Indian American Tech Billionaire Sridhar Vembu, who returned from USA to work for rural India has been conferred Padma Shri

Indian American Tech Billionaire Sridhar Vembu, who returned from USA to work for rural India has been conferred Padma Shri

CHENNAI (TIP): 54-year-old Sridhar Vembu, who returned from the US to India aiming to make a difference to his native village in Tamil Nadu, is awarded a Padma Shri, on the eve of the Republic Day 2021, for his distinguished service in trade and industry. Known for his ‘simple living and high thinking’ philosophy, he is a software tycoon with a net worth of USD 2.5 billion and the 59th richest Indian in the world. Sridhar Vembu starts his day with breaths of fresh air, an unhurried walk, and greetings to whoever he comes across in the morning in his village named Mathalamparai, about 600 kms away from Chennai. While enjoying the blessings of rural life far from the ‘madding crowd’, the founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation with headquarters in Chennai and California – runs a global IT conglomerate with an annual turnover estimated at a whopping $1 billion. Born in a family of farmers in Mathalamparai, Tamil Nadu, the ‘Barefoot Billionaire’ (as he is nicknamed for preferring not to wear sandals/shoes) pursued MS and PhD at Princeton University, New Jersey after having graduated from IIT Madras in 1989. He started his IT career as a wireless engineer at Qualcomm in San Diego. He went on to chase his ‘American Dreams’ in the San Francisco Bay Area until he discovered his passion for entrepreneurship and rural community welfare back home (India). One of the Padma Shri honorees in 2021, Sridhar Vembu founded Zoho Corporation in California (which was known as AdventNet from 1996 till 2009). From its global headquarters in Chennai, Zoho Corporation branched out to his native village and some suburban areas including Renigunta in Andhra Pradesh before expanding to the IT corridors of urban India. With offices also in the UAE, Japan, Singapore, Australia and China, Zoho Corporation has over 60 million users for its suite of cloud-based business solutions deployed by Amazon, Zomato, Xiaomi, Ola, Whirlpool, Phillips, among others in its worldwide clientele.

20% of Zoho Corporation’s employee strength of over 7000 is pooled from India’s rural backwaters. 16 years ago, Sridhar Vembu founded Zoho Schools of Learning with a vision of making rural youths and city-bred jobseekers employable with practical skills. Zoho School of Learning strives to transform the landscape wherein the focus is on grades and bookish knowledge.

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