The world doesn't wait for you to adapt to change. We've seen waves of new technologies washing over the old ways of living. Decades change but do people stop adapting? They do not. That’s the thing about humans, no matter the conditions we adapt to them in no time.
2020 wasn’t any different. Sure many of us hadn’t seen a pandemic before but that didn't stop us from adapting to it. The things we had to leave our houses for became available online. Basic amenities such as groceries were the first to be available online. But then even schools and offices started opening up online. This was when we knew we had to adapt if we wanted to stay in the game. Now the big question was how do we find a new normal with keeping Covid in mind? We didn’t have a quick answer so we started experimenting.
If we look back to the start of the pandemic, the big cities in India were the first to crash down. Of course, this wasn't the case with only our country. More people meant crowded places which meant higher chances of spreading the virus. So the obvious solution was choosing a remote working place that's not in any of the top cities. We aimed for at least 50% of the staff to feel comfortable enough to join us in the office on a good day. As easy as it sounds there were quite a few bridges we had to cross.
First, we had to lock in the perfect location. Our ideal location would be a small town with a young population and some potential for growth. The one part of India that was always in my heart was Himachal and so we started there. My wife and I spent a month traveling around in the small towns of Himachal trying to find the best location. Our work-ation became a success when we found Solan. I wouldn’t say Solan was the most perfect location but it was the most suitable one; full of enthusiastic people, decent infrastructure, and great connectivity.
Finding the location was still the easy part. We didn't want to hire people from a big city and move them to Solan, we wanted to find some local talent. We were warned beforehand that finding talent in a small town wouldn't be easy. So our efforts and spirits were both high from the start. And lucky for us, we found our first batch of talent in no time. I say lucky but it was a lot of hard work on Divij and Aman's part. Looking back I can say that hiring these folk was one of the better decisions along this journey.
Once we finished setting up our workplace there were still a few challenges we faced. It's not easy working remotely. There are miscommunications, and people may feel disconnected from being far from each other. All these things might lead to a lack of motivation. So we had to find the perfect balance. With the right set of calls, culture sessions, and one-on-one sessions we managed to sail this boat pretty smoothly.
This only started as a dream but the pandemic somehow made this into a reality. So far it's working well. We have managed to build a remote development center that has seen a great start and is on its journey to reach its true growth potential.