February 1, 2023

Unitranche

Supportive Business Potential

All Responsible Companies Need To Keep An Eye On The Macroeconomic Environment

These are turbulent times for the tech sector with prevalent economic headwinds and heavy anticipation of a recession. What kind of effects are you seeing at Zoom in the present scenario?
It’s a hazy macroeconomic environment. There are clearly headwinds underway. When I spend time speaking with senior business leaders, there are a few things that I hear more of now. They talk about how do I acquire, retain customers at a lower cost per unit? Because customer engagement is going to be critical, but at a lower cost per unit in the current macroeconomic environment. In addition, they are also thinking deeply about the employee experience. They are trying to figure out ways to provide the best environment and help employees be more productive without compromising on the culture. These are the things where we are starting to see companies put a lot of focus on, but with a new lens of wanting to manage overall costs.

On one hand, Zoom is like any other company, we get impacted by macroeconomic headwinds. But in some ways, I would say that these are also tailwinds for us as we help companies reduce costs through our services.

Competitors such as Microsoft and Cisco have stepped up their efforts in the segment which Zoom has led during the last two years. So, what does Zoom do now? Is it looking to diversify its portfolio of services?
We respect all competitors but our focus is not on our competitors. Our focus is on our customers. The reason Zoom became so successful in the pandemic is because we had built a product that was easy to use. People thought Zoom was the easiest thing to use which had rich functionalities. Zoom just works, whether you are running on a 3G network or 5G network, high-end device or an old smartphone.

We deliver a beautiful experience that comes from being customer-focused and everyone’s been trying to play catch up. And you know what? That’s good for the industry. But we’re not playing catch up. We’re focusing on our customers and asking them – what do you need in this new world, the post pandemic hybrid world? What do you need to have a perfect, frictionless employee/customer experience? We take the feedback and announce a lot of products and new functionalities.

What kind of demand are you seeing in India as opposed to elsewhere in the APAC?
In India, the use cases are different. Here, we are working with some of the governments on healthcare with telehealth and talking about quality healthcare for rural areas. We are also re-imagining how banks connect with customers in Tier-3 and 4 cities for financial inclusion and giving loans with video KYC.

India is ahead of the curve when it comes to digital platforms. So, we expanded the Zoom Developer Platform with the launch of Zoom Apps SDK. Now, the platform allows developers to embed Zoom Video inside an application. This could be a fintech application, healthcare, retail and more. This is helping companies acquire more customers, while delivering an incredible experience on Zoom Video. Across the APAC region, I find the largest number of innovative use cases around SDKs in India.

What kind of hiring does Zoom undertake in India? And with the current scenario of layoffs, what has been your approach?
Strategically, India is a very important market for us. We have a strong business in the country along with a large user community. Also, we see India as a country of amazing technical talent. We have set up two technology centres in the country and are focusing on R&D of all of our products, including the new products such as Zoom Contact Center. Hence, our hiring in the country is multifaceted.

To answer the second part of your question, all responsible companies have to keep an eye on the macroeconomic environment. No one is immune to the macroeconomic environment, so, we constantly look at it. We are very agile while looking at how this could impact our business. There could be some headwinds, there could be some tailwinds. We assess the impact and modulate based on that. We are still hiring across broader types of roles. We will continue to monitor the environment to make the most financially responsible decisions for the company.