CNN News18 Indian of The Year 2022: Zoho Co-Founders Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas Win 'Start-ups' Award

Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas, co-founders of Indian multinational technology company Zoho Corporation were announced as the winner of the CNN-News18 Indian of the Year 2022 Award for the ‘Start-ups’ category on Wednesday. Presenting the award to Zoho co-founder Sridhar Vembu at the ceremony in Delhi, Union Minister Piyush Goyal called him as one of the finest entrepreneurs India has ever produced.

“No only Shridhar earned a very big name for himself across the world in the startup space, but after all his successes, he has chosen to come back to India, work in the villages in India, be amongst Indian boys and girls, empower them, skill them train them and bring all the technology that he has developed to become a social entrepreneur in the villages of Tamil Nadu and across the country. He is truly somebody we are proud of,” Goyal said.

Zoho is bootstrapped, profitable and offers complete business operating solutions through web-based tools.

Its co-founder Vembu, who is a firm believer in rural empowerment, relocated to Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu, where he is actively involved in setting up schools and other societal initiatives.

Receiving the award, Vembu said that India’s startup journey has only started and the county could produce hundreds of companies like Zoho, given the abundance of talent in India.

“I want to dedicate to my co-founder, senior managers and employees. I am just the face but the company is built by our people across the world… I believe that journey for India has only barely just started. We could produce hundreds of Zohos in our country given so much talent across our landscape. I often tell my employees that Zoho itself should be a hundred times bigger given the potential of our nation,” he said

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The nominees for the Start-Ups category were: Falguni Nayar of Nykaa, which successfully went public in 2021. Zerodha, a brokerage firm founded by brothers Nithin Kamath and Nikhil Kamath, and ed-tech platform Physics Wallah, are some more nominees. Zoho, founded by Sridhar Vembu, and food aggregator Swiggy.

CNN-News18 is presenting the 12th edition of its flagship awards programme, ‘Indian of the Year’, today. Through this programme, CNN-News18 is recognising and awarding the achievements in the sports, entertainment, politics, startups, social change and climate change categories.

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