India is going through a rather ‘not natural to India’ kind of political scenario these days, to put it mildly. Protests are happening throughout the country, both of peaceful and violent nature. And for public figures, specially those at the helm of larger corporates, these are generally not the best of times to take sides if they want to maintain face. However, some of them are a bit more vocal about their opinions than others. While some like Accenture’s MD choose to remain neutral, others like Zoho’s CEO Sridhar Vembu are more than public about their affiliations with politics.
Sridhar Vembu faced severe backlash after he posted his invite to an RSS event, ‘Resurgent Bharath’ that is going to be held on February 2, 2019 on twitter. People have been very vocal about how they feel about his association with the group. A user tweeted, “Sridhar Vembu, Chairman of India’s @zoho flaunts his association with the Nazi-inspired fascist RSS, whose aim is to make minorities second class citizens and is currently going on a rampage at Universities & against critics of the regime #BoycottZoho”.
That is not all. People are outraged at the company itself and a user took it upon himself to complain directly to its twitter handle. He said, “Hey @zoho, I’ve been a consistent supporter and promoter of your company for the past 4 years. Unfortunately, since your CEO has decided to support traitors who are interested in burning down this country, I’ll be moving my business to @GoogleIndia and @MicrosoftIndia this month.”
Seeing how this decision is affecting him and the company, people were expecting an apology from Vembu. However, he decided to defend his position with a post on the social media platform. On January 6, he tweeted, “I don’t decide my views based on Twitter attacks. If you dislike which events I attend, please do what your conscience dictates and I will do what mine dictates. We earn our daily bread due to our work and we will continue to do quality work. I won’t be responding to attacks,”.
I don't decide my views based on Twitter attacks. If you dislike which events I attend, please do what your conscience dictates and I will do what mine dictates. We earn our daily bread due to our work and we will continue to do quality work. I won't be responding to attacks.
— Sridhar Vembu (@svembu) January 6, 2020
RSS, whether good or bad, is definitely polarized and taking sides like this could prove to be detrimental for the CEO and his company eventually.
For those unaware, Zoho is a bootstrapped unicorn cloud based organization from India and is considered to be a one stop cloud solution for all business requirements. It is considered among one of the biggest SaaS competitors to reigning champions like Salesforce, among others.