Zoho Corporation, a leading global technology company, achieved a significant milestone with the official inauguration of its new office in Nairobi.
This expansion marks Zoho’s seventh office in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. The occasion coincides with the announcement of a strategic partnership between Zoho and the Institute for Small Business Initiatives (ISBI), a division of Strathmore Business School (SBS).
Furthermore, Zoho revealed a series of substantial investments across its entire portfolio, strategically designed to drive the company’s growth in the upmarket segment and meet the evolving demands of mid-market and enterprise customers.
“Our journey, starting from humble roots in SMB, has enabled us to develop robust software solutions with exceptional usability,” said Veerakumar Natarajan, Country Head – Kenya, Zoho Corp.
“Building on our foundation as a technology platform company, we have consistently enhanced our maturity and readiness to cater to large organizations by investing in complementary areas. Our Nairobi office will strengthen our account management capabilities and allow us to meet the specific requirements of large organizations.”
“Remaining committed to our origins, we have partnered with ISBI to assist SMEs and startups in Kenya in gaining access to enterprise technology, thereby gaining a competitive edge and adapting quickly to the changing market landscape,” he added.
Institute for Small Business Initiatives (ISBI) primarily collaborates with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya, supporting entrepreneurs in scaling their businesses, streamlining operations, and establishing a competitive advantage.
The partnership between Zoho and ISBI aims to digitize the operations of local SMEs by empowering them with the latest enterprise technology.
As part of this collaboration, all SMEs associated with or previously associated with ISBI will receive access to Zoho One, a unified platform encompassing over 50 business applications that seamlessly integrate diverse functions such as customer relationship management (CRM), finance, human resources, project management, collaboration, marketing, sales, and more.
This initiative enables SMEs to swiftly transition their operations online, automate processes, and manage their entire business from a unified console. Businesses in Nairobi that gain access to Zoho One will also receive comprehensive tech support and product training to maximize the benefits of this collaboration.
“Over the past eight years, ISBI has successfully trained over 1,000 MSMEs in Kenya. Our research-driven approach ensures positive outcomes in capacity building as we advocate for enterprise formalization and provide effective management tools. Our results demonstrate significant improvements, including increased revenue, company value growth, and job creation. However, manual data recording presents a challenge, and we recognize digitization as the solution. Our partnership with Zoho supports SMEs through their diverse product portfolio. As the Director for Programs at ISBI, I am excited about our collaboration with Zoho and look forward to achieving further growth,” said Maryanne Akoth, Director for Programs, Institute for Small Business Initiatives.
Investments for Upmarket Growth:
Zoho has achieved an impressive three-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65% in the mid-market and enterprise segment, which now accounts for one-third of the company’s business.
With a user base of over 90 million individuals across more than 600,000 global businesses of all sizes, Zoho has made substantial investments to drive its growth in the upmarket segment. These investments span various areas:
Enterprise Business Solutions: Zoho aims to expand its Enterprise Business Solutions (EBS) by enhancing skills, industry expertise, and regional presence, helping large organizations effectively manage their technology stack in today’s economic climate. EBS provides specialized support to large organizations through solutions engineering, account management, and customer success.
New SI Partnerships: Zoho will strengthen its network of system integrator (SI) partners to enhance its platform, develop industry-specific solutions, and establish best practices for customers. Zoho’s current SI partners include Tata Consultancy Services, Deloitte, and Wipro.
Global Procurement: With the capability to accept payments in over 15 currencies worldwide, Zoho facilitates global procurement efforts for enterprise organizations with regional operations through unified multi-currency invoicing.
Marketplace Expansion: Zoho Marketplace offers over 1,800 extensions and has surpassed 1 million installations, receiving over 30,000 new monthly installations.
Large organizations can create private extensions to address specific workflow requirements and deploy them through the Marketplace. Partners have undergone training and certification to provide extensibility services.
No-code and Low-code Extensibility: Zoho’s no-code and low-code capabilities simplify large deployments, enabling faster time-to-market and reduced overhead costs.
From UX design to workflow orchestration and custom applications, Zoho’s low-code capabilities support every stage of the deployment process.
New Applications and Enhancements:
Contract Management Software: Zoho introduces Zoho Contracts, a secure solution that centralizes contract management, including authoring, approval, negotiations, and signatures. With comprehensive visibility and AI-powered automation, Zoho Contracts simplifies complex processes, mitigates risks, and improves governance for large organizations, driving new business and growth.
Data Transformation for CX: Zoho DataPrep is now deeply integrated with Zoho CRM, empowering users to transform, cleanse, and format customer data within their CRM system. This integration streamlines data migration, eliminates duplicates, and validates information, making the process more efficient and accurate.
Security and Privacy Investments:
Identity & Authentication: Introducing Zoho OneAuth, a comprehensive multi-factor authentication application that now includes Smart SignIn and Passkey Support, facilitating automated cross-device user login and account access assistance.
Directory Management: Zoho Directory is a secure platform for workforce identity and access management, supporting over 250 pre-built integrations. Zoho Directory’s Authentication and SignOn module has been successfully utilized by over 100 million users from Zoho and ManageEngine, meeting the needs of multinational enterprises, including Disney, AT&T, and Sony.