on board, there are reasons to be bullish,” he explained.

The company said it has witnessed a 65 per cent, three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) within the mid-market and enterprise segment globally, which now represents one-third of the entire business. Overall, Zoho now serves over 90 million users across more than six-lakh businesses.

Zoho’s upmarket growth in India is led by banking, financial services and insurance, manufacturing, retail, fast-moving consumer goods, pharmaceutical, and IT sectors. Some its customers include MakeMyTrip, Puma, Axis Finance, Paper Boat, Samsonite, BigBasket, Tata Play Fiber, Byju’s, Star Health & Allied Insurance, and Mercedes-Benz India.

The company will strengthen its network of system integration (SI) partners to enhance its platform, create industry-specific solutions, and develop customer best practices, Singh added.