Ahead of the Republic Day, the Union Home Ministry on Monday released the list of Padma Awards. Among the Padma Vibhushan awardees are former Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; singer SP Balasubrahmanyam (posthumous); Belle Monappa Hegde, archaeologist BB Lal and Narinder Singh Kapany (posthumous).

Sridhar Vembu, the Chief Executive Officer of software firm Zoho, and Rajini Bector, promoter of FMCG company Mrs Bectors Food Specialities are among the 102 Padma Shri awardees this year. Both are honoured for their outstanding achievements in the business field.Vembu tweeted-

Business magnate Sridhar Vembu was born in a family of farmers in a small city in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. Vembu, the 54-year-old graduate of IIT Madras and Princeton University moved recently moved back to Tamil Nadu’s Mathalamparai village

He set up Zoho Schools of Learning nearly 16 years ago. , Vembu believes formal education can only take one so far but much of contextual knowledge comes from hand-on practical training.

“No, the pandemic wasn’t the catalyst,” Vembu told the Friday Magazine. “I’d been thinking about making this move to a village for a while now.” “I like to work with as little stress as possible. Many people suffer [from health conditions] because they work under a lot of pressure and stress; it’s something I want to avoid-both for myself and my employees.”

Today, Zoho has 60 million users worldwide and counts Levi’s, Amazon, Philips, Whirlpool, Ola, Xiaomi, and Zomato among its clientele, according to Friday Magazine, an online publication. The company continues to be bootstrapped, but commands a valuation of nearly $1 billion.

Founded as AdventNet Inc. in 1996 by Vembu, his siblings and Tony Thomas, in Pleasanton, California, the company morphed into Zoho Corp. in 2009 with its headquarters in Chennai.

“You need to be fearless, because you are facing giants and much bigger companies than you. I say what’s the worst that could happen? You go back to getting a job,” Vembu said at an event organised by the Start India Initiative on 16 January. “I apply a warfare analogy, where the worst thing that can happen in war is you get killed, but in business war you still live. So it’s actually easier.”

‘Padma Shri’, awarded for distinguished service in any field, is being awarded to the billionaire in the Trade and Industry field.

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