Sridhar Vembu: The story of how he created a top business company

There is no other feeling that can match the one like when you work for your dream and make it successful.  Sridhar Vembu, the founder of ZOHO is one of those who worked for his dream and made his dream project one of the most successful ones in India.  He is one of those persons who had the guts of taking some of the biggest giants in the market and making his brand successful in not only India but also the international market.

He is the man behind making the ZOHO Corporation one of the most talked about companies when you talk about building business applications and suites. He is one of the smartest entrepreneurs in India but unfortunately is not as popular as some of the other CEO’s and founders.

But who is this Sridhar Vembu and how he was able to develop one of the most popular business application platforms in no matter of time. The story about the guy will definitely give you a lesson about how you shall go about your dream and make it your reality.

Sridhar belongs to a very modest family in Chennai and didn’t have a great platform to boost of. His father was a steno in the Madras high court and his mother was a homemaker. The fact that makes his journey and their contribution so special is that none of them went to college yet they produced one of the smartest and coolest entrepreneurs in India.

The start of the education for Sridhar was a normal kid and he studied in a government school of TamilNadu till the 10th grade. Then, the kid moved on to IIT Madras where he completed his under graduation studies. After that, he completed the Engineering in Electricals from the Princeton University in the year 1989.

Sridhar then went on to complete his PHD and moved to San Diego joining QUALCOMM in the process. He used to work on various aspects of electrical engineering but his main focus was on the wireless engineering as well as power control, CDMA amongst other prominent issues.

But his skills are not only limited to the engineering aspects but he is also having keen interest and knowledge on the political sciences and economics making him one of the most knowledgeable persons. He also read about the success stories of the markets of the Singapore, Japan as well as Taiwan reading the pattern of their successes.

By his virtue and his reading, he got to know the main reason behind the problem which was socialism.  So, two years after working with QUALCOMM, he had a chat with his brother and then headed back home to work on the problem by making use of the technology.

They started a company from their apartment in 1996 under the name Vembu Software. This was the start of a journey that scaled to new heights by every passing year and made his name as one of the business tycoons in India.

How did the brand ZOHO become one of the most buzzing ones in the market?

Sridhar Vembu in partnership with the Tony Thomas started his company ZOHO Corporation in the year 1996. The company is basically a software based company that is dealing with various aspects of the business. The company is based in California and has three separate brands under its roof namely- ZOHO, WebNMS and ManageEngine. They collectively offer services to the companies on a SAAS (software as a service) pattern and have a wide range of products to offer to its various clients.

The company has staff strength of 4000 employees being based in California and has offices in other countries such as Japan, India and Singapore as well. Here is a detailed look on the products that are offered by the ZOHO Corporation:

Giving some of the biggest companies a run for their money, they have over 20 million users in various countries across the world. They offer you with more than 33 products that help you to boost your business. Their product tool kit includes a long list of products from the CRM packages to the Motivator, Sales IQ enhancers and Human resource management software.


The second wing of the ZOHO corp. is the ManageEngine has 12000 companies as clients also including three companies which are in the Fortune 500 list.  It offers IT management services with classy software. The thing that makes it one of the best is that it is easy to use, easy to deploy and also very affordable as well.


Another very popular product from the ZOHO is WebNMS that specializes in the vendor management services. It specializes in multi-network management of the vendors. It is one of the most customized vendor management software that has 25000 carrier deployed in various companies.

ZOHO University:

It is another product from the ZOHO which is entitled at making the students innovative and smarter. The companies started with 6 students and have now over 300 students from across the globe. Most of the students in the University are employees of the ZOHO Corp and they are learning rather than just getting trained.

How tough was the beginning of the project:

As any other project, when you start from the scratch, things are quite tough for you. Sridhar’s wife was managing the house while the man was working on the project. The other partner Tony also took a job while working on the project. They started promoting their project and a lot of companies started in the Bay area as well. They started to find some of the clients with CISCO being one of their first prominent clients.

What was the impact of Bubble first?

The Bubble burst that happened in 2001 had a huge impact on the networking business and many companies started to grow quite quickly. ZOHO was not to be left behind and Sridhar took over the CEO of the company. In the year, the Software was not selling well and the staff of the company was becoming idle and they used it for research and development rather than getting hit by the same.

They started enterprise management software named as ManageEngine. The other thing that they get to do was creating on-demand management software which was entitled to create the engineers that serve the clients. This is how ZOHO come into play. With a wide range of products on offering, they become a name to reckon with in the market and by the year 2003, become the leading businesses in the market.

Why the name was changed and then converted back to ZOHO?

Tony left the company but it did not have any impact on the ambitions of Sridhar as he continued to prosper in the business. The name of the company was changed to Advent Net in the year 2005 with a view to make an advent on the Google and they started the ZOHO University as well.

He started to look for the kids that can make it big in the sector through the ZOHO University. In the year 2009, the company was also renamed to ZOHO and it is scaling the kind of heights that they want from the past 9 years.