Zoom enables the 'work-from-anywhere' workforce: Sameer Raje, GM and Head, India & SAARC, Zoom

Update: 2023-03-06 09:54 IST

Sameer Raje - General Manager and Head, India & SAARC, Zoom

India, like many other countries, is entering the era of flexibility, and this is true across organisations, employees, customers and their end-users. Work is no longer a physical location. Consumers now expect a seamless, connected experience across physical and virtual channels, be it for business, education, healthcare, event/entertainment, retail and BFSI.


Sameer Raje - General Manager and Head, India & SAARC, Zoom

The Hans India, in an exclusive interview with Mr Sameer Raje, General Manager and Head for India & SAARC Region, for Zoom, discussed Zoomtopia, the evolution and innovation of Zoom. Zoom has helped many organisations reimagine the customer journey for their end-users. Mr Sameer joined Zoom in April 2019 to kick-start and expand its regional operations. Today, with a large customer base comprising organizations of all sizes across industries, supported by a dynamic partner ecosystem and growing workforce, the India & SAARC region is one of the key contributors and biggest markets for Zoom.

Employees are going back to the office. What is Zoom doing to stay relevant in the evolving work culture?

For organisations, establishing a hybrid, inclusive workspace providing a consistent experience for both in-office and remote workers will be critical to a successful future work model.

Zoom has evolved from a meeting app into an integrated and robust platform, creating an ecosystem where employees can seamlessly move between communications methods such as phone, video, and chat; send files; share content; and schedule meetings without using different applications or platforms. We introduced Zoom One, the new intuitive experience that simplifies the management of our core products, bringing together meetings, chat, whiteboard, phone, and more into a single, secure, scalable offering. These products are purpose-built, and Zoom One's simple pricing minimises the need for add-ons, making it easy to support business needs. We see bigger platform play for larger enterprises and, in parallel, supporting SMEs with their go-to-market strategies. Zoom is focused on giving organisations, their employees and customers a platform that works best for them, their lives and their workflows.

Zoomtopia 2022, the company's annual user conference, concluded recently. Please share some exciting new innovations announced by Zoom.

Zoomtopia is our flagship event, where we announce many new Zoom platform innovations to help advance how people connect. We strive to build next-generation technology for real people doing the work. Some of the latest product highlights Zoom has unveiled at Zoomtopia 2022 to create a robust communications platform for empowering more authentic connections and deeper collaboration includes:

  • Zoom Mail and Calendar (beta): Popular email and calendar services will be integrated directly into Zoom. Users no longer need to leave the Zoom platform to access their email and calendar.

- We know people struggle with increased distractions from having separate applications for real-time communication and email and calendar.

- We aim to give our users a seamless and productive communications experience with email, calendar, team chat, phone, meetings, and more in a single platform.

  • Zoom Mail and Calendar Services (beta in US and Canada): Zoom-hosted email and calendar service options are designed for small businesses that may not have dedicated IT services but desire security and privacy.
  • Zoom Spots (coming in 2023): Zoom's video-enabled persistent space, integrated within the Zoom platform, helps foster inclusive discussions, keeps colleagues connected, and brings the fluid interactions of in-person work to distributed, hybrid teams throughout their day.

- This is Zoom's human-centred approach to virtual interaction, designed to replicate the "working alongside" aspect of an open office for workers.

  • Zoom Virtual Agent (coming in 2023): Intelligent conversational AI and chatbot solution that uses natural language processing and machine learning to understand and quickly resolve customer issues.

How are collaboration platforms enhancing employee and customer experience?

Every organisation is reimagining customer engagement and connection amid today's hyper-competitive consumer landscape. The key is to build resiliency, and businesses will need to double down on driving a differentiated customer experience as a priority. In terms of engaging and communicating with stakeholders like customers and employees, we believe that video is a game-changer. Zoom helps its customers with fit-for-purpose solutions like software development toolkits (SDKs) or application programming interfaces (APIs) that provide the flexibility to customise and integrate specific features into existing offerings and workflows, thereby elevating the customer experience by bringing in the "Human Element" and an omnichannel experience while reducing friction. This also empowers the customer to reach out and interact for their needs at their own convenience on a single platform and a device of their choice.

Businesses should also focus inwards on the employee experience as the 2023 workspace continues to be disrupted. Organisations must continue to make flexible work arrangements a permanent aspect of the future of work - or risk losing good talent. Employees must be equipped with the right flexible collaboration platform to do their best work and consolidate their workflows, no matter where or how they choose to work. These solutions also help foster collaboration efficiency between increasingly hybrid and dispersed teams. A platform-first approach consolidating business communications across employees, customers, and partners also increases convenience and ease of use for customers who can now enjoy a seamless, end-to-end customer journey within one interface.

Could you elaborate on your plans for the Indian market as we enter the new year?

India is an important market for Zoom, as demonstrated by Zoom's continued commitment to the country. Zoom has evolved into a comprehensive collaboration platform that is not just for use in a traditional office setting. It is creating new possibilities across industries like banking and finance, retail, and manufacturing, among others, and we are witnessing innovative use cases from companies of all sizes. Even in industries such as manufacturing and healthcare, collaboration solutions are simplifying processes and improving inclusivity by helping their workers collaborate and stay connected across geographies and functions. They enable workers to tap into the collective knowledge of the enterprise, solve problems with experts remotely and show practical applications of their ideas to increase productivity through two-way interactions.

With customer experience taking centre stage now more than ever, Zoom is committed to helping businesses deliver the platinum standard for every experience across the customer journey. Backed by the government's digital push, SMEs are seeing steady growth in the country. As a collaboration platform, Zoom aims to help them expand their operations and customer base. We also collaborate with startups and developers to integrate Zoom's platform into their applications. By opening up our developer platform to offer new and robust ways for startups, we are enabling developers and digital natives to collaborate and innovate.

Additionally, we are scaling up our partner ecosystem, collaborating with partners such as Tata Tele Services and Savex Technologies. These partners are helping us to provide our world-class communications platform services to businesses of all sizes, enabling them to collaborate effectively within their teams and with their partners in India and globally.



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