A newcomer to the Turkish SaaS market

A newcomer to the Turkish SaaS market

Two days ago, I had the opportunity to meet with ZOHO’s MEA Business Development Director Ali Shabdar. Zoho Corporation is an Indian software development company. The focus of Zoho Corporation lies in web-based business tools and information technology solutions, including an office tools suite, internet of things management platform and a suite of IT management software. 

The company was founded in 1996 by Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas in Pleasanton, California, and now has offices in seven countries with its global headquarters in Chennai. Having a presence in both the United States and India gives them the opportunity to acquire the best of both worlds.

Shabdar told me ZOHO is entering the Turkish market. They already have customers since you can get service from ZOHO directly from the internet but they will be beginning to develop their Turkish market much more closely with the help of two main Turkish vendors.

This is important news for me in two aspects. Global IT firms still believe in the Turkish market so much that they begin new investments. Secondly, ZOHO is an exceptional firm for me. They do things very differently than their competitors. Even though they are growing very fast and serve thousands of companies all over the world, they have never lost their startup spirit. For some, this is unacceptable. For others like me, it is just what we are looking for.

This behavior became very evident last month when all of ZOHO was down for a while. No one could reach anything. All the users of ZOHO were in full panic mode. If ZOHO would be like their competitors, let’s say Salesforce or Microsoft, they would probably deal with this behind closed doors and would do their best to keep things quiet.

However, this was the message they posted from their official Twitter account: Our http://Zoho.com domain is blocked and http://tierra.net our domain registrar is not responding. Can someone help us reach their senior executive team? We’re seeking urgent help in reaching the executives of this company: https://www.tierra.net/company.”

People immediately began to respond, some in a positive manner but mostly in an aggressive tone. For example, one user asked this, “Can you assure us that once this is fixed this will never happen again?” to which ZOHO CEO Sridhar Vembu replied, “We are working hard to identify why the domain was taken down by the registrar in the first place. Once we do that, we will take alternative steps so this never happens. We apologize sincerely but this issue is well beyond our control and our domain was taken down with no notice!”

Mr. Vembu, replied to each and every one of the questions via Twitter, he did not refrain from accepting their mistake and apologizing.

Declaring what is wrong with their services and asking users for help is unthinkable for Microsoft, but ZOHO survived and they are still serving more than 40 million users.

I wish them all the best in our market and hope they can contribute to the growth of Turkish businesses.

Turkey, SaaS,