The planned Dh100 million investment into UAE and regional operations will go into data centers and taking in more talent. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Indian cloud services firm Zoho plans a Dh100 million deployment through its UAE operations into build data centers, do regional recruitment, and provide customer support and implementation services.

The confirmation of the investment plans come as Zoho’s Middle East operations rack up high double-digit year-on-year growth. And proved to be one of the strongest regions for new orders and sales in the last 5 years.

The company will adopt a hub-and-spoke model in the region, with Dubai as the hub to support offices and operations in the GCC. There is already an office in Jeddah and plans are to set up in Riyadh and North African markets. (There has already been a doubling of the headcount at the existing regional operations.)

“Our investment in the UAE will not only help us to better serve our existing customers, but also enable us to reach out to more businesses and help them succeed in today’s digital economy,” said Sridhar Vembu, co-founder and CEO of Zoho, while on a visit to Dubai.

Last year, Zoho enabled over 3,500 SMEs and large enterprises in the UAE to adopt its cloud technology. Over the past two years, Zoho has facilitated access to its 55 plus cloud-based business applications by partnering with government institutions and private companies in the UAE to help businesses migrate to the cloud and ‘instil digital literacy within enterprises’.

An open pitch to Musk

Vembu sees more possibilities to spread the Zoho word on the cloud. In a recent tweet, he congratulated Elon Musk on his efforts to cut costs at Twitter and suggested that Zoho could offer its services to the tech giant.

“Congratulations on getting rid of bloated and expensive Salesforce software,” he said in the tweet. “We at Zoho would be very happy to serve you. We spend a lot more on R&D than on marketing and we pass on the savings to customers.”

Vembu said affordable solutions were a perfect fit for companies looking to reduce expenses in the current economic climate. “We saw this happening when Twitter opted out of Salesforce system, and we swooped in to make a pitch.”

Competing with Big Tech

Earlier this year, Zoho committed to increasing its headcount by 1,000 in FY24, even as it remains committed to not laying off employees. The company also launched a unified communications suite called Trident, designed to be a central communications and organizational hub for an organization’s workers to access email, instant messaging, phone and video calls, and perform task management and scheduling.

“We are taking on big tech companies like Google and Microsoft by offering a more refined user experience on our products and delivering faster performance,” Vembu said. “This launch is a reflection of our depth of R&D capability, and we’re excited to see the positive impact it will have on our customers.”