The following is an excerpt from a monthly newsletter I write to friends and family while I serve as Chief of Staff at Flipkart, in Bangalore, India.
BANGALORE HACKS — VOLUME I
On a different tack, I’ve been logging some of the things I’ve found useful here in Bangalore. Should any of you decide to (hopefully) come visit me they might come in handy:
- Cash is still important, especially in small denominations. So when withdrawing from an ATM make sure to pull an odd amount like INR 9,800 for smaller bills.
- Buffer. Travel times should be 1-hr at minimum and with traffic 1.5–2 hours (each way)
- Do your best to keep your phone number as private as possible. Too many spam phone calls and SMS services which are incredibly disruptive.
- Order food online (through an app) and get it delivered. It’s cheaper, better and more convenient.
- Drink bottled water. It’s sort of like paying an insurance premium. I haven’t sorted out how to get around the “killing the environment” discussion which I understand.
- Amazon has a broader selection of goods, even if they have less selection within each category. (We’ll get there with Flipkart soon!).
- Queuing doesn’t exist. Traveling with Indians is one of the more annoying things you can do coming from the West. When getting off planes, for instance, there is no order and people simply get up and move up the aisle thinking little of everyone else. I have my thoughts on why this behaviour is prevalent in India (and other hyper populated countries like China) but I’ll save that for another time. Just understand this reality and leave it be.
My ~monthly newsletter covers a range of topics that include my personal transition to India, the new businesses and opportunities I’ve been exposed to both abroad and in the US, and my thoughts (and observations) on building a world class technology and product company.
If you have enjoyed this, you can read my other newsletters and subscribe: niket.is/writing