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Zoho lands in New Zealand

Paul Brislen, Editor. 04 March 2019, 7:21 am

Perhaps India's most famous SaaS company, Zoho, has launched in New Zealand and Australia, setting up an office and hiring the former CIO of The Warehouse to run the region from an office in central Auckland.

Timothy Kasbe will divide his time between Auckland and Sydney but plans to grow the New Zealand arm of the operation to help support local customers - and the target for growth is in the corporate IT world, not just Zoho's traditional hunting ground of small business.

We asked Timothy about his plans for the New Zealand market.

Why set up physical offices when you're a lean, online company?

By opening physical offices, building a team and supporting infrastructure, we believe we can fast track our growth in New Zealand and deliver a deeper level of customer service and support to our local users.

Zoho is investing tens of millions of dollars to establish a serious presence in the ANZ region. We're building out a local presence, opening several offices - one in Auckland and one in Byron Bay, Australia -  as well as a small sales office in Sydney. We've also built two data centres, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. We'll be hiring a team of 30 across the region - ten of which will be in New Zealand. Roles will include customer success and sales, development and marketing.

Why Auckland over Sydney?

New Zealand is a great place to do global business. It's in the perfect timezone to deal with Asia and the US, it's brimming with talent and there are plenty of businesses ready to adopt well-priced, innovative technology.

With some of the highest rates of tech and mobile adoption, ANZ gives us a big enough platform to go test and pilot innovative solutions for the English-speaking market which we can then roll out into APAC and beyond.

What do you want to achieve in the New Zealand market?

Launching in New Zealand, there are two broad goals for us: large enterprise expansion and deeper geographic expansion. We are seeing strong adoption of the Zoho suite in large enterprises so that's naturally a key focus for us. We are also expanding our geographic footprint in a big way over the next two years and our investment into Australia and New Zealand.

We have tens of thousands of ANZ users - all without having boots on the ground. By investing in building a local office, team and supporting infrastructure, we believe we can fast track our growth in Australia and deliver a deeper level of customer service and support to our New Zealand users.

How does a company from India compete with Google and Salesforce etc for market share?

We stand out from our competition in a few distinct ways:

Breadth: we have far more products across business functional areas than even the largest titans of the industry. This means we can solve more problems and create more value.

Depth: Many of our products bought standalone, like CRM or Desk, can compete very effectively in features and value against the leading products in their product-markets.

Deep integration: Our products integrate with each other in ways products from different vendors simply cannot, despite integration technologies like Zapier and others. All this means we bring more integration information, contextually, to our customers-thereby allowing them to make better decisions.

Value: Zoho often solves a much bigger problem for the customer than our competition. We automate, streamline and innovate many more business processes for our customer than typical single-product companies. We do all of this at very competitive prices.


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