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Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu announces new mechatronics startup Karuvi

ISN Team
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zoho ceo sridhar vembu

Sridhar Vembu

Indian SaaS giant Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu today announced the launch of his new venture named 'Karuvi'. The new venture aims to design and produce a variety of consumer and industrial power tools, leveraging advancements in motor technology, material science, and electronics.

The inspiration behind Karuvi

Karuvi's inception was inspired by a meeting with Abdul Gafoor, founder of Mr Light Global, who expressed a keen interest in Zoho manufacturing handheld tools.


Despite initial hesitations due to a lack of expertise in the manufacturing sector, Vembu was captivated by the potential for creating rural jobs. The meeting set the stage for Karuvi, which began with a modest engineering team that has since grown, embodying the spirit of innovation and determination to venture into unfamiliar territory.

A few years ago, during the pandemic, a Zoho customer and fan,  Mr Abdul Gafoor, who owns Mr Light Global, a major own-brand distributor of electrical and electronics products in the Middle East (and now in India), came to see me in Tenkasi with a box full of hand held tools from his company.  He told me he wanted Zoho to make these products and he would love to distribute them.  I said we know nothing about it. He said this could create rural jobs. That is how he hooked me!," Vembu wrote in a post on X.

Karuvi’s product lineup

Karuvi, which means "instrument" or "tool" in Tamil, is set to offer a suite of power tools, including angle grinders, drills, and saws, among others.

While currently focusing on these tools, the company's website also hints at future expansions into batteries, hand tools, and accessories. It aims to establish a strong presence in the market through a robust network of professionals and authorized dealers.

Manufacturing and market approach

The company is building its manufacturing capabilities in Tenkasi, also the headquarters for Zoho, marking a strategic move to integrate Karuvi’s operations closely with Zoho’s ecosystem.

The decision to set up production facilities in Tenkasi is part of a broader vision to innovate within the factory space.

Zoho’s growing ecosystem  

The launch of Karuvi adds a new dimension to Zoho’s portfolio, which includes a range of technology solutions across different sectors.

Zoho reported an operating revenue of Rs 8,703.6 crore ($1 billion), a 30% increase from the previous year's Rs 6,710.7 crore. The growth is attributed to Zoho's success in expanding its global presence across six continents, with North America being the largest contributor to its revenue.

The company's net profit saw a modest increase of 3% to Rs 2,836 crore in FY23. However, Its total expenditures surged by 51%, driven by significant investments in employee benefits, advertising, and data centre expenses, with employee benefit costs alone growing by 49%.