The Silicon Valley continues to shift to the Silicon Hills of Austin, TX, as another global business software company, Zoho, plans to move its HQ to Austin by 2021.
The company has purchased a 375-acre plot of land in southeast Austin near the airport (Texas State Highway 71 near Kellam Road), and is planning to build a 100,000 SF campus on this site that houses at least 500 employees.
According to Zoho’s founder, Sridhar Vembu, Zoho is moving its headquarters to Austin because “Austin is how San Francisco used to be 30 years ago. It had the weirdness. It had all this stuff. The artists and the live music.” And Vembu has pledged that Zoho will help keep Austin weird by doing things a little differently.
Here Are 5 Ways That Zoho Will Help “Keep Austin Weird”
1. Zoho is privately owned and debt free. Without the pressure from Wall Street or outside investors, Zoho doesn’t have to worry about making certain numbers and is free to exert more independence in creating a very unique company culture.
2. Zoho doesn’t merge or acquire products from any other company; instead, it develops all of its own software.
3. Zoho is not going to seek incentives from local or state government or ask for tax abatements on the property.
4. Zoho is moving to a piece of farmland on the outskirts of Austin rather than renting a space in downtown Austin because it’s a money saver. In fact, it actually costs less to buy the 375-acre plot of land out by the airport than it did to buy Zoho’s other 45-acre main campus in India!
5. Zoho plans to start an in-house education program called Zoho University that works closely with local schools to teach students skills and to educate its own employees to advance their positions within the company. This program, Zoho University, is an alternative to a traditional college education and has been remarkably successful in India. At the school, Zoho pays students to learn how to create and use Zoho software. It hires many of its graduates. In fact, 15 percent of Zoho’s engineering workforce is made up of graduates from Zoho University.
"We create our own talent with Zoho University," said Vembu. And the company is able to acquire talent from a pool of people that end up with a clear understanding of the way things work, and, a respect for the culture that Zoho has created." Zoho hopes to work closely with local high schools and Austin Community College to develop the American version of this program.
A strong value for independence, a unique culture, and a tech firm (and potential university!) landing out on a piece of farmland near the airport. Welcome to Austin, Zoho; it sounds like you’re a perfect fit here.
Zoho is 23 years old and has grown to 45 million users worldwide across 180 countries. Bringing the HQ to southeast Austin area should increase property values in the area and create yet another tech “hub,” but this time in the south of Austin! Are you looking to purchase a home in this area? Do it now and watch your property values increase as Zoho continues to expand its Austin influence!