1989 - B.Tech - Electrical Engineering Co Founder & CEO @ Zoho Corporation
Dr. Sridhar Vembu graduated with a B.Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1989, before completing a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1994. Following his doctoral degree, he served as a Systems Design Engineer in Qualcomm till 1996, focusing on CDMA for satellite communications, and working with leaders in the area of wireless communication. In 1996, Dr. Vembu, along with his friends and his brothers, co-founded AdventNet as one of the earliest software product companies from India.
Over the past 2 decades, the company grew and changed its name to Zoho Corp. It is the leading software product company from India, and an emerging leader in the cloud, with over 3000 employees as of 2016.
Dr. Vembu is also committed to the cause of employability and growth, evident in the launch of the in-house initiative, Zoho University. At the University, students from underprivileged backgrounds are trained in programming and provided the opportunity of being absorbed by the company. Today, over 300 students across almost 30 batches have graduated from the program and are employed by the company. Employees who chose to leave Zoho after training have gone on to launch successful start-ups of their own. Firmly believing in the need to look beyond formal credentials, Dr. Vembu has created in Zoho a space to nurture talent and hard work independent of credentials.
Zoho’s background of being entirely bootstrapped, coupled with Dr. Vembu’s determination to avoid venture capitalists and IPOs as sources of funding, has resulted in the organization’s unwavering commitment to ideation, innovation and internal growth.
For his commitment to originality, his willingness to navigate uncharted waters in the entrepreneurial space, and his continued dedication to building an equitable, accessible and socially responsible corporation, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer this award upon Dr. Sridhar Vembu.