Published: 05th December 2020
In about a year, I will refuse to participate in Zoom meetings: Zoho Corp's Sridhar Vembu
Aatmanirbhar Bharat comes from the issue of imbalance. we consume a lot of technologically-advanced goods that we don't have the capacity to produce, said Sridhar Vembu
The essence of Aatmanirbhar Bharat has challenged Zoho Corporation to come up with an audio-visual platform that is better than Zoom, said Sridhar Vembu, the company's Founder and CEO. He was speaking at the IIT Madras's conclave Sangam which is being held online this year.
"Aatmanirbhar Bharat comes from the issue of imbalance. we consume a lot of technologically-advanced goods that we don't have the capacity to produce," said Vembu. "Our very wants can enslave us and in this case, the wants are everything from smartphones to MRI machines. We need to have the know-how of building them to conquer. We have all the engineers to do this. If we set out to make an MRI machine in India in 5-10 years we will definitely be successful. We should set out to build a search engine, a Twitter, and more. Soon Zoho will have AV tools at par with Zoom or even better. In about a year, I will refuse to participate in Zoom meetings," said the IIT Madras alumni.
The new normal has brought global jobs to rural India and Zoho is helping, said Vembu. "All our new positions will be in rural India. I will pay the same salary I would have paid in Chennai, but the jobs will be in rural areas. The reason is that even if one or two per cent of the rural jobs are high-paying and globally competitive, we can bring the rural economy to a balance. The rural economy now only imports food grains and vegetables but has to export everything else. That's how the new normal is for me. This is not just a philanthropic venture, but also good business and will hopefully make us a stronger company," he added.
He said that capital building is always beneficial for a start-up as they would be building capital for the next stage and be prepared,. "I am in a village in Thanjavur and within 10km radius I can round up a couple of thousand men and women who want jobs. Now, putting that talent to work is capital building," he added. "India is the largest surplus labour country in the world. That presents an immense opportunity who wants to capitalise on that," said the CEO of Zoho.
Talking about the shift to urban areas for better living, Vembu said that he doesn't see much of a difference. "It's not like we don't have hospitals or schools in rural India. It took me 30 minutes to reach a hospital from Tenkasi, a remote village in Tamil Nadu. It would probably take me the same amount of time to reach a hospital if I was in Chennai, but here, you can find a CBSE school within a five-minute drive," he added.