After hearing Cathy’s (from S Korea via the USA) and Sarah’s (from the USA) route to Bangalore over the past couple of weeks, it’s time for a Bangalore local. This week we heard from Ananth, who was looking to create a life for himself, his wife, and his new baby.
Over to you, Ananth.
It was the middle of August 2014 when we found out that we were going to have our first child. As it was unplanned the news both shocked me and instantly filled me with joy and excitement.
I started my career at Yahoo! as an analyst working to optimize the search engine experience for American users. Two years into the job made it clear to me that this was not what I was cut out to do. Spending my time learning how to make the button on the sleeve whilst having no idea how the shirt was created, meant I had no new learning after the first 6 months, there was no scope for creativity and the role was largely unchallenging. I quit and decided to find work in startups/small companies. I spent the next few years working in the field of event management, travel and tourism, and artist management.
I met my beautiful wife Tabea in 2012 and we got married in April 2014. Hailing from Bavaria in southern Germany, she did part time work as a German language instructor. When we found out about our baby, I was working for a Bombay based startup that focused on providing a platform for performing artists around the country. Between the both of us we afforded ourselves a “kushy” life in Bangalore where the standard of living is cheaper than most large cities you find anywhere else in the world. Working remotely afforded me the time to travel, love, contemplate, and spend time with my family – things I value most in life. Yet suddenly, just like that our life was going to take a totally new turn and part of that turn was having to increase the family income. Tabea could no longer continue travelling to client locations for her language training courses. These are the kind of puzzles that the universe enjoys throwing at people.
I had met Troy sometime in early 2014, when one of the artists I managed – Vineeth Vincent, a super talented beat boxer from Bangalore – had to perform a gig with Troy who I only then knew as an amazing impromptu rapper and poet. Troy immediately struck me as an extremely intelligent, sharp, determined, and talented individual with borderline ADHD thrown in for good measure. When he told me the plans of the startup he was working on, BrainGain, I instantly knew that he would be successful at it. Considering myself a fairly well networked person in Bangalore (as a Bangalorean for the past 18 years), I also soon came to realize that in the 2 years that Troy had spent here, he was largely way more connected than I was and all this in a city and culture that I can only imagine must be shocking and alien to most foreigners from western, more developed nations. He was connected with entrepreneurs, influencers, musicians, café owners, VC’s, and was a popular figure in the Bangalore startup ecosystem.
Therefore it came to be that it was Troy that Tabea and I turned to when we needed to find a way to bring in the money. Initially we considered looking for a job for Tabea, but soon realized carrying another human being inside you, is more difficult and complicated than one can imagine.
“Troy we’re having a baby and I need to make more money”
“Should be possible”, Troy beamed at me after giving me the customary bro hugs and congratulations on the good news (well that’s how I remember the conversation going).
About two weeks later he setup a meeting with Shesh – whom I have worked under for the last year, and has turned out to be the most inspiring and awesome CEO and boss I have had the privilege to work with. A brief interview later, and I was the second employee at Shesh’s startup that was yet to be launched – ‘Bhive Workspace’, which blossomed into the largest coworking space in Bangalore within only a few months of its inception. After a few months at the ‘Hive, Shesh offered me a better position in the company along with employee stock options and a bigger paycheck. I took the offer and quit juggling between two jobs.
At the time of writing the blog, I find myself right in the middle of the buzz! The ‘Hhive, within less than a year of its incorporation, has received much attention and accolades from many successful entrepreneurs, startups, and other stakeholders of this ecosystem. Personally I find that my career has had exponential growth and my learning over the past year has been immense. I find myself in a position where I can be creative, and the skills I have acquired over the past years can be sharpened and used productively and efficiently.
So the saying goes – all’s well that ends well! – Baby, Tabea, and I are doing well and we now have beautiful days together as a family.
Troy and BrainGain are always in the media, and it seems they are all set to disrupt the traditional way of recruitment and help millennials find jobs in distant lands with great learning potential. Sounds like a win-win for both employee and employer.
Thanks for reading