Tech firm Zoho to co-launch rural incubator in UP
The Chennai-headquartered Zoho has partnered with Jagriti, a non-profit entity that promotes entrepreneurs in small towns and non-urban pockets, to set up a digital CoE in the Deoria district to create a digital ecosystem in Eastern UP.
Global technology company Zoho Corp has announced plans to co-launch a rural business incubator in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
The proposed facility is projected to facilitate 3,500 rural enterprises to scale up and achieve revenues of Rs 2,000 crore in 10 years.
The Chennai-headquartered Zoho has partnered with Jagriti, a non-profit entity that promotes entrepreneurs in small towns and non-urban pockets, to set up a digital centre of excellence (CoE) in the Deoria district to create a digital ecosystem in Eastern UP.
Apart from handholding 3,500 local SMEs, the CoE will additionally provide technology support to 20,000 other companies to catalyze decentralized development and local intellectual property.
In all, 6 CoEs will be set up at the 6-acre campus of Jagriti Enterprise Centre-Purvanchal (JECP) in Deoria, and they will cater to 15 adjoining districts having a population of 50 million. The 6 CoEs will span agro-processing, healthcare, digital, women, rurbanization, and handicraft & apparel.
“We are invested in creating knowledge hubs, and promoting R&D and entrepreneurship. Only by decentralizing development and tapping into the talent pool that exists in villages and small towns will we be able to develop the technological capabilities necessary for a resilient economy. While we have been undertaking such initiatives in Southern India, this partnership enables us to expand to the North as well,” Zoho Corp CEO and cofounder Sridhar Vembu said during a virtual conference recently.
Zoho aims to create an ‘innovation sandbox’ in Purvanchal by bringing its knowledge and resources to the entrepreneurs in the form of technology, training, mentorship etc.
Meanwhile, JCEP is expecting about Rs 370 crore of investment over a 10-year period by entrepreneurs and companies setting up units at its campus. Replying to a query, JCEP founder Shashank Mani said the CoEs will cater to both the industrial and services sector companies in the Eastern UP region.
“The pandemic has proven that digital transformation is the key enabler for SMEs, providing them the agility to pivot and adapt to changing market conditions and seize opportunities. The digital CoE will enable local enterprises to capitalize on this trend by utilizing Zoho's resources and expertise,” Zoho Corp vice president (marketing and customer experience) Praval Singh said.
With 50+ apps in the major business category, viz. sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back-office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho is one of the world’s most reputed software companies in the domain.
Zoho is privately held and profitable with more than 9,000 employees. It has offices in the US, India, Japan, China, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates.
The tech company does not have an ad-revenue model in any part of its business, including free products. It boasts a daily user base of more than 60 million around the world spanning different companies.