Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Zoho embroiled in founder's divorce dispute

Zoho caught in founder’s divorce row


CHENNAI: The founder of the multi-billion dollar SaaS company Zoho Corporation, Sridhar Vembu, and his wife Pramila Srinivasan became embroiled in a personal dispute on Tuesday regarding the division of their assets as part of their divorce.

Srinivasan, who is based in California, claims that Vembu abandoned her and their special needs son in the United States by returning to his rural India roots. The company was valued at $5 billion at one point in time.

Vembu, on the other hand, denied the claims on Twitter. The entrepreneur, who moved back to the small town of Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu from the United States just before the pandemic, has pioneered the idea of setting up tech firms in rural areas. He called his wife's claims, which were published in the US-based Forbes magazine, "slander." As part of the ongoing divorce proceedings in California, Pramila Srinivasan's wife alleges that the entrepreneur carried out a series of transactions that ultimately resulted in him owning a small stake in the company, while his other family members own the majority, as reported in Forbes on Monday. Srinivasan says that this was done without telling her. According to her attorney's statement in a court filing, "the community property law in California does not allow a spouse during the marriage to secretly dispose of assets without the other spouse's consent." Vembu, on the other hand, states in his tweets that he has "never ever" transferred his company shares to anyone else.

Vembu's claim could not be independently verified by TOI. Vembu holds a 5 percent stake in Zoho as of March 31, 2022, while his sister Radha holds 47, as stated in the company's filings with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). 8%, while Sekar, his brother, owns 35. 2%.

Vembu shared his side of the story, stating that the couple has been working on a variety of treatments for their now 24-year-old son, who has been battling autism for more than 15 years. I realized that our son, who is 24 years old today, would benefit more from living in rural India, where he would be closer to people who loved and helped lift others up, and that the endless treatments he was receiving did not help much. She thought I gave up. That stress caused our marriage to break down, "he tweeted.

"The claim that I financially abandoned Pramila and my son is a complete fabrication. They have my full support, and their lives are significantly better than mine. He added, "My prayer is that my beloved son will join me here someday." He stated that he would continue to develop capabilities and institutions in rural India. As per Zoho's merged budget summaries, its income from activities remained at Rs 6,711 crore in FY22. Around Rs 2,740 crore was made in profits.

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