Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu Rocks Lungi At Opening Of Company’s Mexico Office

Indian startup founders usually dress up in suits and ties for formal engagements with the government or policymakers, but a startup founder is rocking a whole new look — and that too while dealing with dignitaries abroad.

Zoho founder and CEO Sridhar Vembu was seen wearing a lungi while inaugurating the company’s offices in Querétaro, Mexico. The event was attended by high-ranking Mexico government ministers including Marco Antonio del Prete Tercero, Minister of Sustainable Development for the State of Querétaro and Indian Ambassador to Mexico Dr. Pankaj Sharma. While the dignitaries were all wearing suits, Vembu stood out wearing a sharp white lungi paired with a blue button-down shirt.


“Today we celebrated the official opening of our new office in Querétaro, México,” Vembu said. “We have over 125 people working in Querétaro and with Latin America one of our fastest growing geographies, we are excited to be here and excited to play a part in the evolution of the region towards the knowledge economy. ¡Viva México! Bharat Mata ki Jai!” he added.


While several Indian companies run offices abroad, most of their CEOs and executives default to the current global standard of suits and ties while operating out of them or inaugurating their offices. Zoho CEO Sridhar Vembu, however, seems to have chosen to bring his Indian-chic to the occasion, and carried it off with elan.

Vembu is known for doing things differently. While running his multinational company, he lives in Mathalamparai, a nondescript village near Tenkasi, where he walks in the fields every morning and evening, visits the local creeks and ponds, and rides an electric rickshaw. “Going for a walk in a village is a divine experience. After tasting this life in a village, it would be very hard for me to move to any major city anywhere now. That is the truth. I can almost say that I am addicted to this rural life,” he says. Zoho seems to be extending this philosophy to its offices, and is opening offices in around a 100 rural locations, as well as in Tier 2 towns like Tirunelveli.

And Zoho’s unconventional approach seems to be working. The company registered a profit of Rs. 2,836 crore in FY23, which is amongst the highest ever reported for an Indian internet firm. More impressively, it’s managed to earn these profits without ever having to raise external capital. And its CEO seems to rock his Indian look even when opening offices abroad. From making profits to opening rural offices to promoting traditional Indian fashion, Zoho seems to be turning conventional startup wisdom on its head.