The optimistic technologist - Publik Talk


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Monday, August 27, 2018

The optimistic technologist

Raj Sabhlok, President of ManageEngine and in a freewheeling chat talks about his stint in the IT industry…

Raj Sabhlok is the president of ManageEngine and, both divisions of Zoho Corp. Raj has a particular interest in IT management software and its power to change the fortunes of a business when implemented effectively. Prior to Zoho, Raj spent nearly 20 years working with some of the world’s most innovative technology companies including Embarcadero Technologies, BMC Software and The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO).

About his motivation to do engineering he said, “I did engineering because my parents are Indians (laughs). In those times the options were either to become an engineer or a doctor. My major in college was Mathematics. And back then there was no application for mathematics, I mean you could potentially go into teaching but there weren’t the opportunities that are available now for math majors. The data scientists were mathematicians and computer science is obviously a related field and frankly computer science, for the most part, is very theory-oriented and programming is really you know where you make your mark and in software and I was able to leverage my mathematics degree.”

In his career, he has held technical, marketing, sales and executive management positions within the enterprise software industry. Raj has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and four boys — and his iPhone.

Founded in 1996 as a network management provider for large corporations, Zoho has evolved into a multi-enterprise cloud computing firm. It is composed of three flagship businesses:, best known for its cloud-based office suite; ManageEngine, an IT management software platform; and WebNMS, which develops telecommunications software. Through constant watch on what is evolving on the technology horizon, Zoho Corp has been able to establish three significant divisions addressing various business problems. To keep expanding and to stay relevant, the company roughly invests 90 per cent on Zoho and ManageEngine Labs that focus on futuristic technologies and software development, and roughly 40 per cent of revenues are ploughed back into research and development.

“At Zoho, we make sure that client networks are available all the time, so we monitor their networks and we make sure that it is working on optimised performance bandwidth of the network. We manage their servers and make it high performing. We have over forty products that cover IT operations, which typically means monitoring. We have IT service management which is like help desk service. We've got a flagship offering they're called service desk plus.”

As an expert in the IT industry, Raj feels that there is a market and requirement for the cryptocurrency. “I am not buying anything with this currency because it is not ubiquitous at this moment. It is not roundly available for an average person to leverage this currency and that has to happen. People ask me about Blockchain and I tell them that conceptually it is a great idea, its ability to do transactions as it is a trust-based ledger system that can verify transaction that is a great concept. But again, we need some killer apps to leverage that technology and we at Zoho Labs we are looking at where we can use blockchain tech. We have something called Zoho Sign where you and I can sign a contract, so we are trying to use blockchain technology in that.”

About Trump administration, he says, “The things that I think about Trump is a lot of what he talks about and wants to get done is pretty obvious and I can get behind it like security of US, who does not want that, he is pro-business and cut in taxes who do not want this, these are all things I can get behind it. The problem with Trump and his admin is approach and the rhetoric which is divisive and hurtful. It often comes as bullying and hints of racism things that just don’t need to be an equation to solve some of these problems as those are good initiatives. The other part of it is we are so polarised in the US between the left and the right that it is hard to figure out who is right and who is wrong. It is a bit uncomfortable to be in the US now. As I say all that we have a great economy and it is growing and there are some good things happening in the country.”

Published at: Mon, 27 Aug 2018 21:15:33 +0530


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