If Sridhar Vembu, founder of SaaS unicorn Zoho, ever got down to listing his credentials, it would probably read like this –
- Building SaaS software from the heartlands of rural India? Check.
- Making an operating system available for business enterprises at $1 a day per user? Check.
- Building a global enterprise software company with annual revenues of more than $300 Mn without VC money? Check.
- Transforming Chennai into a SaaS hub? Check.
- Running a bootstrapped company which has been profitable every single year for the last 21 years? Check.
Sridhar Vembu, the man behind the rapid rise of Zoho, is all this and much more. As one founder aptly remarked at the launch of Zoho One last week in Chennai,
“You can learn more about enterprise software by listening to Sridhar Vembu for one hour than reading hundreds of books on the subject!”
And we could not agree more. Starting from humble roots, Sridhar has relentlessly striven to accomplish more with technology and eventually bootstrapped a company that was profitable from the first year of operations and continues to do so 20 years on.
Zoho now employs 5000+ people, generates hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue ($310 Mn is estimated revenue for the fiscal year ending in March) and has transformed Chennai into India’s SaaS hub while running its own Zoho University. Sridhar is a hard man to catch as he shuffles between India and US whilst running this software behemoth. But, we at Inc42 finally got an opportunity to connect him directly to our readers in a Facebook Live AMA.