Indian Software Giant Zoho Enters Chip Manufacturing Race


Indian software firm Zoho is planning to enter the chipmaking industry and is seeking incentives from the federal government. The company is reportedly looking to invest around $700 million in this venture.

ZOHO Corporation:

Zoho Corporation, founded in 1996 and based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, offers a wide range of software products and related services to businesses across 150 countries, operating on a subscription-based model. The company competes in the global market with major players such as Microsoft and Salesforce, providing a comprehensive suite of applications for various business needs, including customer relationship management (CRM), email marketing, project management, and more.

ZOHO - Chip Manufacturing Plan:

Zoho has recently announced its intention to seek government support to build chip fabrication plants, focusing on manufacturing compound semiconductors. Unlike traditional silicon-based semiconductors, compound semiconductors are made from alternative materials with specialized commercial applications. This move represents Zoho's entry into a critical market for various high-tech industries, including telecommunications, aerospace, and defence.

The proposal is currently under review by the panel responsible for driving India's chip initiatives at the IT ministry. The ministry has sought further details from Zoho regarding its intended customer base. Zoho has not provided any official comments on the matter, and the IT ministry has yet to respond to the incentive request.

Founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu previously mentioned a chip design project in Tamil Nadu without divulging further details. Zoho's plans to diversify into chip manufacturing have not been publicly reported.

In a bid to bolster its semiconductor industry, India recently approved the construction of three semiconductor plants worth over $15 billion. These plants, spearheaded by companies like Tata Group and CG Power, aim to manufacture and package chips for various sectors, including defense, automobiles, and telecommunication. 

This government-backed initiative underscores the country's commitment to becoming a global player in the semiconductor market. India anticipates its semiconductor market to reach a value of $63 billion by 2026.