Nobody can escape the macroeconomic picture: Zoho’s Vembu


India’s SaaS (software-as-a-service) sector has been booming of late — the pandemic pushed businesses across industries to adopt technology, boosting demand for software-based products and services. Growth equally chased several young SaaS startups amid rising appetite for SaaS solutions with firms like Amagi, Darwinbox, and recently LeadSquared, continuing to add to the segment’s unicorn count this year.

Despite charting a strong growth trajectory, the industry will not escape the scourge of the macroeconomic instability and the sector is expected to see consolidation, says Sridhar Vembu, CEO at 26-year old Chennai based global SaaS firm Zoho Corporation.

“Nobody can escape the macro-economic picture... companies are going to get revenue pressures, margin pressures and they are going to transmit it to their vendors. As SaaS companies, we are their vendors and we have to be much more efficient in terms of how we serve our customers,” says Vembu.

Vembu says that Zoho has built an expansive suite of products enabling clients to subscribe to varied solutions and eliminating the need to onboard multiple vendors. For instance, Zoho has both Zoho Meeting, which is a platform offering the convenience of online conferencing and webinar, and easy messaging tool Zoho Cliq within its product portfolio.

In all, Zoho has so far developed over 50 solutions. Today, a client may be paying two separate vendors for availing separate services but eventually, the trend will reverse. “ the future they may ask questions,” says Vembu. Having to sign up for multiple SaaS vendors and paying annual/monthly subscriptions will translate into price pressures for clients. “This is what is driving consolidation,” says Vembu.

“Zoho is in a good place with the experience, with the depth and breadth of product portfolio, the integration, the bundles we offer, the competitive pricing, the support and all of that. That’s why we are optimistic about our prospects in this market,” says Vembu.

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