While Zoom has become ubiquitous to today’s professional lexicon, its very ubiquity can give consumers tunnel vision around its applications. With over 300 million daily active users, Zoom revenue is expected to reach between $4.370 billion and $4.380 billion in 2023. The virtual meeting and collaboration platform generated $4.09 billion in revenue in 2022, up from $2.65 billion in 2021.
India is the company's second-largest market globally, behind the United States. Though given the vast difference in the populations of the two countries, the room to zoom in India is potentially enormous. exchange4media spoke with Debjani Gupta, Country Marketing Leader for Zoom in India, about tapping into that market, the platform’s latest offerings for marketers, and why there can be too much of a good thing.
“Yeah, everybody knows us, but everybody knows us mostly for meetings. And that is my challenge, as a marketer as the brand is so visible. And when you go to somebody and say ‘I'm from Zoom, and this is what we do,’ before I complete the sentence they say ‘Oh, we know. You don't need to tell us’,” she says wryly, while asserting they don't know the entire suite of solutions and products the company offers.
“We have meetings, chats, hub spots (a casual virtual meeting room where you can bump into your colleagues and chat) and Zoom Calendars. Then you have SDKs and APIs so that you can plug into your own platform. Then there is the events platform: webinars, events, sessions, and then you have internal communication tools like Zoom chat, whiteboard, and more.
“So, we have to do a lot of education. The brand is visible, people understand the brand but my KPI is to ensure that information on all the available products in India for our customers and potential customers is out there and people are aware of the entire Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform.”
The need for that “enterprise telephony” is growing, as companies realize the challenges in getting employees to return to offices full time. According to The Flex Report, based on data from over 4,000 companies employing more than 100 million people globally, the share of people in the office full-time dropped to 42% in the second quarter of 2023, down from 49% in the first quarter. Simultaneously, the share of offices with hybrid work arrangements hit 30% in the quarter, up from 20% the previous quarter.
“Modern companies have realized that getting employees back to work after we have had a taste of what we can do virtually is leading to dissatisfaction right now,” says Gupta, pointing out that most professionals have realized they can do their jobs from anywhere.
“As long as I'm productive and effective, and implement all that I’m supposed to do, it’s fine. I’m an adult and the whole organization runs on trust and company culture, she says, observing that if you have the right culture and you trust your employees to do what they're supposed to do, and the employees are doing that there shouldn't be any issues.
“At Zoom, we actually are looking at redefining the entire concept of employee experience, and also customer experience because if you empower your employees, it also helps you resolve customer issues more effectively. And then video is the new audio. Even people on the road are not on phone calls, they are actually on video calls, whether it’s with friends and family or work or even a service call centre,” she says.
While Zoom webinars have been there for a while, Zoom Events, which was introduced last year, is a key area being focused on. According to the company, Zoom Events is a virtual event management solution built for marketers, which allows up to 50,000 view-only attendees & 100+ interactive panellists. Zoom Events’ built-in tools promote networking and enable real-time feedback, so attendees can enjoy the same benefits of in-person events while at home.
“We now have something called Backstage; so when you go for an event, you need to prep your speakers right before they go on to the stage or go onto a panel. The same thing is replicated there. Zoom Sessions is a smaller version of Zoom Events, a more comprehensive enterprise version. As marketers, the time and resources that we spend on production and branding for an event is quite significant. All that is taken care of by Zoom Events because we have features on that platform that allow brands, event organizers and marketers to just plug and play,” she extols.
Another exciting development is the Zoom Phone, which was just given its license by Indian authorities and promises to bring all those features together into one secure universal device. “But we keep innovating and ideating, so there will be more announcements soon,” concludes Gupta.