BENGALURU: Zoho Corporation Pvt Ltd, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm, has launched a new app and other initiatives to meet the demand for online education arising out of the disruption caused by the covid-19 outbreak in India.
“The current global trade system may not continue. We are trying to improve our domestic market penetration. We are systematically increasing India exposure and want to solve local problems," said Sridhar Vembu, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Chennai-based Zoho Corp, in a virtual press meet on Wednesday.
The company has launched Zoho Classes, an app that enables schools and colleges to connect with their students online. The app allows teachers to upload courses, broadcast live classes and share assignments, while students can view videos and connect with teachers directly.
Zoho Classes will ensure privacy and safety of its users and the firm is offering the app for free to all government schools in India. For other schools, it is free for up to 100 students.
Another app, Zoho ShowTime, facilitates virtual collaborative learning and interactive events, which trainers and educators can use. It is also offering an app for online meetings and webinars, Zoho Meeting, free for three months to government bodies.
The Zoho Creator Covid-19 App Programme helps non-profit firms, government bodies and communities that are working on initiatives such as patient monitoring or food distribution. The company is also extending free licences of Zoho Desk, a customer support software, to all state governments.
Zoho said these apps are built in India and run on Indian data centers, adhering to all privacy and security practices.
“Valuations will take a beating now. Consolidation will happen in the (SaaS) business in the long-term. I suspect that valuations that depend on hyper-rapid growth, purely based on VC spending, may not recover. Valuations based on the underlying strength of the business model, will probably recover," Vembu said.
As far as India's economic recovery is concerned, Vembu said it will be slow. He pointed out that the US visa situation and migrant workers crisis “add to stresses that were latent in the system but were not exposed".
Zoho employees, Vembu said, “are mentally prepared for a steep fall," adding that the company will try and avoid layoffs.