New Delhi: Popular video conferencing app ‘Zoom’ is planning to make a significant investment in India over the next five years. Zoom is also planning to ramp up hiring, a top company executive said Thursday. The executive also sought to dispel misconceptions that the app has links with China. ‘Zoom’ is taking such steps to compete with billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s just launched ‘JioMeet’.
“Some of the misconceptions are disheartening, especially those about Zoom and China,” Velchamy Sankarlingam said in a blog post. He is Zoom’s president of product and engineering deparments.
“We do recognise that as we continue to introduce ourselves to the Indian market, there is confusion about facts related to ‘Zoom’. We want to work through these,” Sankarlingam added.
Zoom, he said, is a US company that is publicly traded on the NASDAQ.
Zoom had seen spurt in users since COVID-19 lockdown but now faces competition from JioMeet. The app has already seen about one million downloads within a week of launch. This is because it has promised unlimited free video calling. Zoom’s platform offers 40 minutes of video calling for free.
India important market for Zoom
In the blog, Sankarlingam said India is and will continue to be an important market for Zoom. He added that the company is excited to build on the exciting opportunities it sees in the region.
“We also have plans for significant investment in India over the next five years and beyond. We will certainly be expanding our footprint and hiring more top talent in the region,” Sankarlingam said. He added that ‘Zoom’ is helping Indian businesses, government agencies, communities, school teachers, and other users stay connected.
Sankarlingam emphasised that the company is keen to engage with stakeholders in India in the coming months. It wants to support key priorities such as ‘Digital India’, ‘StartUp India’ and ‘Skills India’. He wants to introduce them to ‘Zoom’.
“Zoom’s presence in India is represented on the ground by an office in Mumbai. There are two Data Centres (one in Mumbai and one in Hyderabad),” he added.
Besides him, two of Zoom’s top executives are of Indian descent. They are Aparna Bawa (COO) and Sunil Madan (Corporate Chief Information Officer).
No Chinese connection
Sankarlingam pointed that there were some ‘disheartening’ misconceptions, especially those about Zoom and China.
“Zoom has been clear about its identity. Zoom is a US company, publicly traded on the NASDAQ, founded and headquartered in San Jose, California,” Sankarlingam explained. Like many global technology companies, Zoom has offices in China operated by subsidiaries of the US parent company.
There have been calls for boycotting the app from certain sections in the country that referred to the app as Chinese. These calls had gained momentum after India banned 59 apps that had links with China.
Security of users well-protected
Sankarlingam said ‘Zoom’ understands its obligation to its users and takes security and privacy ‘incredibly seriously’. The company had announced a 90-day plan during the course of which it released over 100 new features. They were focused on privacy, safety and security.
In April, the Home Ministry had warned government officials against holding meetings on Zoom amid security concerns. The company had stated that it was in discussions with the government on the matter.
Founded in April 2011 by Eric Yuan, Zoom offers video calling services across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems. It has 21 offices around the world, including in the UK, Australia, Japan and France.