Now a full-stack technology company as it evolved from a SaaS offering, Zoho became the first bootstrapped company to hit this milestone. This growth is also coming from the offshoot of the company, reaching 1 billion USD in annual revenue in 2022.
For more than two decades, Zoho has grown steadily without external funding, and this has allowed the tech company to preserve its long-term vision and culture without outside pressure or influence.
Serving more than 150 countries, the tech company boasts over 15,000 employees globally in its connected ecosystem.
Speaking further about the company’s users’ milestones and how the company is poised for long-term success, Kehinde Ogundare, Country Manager of Zoho Nigeria, in a chat emphasized how the world is evolving and why businesses need to keep up with technology for scalability.
According to Ogundare, Zoho which is now a full-stack technology company now enables users to run their entire operation on the company’s platform, offering services including, building a website, finance, human resources, sales and marketing, project management and related services.
“We provide a platform such that your departments don’t work in silos. Zoho platform is now a connected ecosystem.”
As explained by Ogundare, the company in 2005 started with two products, Writer and CRM, hitting its first 1 million client base in 2008.
In seven years, the company added 14 million users to reach the 15 million mark in 2015. The growth became gradual till the present 100 million users.
“This is to show you that people actually get to trust us and with the credibility we have built over the years, people keep coming back, recommending Zoho to their connections”
On the recent data protection law signed into a bill in Nigeria, Ogundare reiterated that Zoho stands for privacy and security, “When you think of any top tech company today in terms of privacy, Zoho comes top. All our products are privacy and security-focused, we are NDPR and GDPR compliant, so this new law is a welcome development.”
Ogundare, however, mentioned that the government needs to do better when it comes to orientation, as a lot of people know nothing about data privacy.
“You can’t just enact a law without a follow-up. You need to let businesses know how crucial the customer data they are keeping and the implication of a data breach”
Ogundare further emphasized that it’s a good initiative, however, the government needs to do more awareness and create more orientation, partnering with private sectors and communities to give people that important information for them to secure data and abide by the data privacy law.
Zoho has also integrated tech stack and this is why the company guarantees data privacy and anti-theft activities.
“We don’t show ads, we don’t track you, these are the things customers want to know, feeling secured that their data is safe”
According to Ogundare, in 2020 the tech company removed all 3rd party trackers from all its products.
Ogundare listed three of the company’s focused activities for business which included Zoho for Startups, Zoho Empower and Enterprise Business Solutions.
According to the Country Manager, Zoho for Startups commenced in 2017 back in India. The initiative helps startups that are part of an incubator or accelerator by offering them wallet credits, workshops and more.
“A lot of founders spend too much money on technology, Zoho for startup is an initiative that we created to help emerging startups kick-start their progress.”
As explained by Ogundare, Zoho has signed an MoU with Startup South in Nigeria to offer N500K wallet credit for startups. This credit will be used to test and deploy any of its products.
“We are not just focusing on big businesses, we are looking at the small business as well, what can we do? How can we give you orientation? How can you streamline your business, how can you digitalize, Zoho for startups wants to offer a better approach.”
“Zoho for startups empower businesses in leveraging tech to kick-start. We Organise workshops and training for them on how to use the credits on how to use the software to scale up, optimize and automate their operations.”
Zoho Empower aims to build digital literacy in MSMEs, helping them to overcome resistance to tech and digitally transforming their businesses through skill development, and technology counselling, while creating a marketplace for them.
According to Kehinde, Zoho has also partnered with a commercial bank (the financial institution that offers loans to women entrepreneurs in its large SME community) to bring its products to these entrepreneurs at a discounted rate or for free.
Enterprise Business Solutions is an end-to-end software implementation and project management service dedicated to helping mid-to-large-sized companies deploy the best solutions to optimize their business processes.
Speaking about Zoho Workplace, the platform has 16 million users globally and in 2021, it experienced a 34% year-on-year growth with more than 40% of the new migrations coming from two major big tech platforms.
Ogundare further revealed that the SMB customer base increased by 40%, mid-size surged by 36% and enterprises expanded by more than 20%.
With the rise of low-code platforms, users can leverage the Zoho Creator platform to build websites seamlessly for their businesses.
Ogundare commended the leadership of Zoho’s employee culture for prioritizing the welfare of its staff globally with exceptional experience.
“Putting employee and customer experience together makes a company grow faster”
“Zoho is unified and integrated, allowing you to scale. If you start small with us you can expand with it, our platform has the capacity to allow you scale as you grow”
“The more people understand the value it is bringing to their business, the more we are expanding to meet their needs” Ogundare added