ZOHO: India should view the rural economy as a source of production: Sridhar Vembu from Zoho

Bangalore: India needs to view the rural economy as a source of production and wealth creation rather than just a source of demand to become a $ 5,000 billion economy, according to Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu.

The country can focus on product innovation and train the talent available in rural areas to take advantage of demographics and cheaper real estate, he said.

“If you look at our $ 5,000 billion (economic) target for India, the bottom line is that we can’t see our rural economy just as a source of demand. It must also be considered as a source of production and wealth creation. Otherwise, rural economies cannot balance out, ”the CEO of India’s largest software products company said at the Amazon Smbhav summit on Sunday. “It is very important for entrepreneurs to help balance the rural economy and to create and nurture talent locally. ”

Vembu, who co-founded Zoho Corp. in 1996, moved to the village of Mathalamparai near Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu in 2019. His company operates the Zoho Schools of Learning there.

Apart from demographics and cheaper real estate, he said, the attrition rate is much lower in villages and employees are more committed to making these places suitable for product innovation.

“As a new entrepreneur today, if you move to rural areas you can find much cheaper land and cheaper rents and the business is less costly… That’s what we’ve been doing for 10 years. years, ”he said. “For this to work, you need to invest in talent and skills. The infrastructure is getting better and better and the connectivity is really good.


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Laureate Padma Shri said the Zoho Learning Schools model has been successful and these schools teach villagers a variety of streams, from software engineering to marketing. “It takes a year and a half and then they’re ready for the jobs at Zoho. ”

He stressed that entrepreneurs would be rewarded with loyalty and commitment if they invest in rural areas. “From Zoho’s experience, we can say that you first need to have confidence in the talent available in rural areas. You get a very talented and very engaged workforce. When you invest in people, you are rewarded in terms of loyalty and commitment, ”Vembu said.

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