Zoom poaches former Microsoft APAC marketing and sales chief to lead region

Cloud meeting software company Zoom Video Communications has appointed Ricky Kapur (pictured) as head of APAC with immediate effect. He reports directly to Zoom’s head of international Abe Smith. Kapur will define and lead the company’s go-to-market strategy for key APAC markets excluding Japan. The markets are namely Australia and New Zealand, ASEAN, China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, and Taiwan. The company added that Kapur will manage Zoom’s APAC business with supervision and alignment across all cross-functional roles.  

Kapur brings more than 25 years of experience in the tech industry to his new role at Zoom, joining after five and a half years at Microsoft, where he was most recently vice president of sales and marketing operations for APAC. He first joined Microsoft in 2016 as general manager, APAC before he was promoted to vice president in 2019, his LinkedIn said. Prior to that, he was at Google for four years as its managing director for Asia, Google for Work and the managing director for APAC and Japan, Google Cloud Platform in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Before joining Google, Kapur held the position of vice president, ASEAN technology sales at software company Oracle. He has also worked at Siebel Systems, Unica Corporation, and Chordiant Software.

On Kupar’s appointment, Zoom commented that it is positioned for continued growth in APAC, and thus expanded its leadership to lead the company through its next phase of expansion in the region. Zoom’s spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that prior to Kupar’s appointment, Smith was overseeing the region along with EMEA, Japan and Latin America. He will continue to drive Zoom’s international go-to-market strategy across field sales, inside sales, business development and channel sales management focusing on the enterprise, mid-market and SMB tiers.

Smith said that the APAC region is a critical region for the company, as it invests in infrastructure and aims to expand the presence of its sales, marketing, and research and development teams “to best enable organisations of all sizes with seamless and reliable video communications".

Meanwhile, Kapur said Zoom has continued to redefine the way organisations and individuals connect, from breaking barriers for education and healthcare with virtual learning and telehealth to becoming a critical technology for enterprises as they quickly evolved and adapted to a hybrid working model. He added that Zoom has scaled its operations and business impressively across APAC markets, announcing a technology centre in India and an R&D centre in Singapore within the past year.

Separately, in an earlier conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Derek Pando, Zoom's head of international and partner marketing said that prior to the pandemic, most of Zoom’s users were businesses and large enterprises. The use of Zoom seemingly “exploded overnight”, and Pando cited that the application’s popularity especially with the higher education vertical has helped it build brand love with Gen Zs. According to him, the demographic values authenticity, personalised experiences and creativity. As such, the company found that simple and fun features such as virtual backgrounds or reactions in meetings and cosmetic touch-up functions allowed members of Gen Z to express themselves and personalise their experience.

Elaborating on how Zoom plans to stay relevant and stand out among the other established competitors, such as Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, in businesses and large enterprises, Kupar told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the video communications platform company’s focus on innovation and commitment to providing its customers with ease of use is its largest marketing asset. 

Quoting its recent global study, most respondents “anticipate that everything will continue to have a virtual element post-pandemic, with an overwhelming preference for a hybrid approach across business, education and healthcare”. As such, Kupar said that the pandemic has highlighted the potential of remote learning, and thus presented opportunities for Zoom to support hybrid and premise-based teaching, learning, research, and work. 

Kupar also added that the company focused on incorporating features to build a secure and high quality collaborative platform to make education effective, launching a range of new offerings to its product portfolio - Zoom Rooms to make it easier for users to host, join and engage in video meetings; Zoom Events, an all-in-one platform that allows businesses manage internal and external events more seamlessly; and Zoom Phone Appliances that provide both Zoom Phone and Meetings capabilities. Kupar also said that the company has plans for more roll-outs on the way.

In September last year, Zoom faced a 10% value-added tax on sales by the Indonesian government alongside a list of 12 other internet-based businesses that includes Netflix, Facebook, Twitter and Google, according to Reuters.The Jakarta Post had reported earlier in May 2020 that the 10% VAT is an effort to increase the country's revenue amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and also to level the playing field for all businesses, especially between domestic and foreign players and conventional and digital firms. 

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