Zoho puts India on the Web2.0 map of the world

by Amit Ranjan on August 1, 2006

zoho-black.gif Its official now. Web2.0 has arrived in India and Indian companies are making their presence felt on the world Web2.0 map. For Zoho, the Chennai based startup behind the Zoho suite of weboffice products, has been named amongst the 23 of the most innovative Web 2.0 websites developed in countries other than the USA, in the August issue of the influential Business2.0 magazine.

This is what the article has to say about Zoho (Writer)-

Like Writely.com, a service recently purchased by Google, Zoho is going head-to-head with Microsoft Word by building word processing into your browser. Zoho Writer lets you export and import Word documents from your PC or create new ones online and share them with anyone. Zoho also offers Zoho Sheet, an online spreadsheet and Zoho Planner, a to-do list that can be shared by groups.


The Business 2.0 article isn’t online yet, but you can view it via Olive ActiveMagazine (pg 106).

This is a great news for the Indian Web2.0 community in general and for Zoho’s Chennai based development team in particular. I bumped into the Zoho team at BarCampChennai (in April earlier this year) and interacted with Arvind, Ranjit and others.

I’m sure you have heard of Zoho earlier. Zoho is an excellent suite of weboffice products, that has been created by an Indian web development company called AdventNet. The company has its HQ in the USA but its entire product development is based out of Chennai. Their products include Zoho Writer (online word processor), Zoho Sheet (online spreadsheet), Zoho Planner (online To-Do list), Zoho Show (online presentations), Zoho Virtual Office, Zoho Creator & Zoho Polls. I have read many reviews that vouch for the superiority of Zoho Writer and Zoho Sheet as compared to Google’s corresponding products, Writely & Google Spreadsheet. Arvind has informed me that the most successful product till date is the Zoho Writer, which was launched in Sep2005.

Considering the fact that weboffice products are at the bleeding edge of Web2.0 and are considered by many to be the final death knell for Microsoft’s PC era, it is great to see an Indian company leading the charge on this front.

Congratulations to the entire Zoho team at Chennai.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

rising sun>>Online Office Appz - Zoho.com August 4, 2006 at 9:16 am

[..]..Today, I stumbled across a new service out there and my first thought was – Oh no! No another me-too ajax utility. When I dived deeper into zoho.com, I was amazed at what I saw…[..]

zoho blogs>> The Indian blogosphere takes note of Zoho August 4, 2006 at 9:18 am

[..]..Since this happened, the Indian blogosphere has taken note of Zoho. The Indian sites which mentioned this event : (these are the Indian blogs I could find. please add to it if you find any more)

Amit Ranjan at Webyantra..[..]

Idea, Execution, Profit August 4, 2006 at 2:19 pm

If you can give more details about the company, like its plans, its funding, user base, what it means to comman man in India etc it will make webyantra more sticky.

-Balaji S.

Jonathan Boutelle August 4, 2006 at 9:23 pm

Zoho does great javascript development: I’ve been very impressed with their stuff.

One thing that’s funny about them: they seem to be a subsidiary of this company:

Look at the difference between that site and

Zoho.com looks very web 2.0 and friendly, compared to AdventNet!

A good lesson in branding: keep it simple and friendly, it makes all the difference.

amit ranjan August 5, 2006 at 1:56 am


Thanks for your tip; I’ll try to see how I can add those elements to my reviews.


You’re probably right about the difference in the websites of AdventNet & Zoho; they certainly are poles apart. Maybe its because Advent started off being a services company while Zoho is a de-facto web2.0 entity and so cannot hope to break any ground without having a cool web presence.

If anybody from Zoho is reading this comment, can you please let us know your perspective on this.


rajesh moorjani August 5, 2006 at 5:53 am

zoho is truly impressive.

we need more such pioneering concepts coming out of india!

i feel its time Indian companies burst out of the “safe” service-market mould and try their hand at putting their money behind their “own” work. the returns might be better than what most expect.

msivakumar August 5, 2006 at 8:17 am

Amit – one correction on your reply for the comment 5 – AdventNet is not a services company – it is a pure play Product company ……

R.Sriram August 7, 2006 at 6:59 pm

Thanks Siva for clarifying that AdventNet is not a services company but a product company.

Jonathan and Amit,
Zoho and AdventNet address different market segments. AdventNet focuses on niche markets like Enterprise Management, Enterprise Security, Database Migration, Database Search,Testing and OEM’s.

Whereas Zoho is more focussed on Online Office Suite and Productivity enhancing tools and services.

We believe the needs of visitors to AdventNet Website and Zoho webiste are different. The functionality of most Zoho services are self explanatory with most of them available as WebServices.

Whereas the visitors to our Enterprise suite of products expect a content rich website. We believe such visitors are technocrats who wants to see the complete product profile with minimal traversal.

Please let us know your views on the two websites and we appreciate your suggestions on improving them.

amit August 8, 2006 at 12:48 pm


Thanks for clarifying. It makes sense but all the same, you could do with improving the look/feel of the AdventNet site, even for its own user base. That site has a visually cluttered look and is not easy to read.


james burt August 10, 2006 at 1:08 pm

A new web 2.0 start up
Wow- I’ve got to know if this person is making money…
Clearly, since I myself have a Paypal donation button on my blog, I won’t be sending any his way. Interesting concept though.

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