“I appreciate the support from users in India. We want to do more and you might see some news down the road and we gotta have a low-cost strategy (for India) — that’s the direction,” Yuan, who moved to the US from China in 1997, said in response to questions on India specific solutions it is working on to cater to the large user base here.
According to Sensor Tower data for July, it was the third most downloaded non-gaming app across Apple and Google app stores globally. As reported in May, India– with 18% contribution — was the biggest market for Zoom in April — in terms of the number of application downloads despite its security issues and government warnings, which said it was not ‘safe’.
Talking about the challenges and learnings amid the crisis, the billionaire entrepreneur said one of the biggest mistakes as CEO, amid fast-paced expansion internationally, was that he didn’t realise lakhs of K-12 schools using Zoom, including in India, did not have IT teams which led to security issues leading to ‘Zoom bombing’.
“We didn’t think a lot of K-12 schools did not have IT teams. They didn’t even know Zoom has so many security features. Whatever was the default package — the screen, gallery view, speaking ID and no password — this started Zoombombs. That was a huge mistake, looking back. I realised, not only do we offer the service, we should have played a role of IT (support)for these K-12 schools of first-time users,” he added.
Its users in India range from kids to grandparents across use-cases like healthcare (telemedicine) education (schools, yoga and fitness classes) and entertainment (wedding, happy-hours). Zoom, according to Yuan, has a lot of Indian DNA as many of its senior executives, mentors and advisors are from India and that it recently opened a new office in Bengaluru–a sign of increasing commitment for the market. It also has local and global competition in India through Reliance’s JioMeet, Google’s Meet, WhatsApp’s increased limit of allowing 8 for group calls.
Talking about the future of Zoom, Yuan said a ‘platform play’ is very important– like a video conference infrastructure service where one can build all kinds of applications on top of that. “Secondly, we would like to become more and more global. Look at the pandemic crisis, most of the revenue came from North America joined by the US and Canada, and little bit in Europe. Last but not least, we want to introduce new services, either for our enterprise customers or maybe for some new use cases. That’s also what we are thinking about the future,” he added.