Hyther Nizam is the VP of product management at Zoho Corporation. He heads a division of Zoho that includes a custom apps platform (Zoho Creator), online spreadsheet (Zoho Sheet), website builder (Zoho Sites), private social network (Zoho Connect), survey builder (Zoho Survey), online forms creator (Zoho Forms), integration platform (Zoho Flow), and website conversion tool (Zoho PageSense). He also leads the technology initiatives within Zoho, like Zoho’s scripting language, Deluge.
What is Zoho Creator and how’s it positioned in the market?
Zoho Creator is a low-code, multi-platform, app building software. The product is designed to reduce the time required to make an app by one-tenth compared to the traditional development methods. It uses a drag-and-drop UI and script builder, and any application made in Zoho Creator is readily available for web, mobile, and tablet devices.
The product has evolved over the past decade and matured to the point that more than 2 million apps have been built on it to date. It ranks as one of the top low-code platforms on sites such as G2 Crowd.
What types of clients do you work with?
We cater to a client base ranging from large enterprises, like Kaiser Permanante and Suzuki, to small and medium-sized businesses.
What markets are you focused on and where are you seeing the most growth?
We have a large client base in countries like the US, UK, India, and Australia. Currently, our focus is on APAC, ANZ, and EMEA markets. There’s also considerable growth in the US and India markets.
What is the user persona for Zoho Creator?
With Zoho Creator, the vision is to enable a user to build apps for their businesses at phenomenal speeds, compared to traditional methods. Our focus is on making the app-building process accessible to non-technical audiences, and more than 80% of the apps built on our platform are by non-programmers.
What are your thoughts on applying machine learning technologies to mobile app building?
I would say that applying ML technologies to mobile app development is the future. Mobile app building platforms will soon come with predictive models embedded in them to assist the user in deciding the best logic and application architecture. The application of ML will considerably speed up the app development process.
What do you think the big themes for mobile app development are going to be in 2018?
Personally, I feel that mobile, as a platform, has matured to a stage similar to where desktops and laptops were a decade ago. It’s hard to imagine a business or service that doesn’t have a mobile application. The growth in this market is going to be huge and any establishment in the business of making apps should look at multi-platform app building solutions like Zoho Creator for faster deployment of their solutions.
What mobile devices do you use personally?
I use an iPhone X.
What are your favorite apps?
Here at Zoho, we have 40+ business SaaS products, out of which my favorite is probably Zoho Connect (Zoho’s private social network for companies). On the consumer app side, I would say my favorite app is Medium.