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Zoom had 70x user growth in India amid pandemic: CEO Eric Yuan

The pandemic-induced lockdowns resulted in a 70-time increase in the user base for Zoom in the four months to April 2020, the video conference app’s founder and Chief Executive Eric S Yuan said on Thursday.

He said the app, which enjoyed a runaway jump in valuations after the pandemic, will continue to be relevant for its users as the world switches to a hybrid mode of working, which entails dividing time between home and offices.

Following the sudden imposition of the lockdown, video conferencing was the default connect with the world for all the people, and ensured that office work continued remotely and people stayed in touch with their dear ones.

Terming 2020 as a “crazy year”, Yuan spoke about the growth in adoption of the app in an extremely crowded marketplace, which had alternatives.

In January-April last year, in terms of free users in India, there was a growth of 70 times, he said.

He said this was in sync with the global experience, where the daily meeting participants zoomed to up to 350 million in April from a peak of 10 million in December.

Yuan said there were multiple use cases for the app, showing that he has himself started yoga classes virtually.

The app has over 2,500 schools in India as members, he said hinting of classes are being conducted online.

Yuan said once augmented reality and virtual reality becomes a reality, apps like Zoom could also help regain the intimacy of shaking hands or hugging the person you are “meeting” through dedicated headsets.

India is a talent powerhouse and, therefore, companies like Zoom and other multinationals have their offices in Bengaluru, Chennai, and other pockets, he said.

Improving user experience

Zoom spends more time than rivals in listening to its customers’ needs and problems they are facing to help improve the user experience on the app, which can explain the reasons behind its success, he said.

When asked about the soaring valuation of $100 billion and the growth in his personal wealth, Yuan said such things would make a 25-year-old happy but he does not chase it anymore.

“Sustainable happiness comes from making others happy, not from valuations,” he said.

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