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The SaaS Stars Of Chennai: Inside Zoho Mafia And The School Of SaaS

The SaaS Stars Of Chennai: Inside Zoho Mafia And The School Of SaaS

Zoho, the 24-year-old SaaS giant, has not only been producing world-class products in India to cater to the world, but it has also given wings to entrepreneurial dreams by inculcating the culture of intrapreneurship

“The primary cause of entrepreneurship coming out of Zoho is the loosely federated way we operate inside Zoho. That has become an effective training ground in business," Sridhar Vembu, founder and CEO, Zoho Corp told Inc42, while talking about the 59 former employees of Zoho turned founders

Listening to the market, creating multiple products each complementing other for the world, persistently improving the products and patience are also the key philosophies that the Zoho mafia claims to have imbibed from Zoho

India’s startup ecosystem has quite a few classic rags to riches stories. Two or three friends with similar dreams come together and start a small business out of a garage. Within a few years, they raise funding, build offices in skyscrapers, onboard thousands of employees and attain the coveted unicorn status. But, that is not the story we are writing about today.

This is about a multi-billion dollar company built without any external funding, is home to 9K+ employees, boasts of zero debt and never chases IPO dreams.

Unconventional is what Zoho, one of the flag bearers of India’s SaaS industry, is made of.

The SaaS giant’s belief in building products in India that cater to the world has raised the bar for many startups in India. Since its launch in 1996, the company’s products have rivalled global products and it has also developed some of its recent world-class products from India’s villages. Its customer service software, Zoho Desk, for instance, was built in Mathalamparai, a village 650 km from Zoho’s Chennai HQ.