I lived in Bangalore for 6 months in 1999 before I left for the USA. I am back now after 10 years. Although I have visited India regularly, it’s very different to actually live and work here.

It’s been just one week here, but it feels like a lot more as I have seen so much in so little time. So much positive change has happened in India, it’s unbelievable! I had heard about many things but what I saw just blew me away.

Youth Power: The first day when I walked into my office on Outer Ring Road, I saw a sea of people working on a sprawling work floor. They were occupying a previous call center and were all sitting arms length away from each other in really compact work spaces. And when I looked more carefully I was having a hard time spotting anyone over the age of 25! It’s amazingly empowering to know that half of india’s population is under 25. Although we have come a long way in the last couple of decades, I just can’t wait to see how this demographic will transform India in yet another decade.

Startups: I met several startups in just three days. They were doing a variety of interesting things in the mobile world. From Babajobs to Ziva and several others. And so many others mentioned in all kinds of mainstream media from The Times of India to India Today. The Indian entrepreneurial spirit often talked about in the US and elsewhere is easily visible here.

Diversity: Another thing that I witnessed for the first time was a lot more diversity. There are quite a few folks from all over the world doing full-time or part-time stints in India. Even more interesting was the CEO & Founder of Babajobs. This guy is an American who moved to India with Microsoft Research and then quit to found his startup that helps Indian employers find employees for household jobs ranging from drivers to ayyahs (maids). It is amazing to witness this kind of diversity arrive in India.

Retail: This is one area where there has been a dramatic shift. Sprawling malls and giant stores that are filled with people from a broad economic spectrum. Department stores, movie halls and restaurant chains that are available all over the city, not just in one part of the city as it used to be 10 years ago. Global retail chains like Staples and several others in the food industry have made presence here. Talking about cars, there are SO MANY makes available wih each brand offering upwards of 5 models. (Another reason behind all that traffic!). The Indian consumer is finally benefitting from the massive growth that the country is witnessing.

Infrastructure and Real Estate: While there has been good progress, there’s a lot left to be desired. The positive signs are the magnificent Bangalore airport, several new fly overs, lot of new real estate for commercial and residential needs. However, the fly overs under construction have worsened the traffic situation. The roads are terribly crammed, buildings that are 2-3 years old look like they have been around for years. Roads and other properties need a lot of better maintenance. Lots more work to be done in this area.

Chaos: Something that I had expected to encounter was chaos; and the country didn’t let me down a bit!! Finding a quiet spot is extremely hard around here. And once you are on the road, chaos goes to a completely new level. Jam packed and excruciatingly slow traffic. And I had forgotten that there is no concept of personal space :) You walk into a mall and there are LOTS and LOTS of people. Buses and airports are packed more than ever! But to my surprise the chaos extends into all aspects of life. My onboarding was a good example of how it creeps into professional world. There was nothing prepared to get me started at work. I had to chase down everyone from getting an access badge to a phone line. And it was common for people to pass the buck to someone else. It’s typical for people to not return calls. And when someone says ‘it will be done in 5 min’, it still means an indefinite amount of long time in India :)

There’s so much excitement and buzz all over the country. Progress is happening on so many fronts. And, of course, there are problems that come with that progress. But in short, all I can say is India has finally arrived!

Jul 102008

The web is still a beatly thing and it’s hard to get grips around the vastness of it. There is so much variety and so much to learn and do.

Jul 102008

Jan 072007

Knicks and Nuggets Brawl – Anthony punches Mardy Collins
Jul 282006

Strong belief and conviction can drive away fear.

Jul 252006

Service industry related to housing is one big scam in south Florida. Any kind of service is a rip off especially when most of the work can be done very easily and in very little time. For example, I have been waiting for over a year to get my tiles placed on my house. Hurricane Wilma hasn’t helped me much because the demand has shot up exponentially! Let’s hope that some day the service industry down here becomes more efficient.

Jul 252006

It beats me completely and I don’t know what it could be? It requires a ton of patience! And the point of eruption has almost come…

Jul 022006

Brazil lost rather cheaply to France today. Everyone’s hopes, including mine, came to a mere nothing. And the worst part was that Brazil hardly put up a competition. It didn’t seem like soccer world cup. Well let’s see if Mo’s predictions come right and if France end’s up winning the world cup.

Jul 022006

It’s been a while since I have posted here. Lot’s of things have happened since I last posted here. Deepu’s married, I am going to move and so on and so forth. The wedding went on very smoothly and everyone was very happy the way it went about. I was glad that we could put it up in a fashion that it didn’t appear too Marwari or Telugu. It was a point to everyone that things can appear neutral and we are all the same after all.

Jan 222006

Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it’s cowardice. -George Jackson

Nov 142005

These days I’ve been reading Gandhi’s autobiography ‘My Experiments with Truth’. It’s written in such simple language it feels like you are talking to him; well that may be an exaggeration but nevertheless it’s very gripping. Also it’s my oppurtunity to get some historical facts right and get more knowledgable about my own country and it’s leaders.

Oct 132005

Smart and interesting is better than plain smart,
Smart, interesting and with dreams to make a difference is better than smart and interesting,
Smart, interesting, with dreams to make a difference and with the ability to actually do it is better than smart, interesting and with dreams to make a difference.

Aug 082005

Ishi, Thaalank and I had a time of our lives. We rock’n rolled, partied, ate, chilled and what not! It was awesome. Whether they remember or not when they grow up I definitely had one helluva time.

Jul 212005

Where the hell is the train going? It is mercilessly, tirelessly chugging away – but it does not know which station it’s going to. The train has no passengers in it. It’s travelled tons of places but it has no idea where the next stop is. Neither does it remember the places it has been to. All it’s doing is burning coal and steaming away. It’s as good as an empty boat left to flow along with a slow stream of water.
- Unknown

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