Zoho, India’s first billion-dollar company using Sanskrit to build machine translation software

  • Zoho corp recently became India’s first billion-dollar company.
  • CEO of Zoho, Vembu claimed that the team will use Sanskrit as an intermediary layer for machine translation.
  • Vembu has been working with a small engineering team in Tenkasi, a small village in the state of Tamil Nadu to develop the technology since mi-2019.

Amidst the slow economic growth and the weakening status of the Indian rupee, a glimmer of good hope appears for the Indian market as Zoho Corporation, became the first billion-dollar company in India.

Zoho is essentially a tech company that makes web-based business tools. It is most popular for the online office suite offering Zoho Office Suite.

As of October 2021, the Zoho office suite has been expanded to 50 applications. Zoho reached more than 50 million customers in January 2020. In July 2022, the company announced it had more than 80 million users.

The company was founded in 1996 by Sridhar Vembu and Tony Thomas and has a presence in seven locations with global headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, and corporate headquarters outside of Austin in Del Valle, Texas.

The Sanskrit way

According to CEO Vembu, it is a very well-known fact that Zoho strongly believes in the potency of a good Research and Development department and that is the major reason behind their surge and rise to success. The finances spent on R&D is almost three times its marketing spend.

Zoho’s R&D team has started developing machine translation software that uses the ancient language Sanskrit as an intermediate layer.

As the name suggests, Machine Translation is converting one language to another via the help of computational software. For this conversion, one very necessary step is the conversion to a common format.

This format is such that it can be read and interpreted by both languages, the one getting converted to the one it’s converted into.

A very important feature of this common format has to be its accuracy and precision. For obvious reasons, if this common format is flawed or not accurate to a pinpoint, the resulting translation or conversion is bound to have errors. To reduce this room of error, Sanskrit is the solution.

The CEO of Zoho claimed that Sanskrit as a language is indeed very accurate and this is a well-known fact. The surprising part is the ignorance of this language and the potential it has to be used as an intermediate layer in Machine translation by the tech giants of this world.

Zoho’s strong R&D enables them to have a very diversified business portfolio. This is the reason why Zoho has bagged 25 patents in the last three years across different categories. This very nature of exploring new possibilities helps Zoho to grow faster as a company.

Other Benefits of using Sanskrit

Apart from the accuracy that Sanskrit offers as a language it also opens up new doors of opportunities to the deprived rural areas of our country.

The CEO of Zoho, Mr. Vembu has been working with a small engineering team in Tenkasi to develop the technology since mi-2019. Tenkasi is a very small village in the state of Tamil Nadu.

This move comes after the numerous occasions on which Mr. Vembu has voiced for more technical and learning opportunities for the youth in the rural parts of our country.

As enterprises around the world cut back on their technology spending, and we see a rise in instances of mass layoffs of tech workers by giants around the world, Zoho still powers through.

The company sees the Indian market as a bright spot. It was reported earlier that Zoho, which has an 11,000-strong workforce, could hire more than 1,000 employees over the next year even as Indian giants like Byju’s, Udaan, Unacademy and others have laid off scores of staff this year.

Global technology majors such as Stripe, Facebook and Lyft, too, have cut their workforce and frozen hiring amid fears of an economic slowdown. However, Zoho continues to shine as India’s first billion-dollar company.


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