'We prefer college dropouts to work in Zoho'

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE, INDIA: When top players in the IT industry in India are running after engineers from top engineering institutes to hire to work with them, Zoho — an online web applications provider — takes a different route.

The company looks beyond traditional hiring methods and goes to schools to pick talented students. It started an in-house programme that recruits students, who have completed higher secondary school and it provides them a three-month rigorous training in software engineering.


In a fireside chat with Prasanto K. Roy, president and chief editor of CyberMedia, and Tarkan Maner, CEO of WYSE Technology, on the sidelines of Nasscom's India Product Conclave 2011 here on Thursday, Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu said that its university programme has been proved very effective, as the trained students performed much better than the graduates from top IT schools did.

“When all the major companies in the IT sector such as TCS prefer to recruit students from top IT schools, we take a different route altogether. We prefer students who have finished their higher secondary school and train them to become software engineers,” he said.

Sridhar further said that it is quite hard to find talented people anywhere in India. “It is highly difficult to find talents in India. I am of the view that the country has more talents in its villages than universities and other top institutes. In my experience, school students adapt to technology much faster than IT or software graduates from the renowned engineering institutes.”

The Zoho chief also said that he has not hired anybody from IITs in India to work with his company. He shared his experience with the audience how his university programme helped improve productivity.

“I can proudly say that schools students who underwent our programme are more productive than others. We pay these students right from day 1 they are hired. Interestingly,they have paid us back all the money we have invested for their training programmes, in terms of higher productivity,” Sridhar said.