Amidst global macro headwinds, Zoho announced on Wednesday that it has decided against redundancies but will adopt a cautious approach involving a freeze on hiring for engineering roles and a reduction in marketing expenditure. However, selective recruitment for customer-facing positions will continue.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) company revealed plans to invest across its entire portfolio to accelerate growth in the mid-market and enterprise sector, collectively referred to as the upmarket segment. During a briefing, the company highlighted a 65 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) within the mid-market and enterprise segment over the past three years.
Praval Singh, VP of Marketing and Customer Experience, emphasized that despite economic shifts, CIOs are seeking to optimize costs and value, making Zoho solutions even more relevant during these times.
“That is the silver lining and the reason for our optimism, especially in India. While certain parts of the world pose greater challenges, we see ample opportunities, untapped potential, and strong solution capabilities in India. We are bringing on board new customers, and there are compelling reasons to be optimistic,” he said.
Zoho has also experienced a 65 per cent 3-year CAGR within the global mid-market and enterprise segment, which now accounts for one-third of the company’s entire business. Overall, Zoho currently serves over 90 million users across more than 600,000 businesses.
Hiring plans for FY24
When asked about hiring plans for FY24, Singh mentioned that the company is taking a month-by-month approach and that “there is definitely a freeze on hiring for engineering roles.”
“We are selectively opening positions for customer-facing roles, such as sales, marketing, and customer support, as these are crucial for serving our customers. However, we are putting a lot of thought into large-scale hiring. We are not hiring in large numbers due to the current circumstances,” Singh explained.
The company has been clear from the beginning that there will be no redundancies.
“We have always exercised caution in our marketing expenditure and hiring practices, and now we are being even more prudent. However, we are committed to avoiding any layoffs. Additionally, we have decided to reduce our marketing expenditure,” Singh added.
The company currently employs 12,000 people.
Singh emphasized that India is still relatively shielded from economic headwinds.
Regarding Zoho’s approach to Artificial Intelligence, Singh stated that in the short term, the company’s focus is on integrating its portfolio with generative AI.
In the medium to long term, the company is developing its proprietary Large Language Models (LLMs), which will have the ability to engage in conversations, summarize information, rephrase content, and adapt to new tasks using zero-shot learning techniques. This will enable seamless AI-driven communication and knowledge discovery.