NEW DELHI: Having spent some part of his career behind the glass facade in his Mumbai offices, Darshan Gajara decided to explore a different world that would allow him greater freedom and time to pursue creative ideas while still being on the job.
Internet explosion has empowered people like him to take this plunge and chose to be a 'digital nomad' and live a remote life -- away from the hustle and bustle of cities and far away from the jungle of concrete.
"One fine evening (earlier this year), I messaged Nishchal (Dua) to check the status on his current itinerary and to see if he had any open slots. Nishchal runs a travel based startup called 'The Remote Life'. They make you travel the world and work remotely," Gajara writes on his blog.
Twenty-six-year-old Nishchal, who Gajara refers to, is an entrepreneur who founded 'The Remote Life' in November 2016, after his "travels over the last year got me overwhelming feedback from a lot of professionals and entrepreneurs on how they would love to travel but they can't leave their job for even a day".
"That's when the program was built, initially as a closed one for just a limited number of people and the amazing response made me realize that this could be a real opportunity," he said in an email response from the US.
Digital Nomads are people who are able to work completely online and have a love for travelling and experiencing new things. They require nothing more than a laptop and a reliable Wi-Fi to do be able to do their job from anywhere in the world.
On that May trip to Thailand with the TRL, Gajara said, he worked on his client or personal projects during the day, made a lot of new friends from all around the world during the dinners, and explored the island on the weekends.
"You take some, you give some. Everything is collaborative and community-driven," he said.
There are many like Gajara who love to be a 'digital nomad'. Mayur Sontakke has been one for the last 3 years. He works with a FinTech startup managing a team of financial analysts, remotely!
"Over six countries, hundreds of friendships, millions of memories, and two ventures later, I can say that remote work is a win-win for all, including professionals, employers, society, and the planet!" he said.
Komal Jain, a senior manager from Mumbai, said, "Meeting amazing like-minded people while travelling" is especially thrilling.
So asked how employees in India are responding to this concept of 'digital nomad', Nischal said, "This is a new concept for Indian market. Professionals here in India are not used to work remotely for longer period of time. But as the concept of freelancing and work-from-home is trending in India, so is remote-working."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's focus has been on promoting startup and his government has also launched 'Start Up India, Stand Up India' initiative.
"It was overwhelming to see the Indian Government launched the campaign. It aims to enable an eco-system to promote and nurse entrepreneurship across the country. This scheme directly helps people in opening their own successful entrepreneurship," Nischal said.
He said The Remote Life is available at nine locations across Asia, Europe and South America. "The Remote Life travel community is a group of entrepreneurs, designers, freelancers and others from around the world. Go somewhere new and make new friends. Just take a flight and let us take of the rest,"
Asked if he plans to add Jammu and Kashmir, the "paradise on earth" which often sees violent protests and unrest, into the list of destinations to be offered, he said, "Currently we don't have any destinations in India. Our prerequisites for setting up a destination is stable Wi-Fi and availability of remote workers community. If J&K region has this someday, we don't mind including it to our destinations."
He also said "progressive companies" are adopting remote work practices and are building it in the very fabric of their organisation's culture. "There's a trend of startups going remote, mid-size companies having global remote teams and enterprises becoming more flexible."
Companies like Buffer, Automattic (Wordpress), Invision and Toptal are 100 percent remote organisations, he said.