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GST-ready Zoho to beef up workforce in Tenkasi
In the wake of companies prepping themselves for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, Zoho Corp, on Wednesday launched its GST-compliant finance suite, Zoho Finance Plus.
The California-headquartered company that has an office in Chennai and a development centre in Tenkasi, will shortly beef up operations in the rural town as well.
The SAAS (Software as a Service) major released their latest product to address the needs of businesses in making a smooth transition to the new tax structure – managing their finances and operations, including the filing of GST returns using the company’s end-to-end integrated cloud platform.
Speaking at the launch, Sridhar Vembu, the CEO of the company said, “For the first time, last month, we found that our sign-ups from Indian SMEs were far greater than that of SMEs from the US. So, it makes sense for us to aggressively push this suite into the Indian market. We are seeing a 100 per cent growth month-on-month in this category. And over the next three years, over 20 per cent of our business is expected to come from this suite itself.”
He adds, “Today, India is the most attractive investment destination globally, owing to the higher rate of returns. But in the next 10 years, I envision the country to be one of the hardest markets to crack.”
Zoho also powers its sister concern GoFrugal Technologies, which is a GST Suvidha Provider (GSP). A GSP is a generic name given to the developer of a third-party application that connects the taxpayer (any business concern) with the GST system. As many as 34 licenses have now been given out to various third party app developers, who are registered as GSPs.
The tech infrastructure deployed by businesses will be instrumental in the success of the GST implementation. The GST regime requires firms to file returns online thrice a month, which puts the onus of compliance on a company’s back-office operations.
Sivaramakrishnan Iswaran, Director of Product Management, Zoho says, “Millions of SMEs will need to adopt GST-enabled applications for invoicing, tax filing and other business transactions. The proliferation of smartphones, broadband connectivity and upcoming GST regimen is a great opportunity for companies to move their accounting and other operations online. The suite simplifies returns filing for businesses and aids in increasing compliance as well.”
Going forward, support for regional languages will be included in the suite, priced at Rs 2,999 per firm per month, which includes 10 users. The product is aggressively priced, Vembu says, adding that the alternative offered by its nearest competitor is about 15-20 times more expensive. Vembu also has major plans for the Zoho office in Tenkasi. A new office building is being set up in the small town and the current employee-strength is being augmented from the existing 120 to 400 staff members.
India’s first programming language birthed in Zoho
Sridhar Vembu, the CEO of Zoho, says that India's first programming language was birthed in Zoho, specifically for use in the Zoho cloud business environment. The platform is named Deluge, and it offers an interactive drag-and-drop solution for developers, who can in turn create customised applications on Zoho products. Vembu says, “This language works in tandem with the rest of the Zoho. This is the language that helps customise the suite. We might develop an open source version for other people to use.”