Many will not believe how an Indian from a very humble background painstakingly built a company from ground zero completely by bootstrapping using his own funds. Now this company is standing tall as Zoho Corporation which has thousands of customers around the world and is competing against the tech giants like Microsoft and Google head on.

Meet this man who has made all these possible – Mr. Sridhar Vembu!

Sridhar neither backed by rich families nor went through a fantastic education system to transform into what he is today. He was born in a small village in Tamil nadu and received his early education in Tamil medium but it did not deter him to enter IIT Madras and then jump to prestigious Princeton university to receive his Ph.D. which is a great achievement already in the early 1990s. However Sridhar did not find any solace with his achievements and was instead on a mission to achieve something bigger in his life. He returned to India, a surprising and bold decision that many will hesitate to take, and started his own company.

If you observe his career clearly, Sridhar has always been bold in making startling and unconventional decisions even at a very young age. He never seem to have a plan B or even worried about not having one but just keep making his wild decisions that anyone with the right mind will ever dare to make. When it is quite normal for rich kids to return to India after their studies from overseas, this practice is not prevalent in poorer families where the thoughts will always be to remain in greener pastures for survival. It is not clear how could such a person who got his Ph.D. from Princeton could ever think of returning to India when the US can roll a red carpet for him to become a citizen.

His wild decisions have never stopped even in his entrepreneurial venture. He started building network management software which at that time are only built by the American tech giants. These sort of software are not even built by UK, Germany, Japan or any other advanced countries for the matter, who have the funds and expertise to compete against the American tech giants. What’s more, even the Indian tech giants Infosys and TCS had no guts to challenge the international tech giants in this league. They were rather happy to make quick money by just being an IT back office for the US MNCs. Although they had the funds and an army of software engineers to design and build whatever software products they wanted, they were too hesitant to take the risks that this man had single handedly taken.

What is mind blowing is that, he did not build a simple 4 pages e-commerce site and shot to fame and wealth. Only a techie can understand that the software products he has built is not an easy task that everyone can build. I am a software veteran with 20 years of IT experience but it took me a while for me understand the craftmanship of his software products. For example he has even built a word processor and a spreadsheet which is of competent quality with Microsoft and Google spreadsheet products. He has built over 40 similar apps which are used by international MNCs. His other products like Webnms and ManageEngine are also very complicated and feature rich software products which are believed to be possible to be created only by big software giants. However he has debunked this myth all together at ease in his own style.

With no safety net to fall back to, the only way forward for Sridhar was to charge forward to his success and just did that for the past few decades. When India was known to be the world’s back office for almost 30 years since the birth of IT without producing a single software product which is internationally recognized, this man has changed it all, simply by keeping on innovating. He is unstoppable and keep churning out software product after software product all of which are award winning and mind blowing and internationally acclaimed. This astounding achievements were all executed from his office in Chennai quietly for the past few decades without much publicity. Zoho corporation is the first Indian company which has successfully innovated internationally recognized software products. Today he employs 5000 over employees in India and overseas serving 50 million users all around the globe and his net worth is standing at a staggering US$2 Billion and possibly the richest person in Tamilnadu already.

All said and done, his true dreams have not been achieved yet. He is now turning a small village area in Tamil nadu into a new silicon valley by establishing a software development center and employing and training hard core villagers to become software developers. He also runs a university to educate students from humble background to turn them into tech czars through his unique education system.

His patriotism and contribution towards India is unchallengeable by anyone. While we cherish Sundar Pichais and Satya Nadellas who have ditched their Indian citizenships for wealth, this man has determined to remain as a true Indian and has risked his entire career and life just to prove one point – INDIANS CAN CHALLENGE THE WORLD!

Now please tell me, is this man short of a Bharatha Ratna? If not, please share this article to as many Indians as possible till it reaches the right ears to recognize the greatness of this humble man.


Raja Kumar

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