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Zoho’s Sridhar Vembu says this helps entrepreneurs make ‘a billion dollar biz’


Zoho founder Sridhar Vembu said Indian entrepreneurs must change their mindset in order to make big companies. For this, they must embrace research and development (R&D), he said as he compared India to the West. 

CEO of Zoho Corporation Sridhar Vembu talked about how the Indian market was flooded with Chinese nail clippers.

“Not just with the West, with East Asia too. Koreans have technology, the Japanese have technology. Of course, the Taiwanese have technology. Now, the Chinese have for example the largest drone company in the world is DJI. $8 billion. In drone, they are the world leader. So, it’s not just the West, also East Asia has done it. Always focus on R&D,” he said. 

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To demonstrate his point, Sridhar Vembu talked about how the Indian market was flooded with Chinese nail clippers.

“You go to any rural shop in India, try to buy a nail clipper. It’ll say made in China or made in Korea, right. Why? I went down this rabbit hole. I asked why can’t we make a nail clipper? It turns out the metallurgy, we don’t actually invest in the metallurgy,” he said, adding, “Our steel companies only invest in the commodity steel, like the stuff that you build buildings with. But this is specialized alloy [needed for nail clipper] that have to hold the cutting edge.”

This trend can be found in other items sold in India as well, he said. 

“It turns out it’s not just nail clipper, your dental instruments, that steel is also very special steel. We don’t make those. So, you go to a dentist, all the instruments are imported. Because, you go back, it’s not the instrument alone, it’s the metallurgy. We need to make alloys,” he added.



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