Zoho CEO Criticises Competitive Exam Pressure as "A Rat Race to Extinction”

Sridhar Vembu, CEO and founder of Zoho condemned the intense pressure of competitive exams in India, labelling it "a rat race to extinction." His critique followed an advertisement by FIITJEE, a prominent educational institute, which disparaged a student for her low scores after leaving FIITJEE for another institution. Vembu emphasized the detrimental effects of such intense competition on children and young adults, warning against the destruction of talent and the creation of "zombified adults." 


He asserted that while intense competition may be suitable for companies and sports, it is unsuitable for educational environments. The advertisement's content, which shamed a student for underperformance and claimed superiority over other institutes, drew criticism from Katyayani Sanjay Bhatia, Deputy Commissioner, IRS. Bhatia highlighted the negative impact of such advertising tactics on students' mental well-being. Notably, FIITJEE's management decision to withhold employees' salaries for the past two months sparked further controversy. 

Founder and Managing Director, Dinesh Kumar Goel, defended this action, urging employees to work harder and meet expectations to earn their salaries. The incident underscores broader concerns about the toxic culture of intense competition and pressure within India's education system, prompting calls for reform and a focus on holistic student well-being.

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