Zoom opens up new technology centre in Bengaluru with plans to introduce value-added services to the video conferencing app

Zoom opens up new technology centre in Bengaluru with plans to introduce value-added services to the video conferencing app
Zoom announces new technology centre in Bengaluru with plans to introduce value-added services to the video conferncing platformBI India
  • Zoom announced that it will be opening up a new technology centre in Bengaluru to expand its footprint in India.
  • Zoom also plans to begin recruitment for Bengaluru operations
  • As a part of its expansion strategy, Zoom plans to integrate new value-added services to its video conferencing app.
  • While the new data centre will be in India to focus on India specifics and features, any app developments will still be considered global.
The video-conferencing app, Zoom, that has gained popularity in the recent lockdown, has solidified its India plans. Zoom just unveiled its plan to set up a new technology centre in India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru and is looking to hire talent over the next few years.

The company’s COO Aparna Bawa also disclosed that the company has plans to add value-added services onto the platform after the flurry of new use-cases since December.

In the first four months of 2020, Zoom saw its daily participants grow from 10 million to 300 million. Bawa pointed out that the majority of the use cases for the video conferencing platform in that time were new; with the number of free user sign-ups witnessing a whopping 6700% growth between January and April.

“It’s up to us to answer the call and provide some longevity, value and value-added services to support those use cases,” said Bawa, highlighting that events like yoga classes, wedding, funerals or even a merger have led to the rise in usage.

Zoom’s new technology centre in Bengaluru will be set up to help with just that with everything from R&D, DevOps. Business operations to IT engineering. “As you look at a headquarters, it will have representation for all segments,” said Zoom’s new president of engineering and product, Velchamy Sankarlingam, who was appointed in May earlier this year.

Technology center in India, roots still global
Sankarlingam highlighted that while Zoom’s business headquarters will be working closely with Indian firms to launch specifics and features for India, it will still be looked at as an extension of the global organisation.

Which is why standalone revenues from India are unlikely to be shown anywhere in the near future. “We don’t call out revenues except for the US and then the international market,” said Bawa.

Rising concern over security
Zoom says that it’s in conversation with the Indian government over security concerns and data sharing with China. India’s cyber authority CERT-In had initially released an advisory on the security loopholes in Zoom and asked users to update their software. The Home Ministry followed that up by a ban on using Zoom by government employees.

“The Chinese data centre is ring-fenced. Any data that’s on Zoom’s servers goes around China,” explained Sankarligam.

Competition heating up
Even though Zoom could not cite India-specific numbers in terms of growth during the lockdown, Zoom India Head Sameer Raje highlights that business has grown exponentially in smaller businesses (SMEs) that have overcome the initial hesitancy to go digital.

It faces competition from Jio who holds the largest market share and has launched its own video conference apps called Jio Meets. Many have pointed out the similarity between the user interface. “Beyond the UI there are so many things that have an advantage for Zoom like the back-end architecture and reserve engineering capacity when we talk to customers,” said Bawa.

India holds importance for Zoom as one of the biggest telecom markets in the world with a user base of more than 115.2 crore subscribers according to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) latest figures. The video-conferencing giant already has an office in Mumbai along with two data centres in Mumbai and Hyderabad. The new set-up in Bengaluru is a reflection of Zoom’s expansion plans in India and its aspirations for growth in one of the largest markets in the world.

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