Radha Vembu: India’s Richest Self-Made Woman

Zoho Corp co-founder, Radha Vembu is India's richest self-made woman, leader, strategic acumen, shaping business software, and entrepreneur.

In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, where tales of success often echo through the corridors of corporate giants, there emerges a unique and relatively unknown figure: Radha Vembu.

The unassuming co-founder of Zoho Corp has silently climbed the ladder of success, emerging as the richest self-made Indian woman, leaving a trail of inspiration and awe in her wake.

Radha Vembu’s journey commenced at the National Higher Secondary School in Chennai, a precursor to the groundbreaking chapters that awaited her. Her academic sojourn led her to the distinguished Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, setting the stage for a trajectory marked by determination and business acumen.

Fast-forward to the present, and Radha Vembu, as the co-founder of Zoho Corporation, has emerged as the richest self-made woman in India, a testament to her strategic prowess and commitment to reshaping the future of business. Let’s delve into the pages of her journey, where each step signifies not a note in musical composition but a strategic move in the grand orchestra of entrepreneurship.

Early years of Radha Vembu

Radha Vembu

Born in 1972 in the vibrant city of Chennai, Radha Vembu’s journey began in a modest setting. Her father, Sambamurthy Vembu, worked as a stenographer in the Madras High Court, setting the stage for a narrative that would challenge norms and redefine success. Radha completed her primary education at the National Higher Secondary School in Chennai before setting out on an academic journey that would lay the foundation for her future triumphs.

Armed with a degree in industrial management from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, Radha stepped into the world of business with a vision fuelled by innovation and determination. Little did she know that her endeavours would lead to the creation of Zoho Corp, a company that would revolutionize the business software landscape.

The Zoho story, initially penned by her older brother Sridhar Vembu in 1996 under the name Advent Net, evolved into a saga of success and resilience. Radha Vembu, with her background in industrial management, assumed the role of a product manager for the company’s email service, Zoho Mail. As the company flourished, so did Radha’s influence and stake in its success.

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Zoho corp: revolutionizing business software and beyond

In 2020, Zoho Corp took a pivotal step in adapting to the changing work landscape by launching Zoho Remotely, a remote work toolkit designed to facilitate businesses transitioning to a work-from-home model. This strategic move showcased Zoho Corp’s ability to stay ahead of the curve, a testament to Radha Vembu’s visionary leadership within the organization.

At the heart of her financial success lies Radha Vembu’s majority stake in Zoho, a staggering 47.8 percent, showcasing not only her influence but also her commitment to the company’s growth. In comparison, her brother Sridhar Vembu owns just 5 percent of the company, emphasizing Radha’s pivotal role in shaping Zoho’s destiny. Another brother, Sekar, also holds a stake but prefers to remain away from the limelight.

Zoho Corp competes in a fierce arena, facing off against industry giants like Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and others. Despite this, Radha Vembu’s strategic acumen has enabled Zoho to hold its own, carving a niche in the market with a range of services, including an All-in-One Suite, Unified Customer Experience Platform, Unified Finance Platform, Unified HR Platform, Integrated Collaboration Platform, Help Desk Management, and Unified Marketing Platform.

The company’s subsidiaries, including ManageEngine, Qntrl, Trainer Central, Gofrugal, and Zakya, further diversify its offerings.

A quiet force: Radha Vembu’s rise to the pinnacle

Radha Vembu’s ascent to becoming the richest self-made Indian woman reflects not just financial success but a testament to her strategic prowess and commitment to Zoho Corp’s growth. With a net worth of Rs 34,900 Crore, she secured the 40th position among the top 100 richest Indians and the second position among self-made women in the software and services industry, according to the M3M Hurun Global Rich List of 2023.

Despite her substantial achievements, Radha Vembu maintains a low profile, choosing to stay away from the limelight. The scarcity of information about her awards and accolades adds an air of mystery to her persona.

However, her recent feat of surpassing Falguni Nayar in wealth rankings thrust her into the spotlight, offering a rare glimpse into the woman behind Zoho Corp’s success. Radha Vembu’s journey serves as an inspiration, especially for women in entrepreneurship, showcasing the potential to break barriers and redefine success in an industry dominated by giants. As she continues to navigate the competitive landscape, Radha Vembu stands tall as a symbol of innovation, determination, and the limitless possibilities that await those with a vision to reshape the future of business.

While Radha Vembu’s professional achievements are undoubtedly impressive, she can stay out of the limelight which adds an air of mystery to her persona. Information about her awards and accolades is scarce, highlighting her preference for a low-profile existence. However, her recent feat of surpassing Falguni Nayar in the wealth rankings has thrust her into the spotlight, offering a rare glimpse into the woman behind the success.


Radha Vembu’s journey is a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women aiming to break barriers in the business world. Her story underscores the power of determination, innovation, and the limitless potential for women to achieve financial success.

As she continues to navigate the competitive landscape of the software and services industry, Radha Vembu stands as a testament to the fact that success knows no gender and that the future of entrepreneurship is one where diversity and brilliance go hand in hand.

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Image source: CanvaPro

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About the Author

Suruchi Kumari

Hello! I am a feminist and an aspiring journalist. I'm all about dedicating myself to ensure unheard(ignored) and everyday stories of people find a regular place in your feed, through pen or mic; read more...

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