Zoho announces Dh100m investment for UAE expansion

Company grows 10x over 5 years in the UAE since starting operations


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Sridhar Vembu, chief executive and cofounder, Zoho Corporation, in Dubai on Tuesday. — Supplied photo
Sridhar Vembu, chief executive and cofounder, Zoho Corporation, in Dubai on Tuesday. — Supplied photo

Published: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 3:17 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Feb 2023, 5:28 PM

Zoho, a global technology company based out of India, on Tuesday announced an investment of Dh100 million in the UAE.

The privately-held company, which has over $1 billion in revenues, announced that in the five years since starting its operations in the UAE, which serves as its Middle East and Africa (MEA) headquarters, have grown 10 times, with a 5-year CAGR of 60 per cent.

In 2022, Zoho grew by 45 per cent in the UAE, which was the second-highest growing country globally. It has also doubled its employee base in the UAE as well as across the MEA region in the past year, by hiring locally as per its ‘transnational localism’ policy of being locally rooted while staying globally connected. The partner network in the country grew by 50 per cent in 2022.

“As part of our transnational localism strategy, when we expand into a region, we want to give back to the local community and be rooted in the local culture as we grow,” said Sridhar Vembu, chief executive and cofounder, Zoho Corporation, in Dubai on Tuesday.

“Over the past five years, we have invested in local hiring, growing our partner network, adding Arabic support in our products, and integrating with local payment gateways to adapt our solutions for the local market. We will continue to invest in growing our footprints in the country through hirings, upskilling programmes, localisation of products, integrating our solutions with local vendors, and partnering with organisations to help local businesses in their digitalisation efforts.”

The Dh100 million investment will be used to expand the company’s operations in the country, Hyther Nizam, president for MEA at Zoho Corp, said.

“We will be supporting a lot of programmes. A lot of this money will be spent of training and skill development,” he said.

The company has more than 50 people in Dubai alone and expects to double its staff in the emirate over the next year and a half, Vembu added.

Zoho has partnered with various organisations such as Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) and Dubai Culture in order to make enterprise technology available to businesses of all sizes. It has also partnered with educational institutes like Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) to offer upskilling courses. Since 2020, Zoho has helped over 3,500 SMEs gain access to its cloud technology through various partnerships, investing 20 million in wallet credits. It also invested 4.5 million in upskilling initiatives for imparting digital literacy to over 200+ students and 300+ companies.

“Because of the global economic conditions, more and more companies are moving towards digitalisation and choosing unified platforms that help them break data silos, and bring forth contextual real-time insights that enable them to make quick decisions and be nimble to adapt to changing market conditions. Zoho has its own technology stack that has been built from ground up over 26 years,” added Vembu.

With 55+ apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back-office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho Corporation is one of the world’s most prolific technology companies. More than 80 million users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses.

The company is privately held and is headquartered in Chennai, India. Additional offices are in the United States, India, Japan, China, Canada, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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