COVID impact: Professionals come back to home town to work from home

Photo of author

When the novel coronavirus pandemic began making its presence felt in India and the first lockdown was announced in March, many thought they could comfortably ride out the crisis in their Bengaluru/Mumbai/Pune apartment. But with rising cases, many decided to let’s head back home.


We spoke to a few of them who have now shifted base and are working from Home/Belagavi –

Parag Naik, Co-founder and CEO of Saankhya Labs –

downloadfile edited

Why did you opt to come down to Belagavi?
I had always wanted to come back to Belagavi. COVID catalyzed that. We were work from home and the location didn’t matter as long as I had good connectivity. I relocated temporarily from Bangalore as an experiment for family, social, and potential health reasons. Since I grew up in Belagavi, I have a lot of friends here. I am a co-founder in Vayavya Labs HQ in Belagavi so that also helped

Do u plan to continue to work from here?

Parag added I do want to but given that we are a small company and feed off social interaction, I need to be f2f with my colleagues. And just for that reason, I will have to get back to Bangalore. But this experiment has proven that Location independence workplaces are the way forward. A hybrid of WFH and WFO will be the new normal. Maybe in the future, we will have a Belgavi office too.

What is that Belagavi has and the world needs to be told about?

Belagavi is the Bangalore of the late seventies and early eighties. Cosmo, just right-sized and a critical mass of engineering talent. It offers the right quality of life and work-home balance given the short commutes. And one hop away from most metros in India, air travel is convenient too. Not to mention the AQI is better than some European cities and the best of Maharatrian and Karantaka food cuisines!

Aadil Bandukwala – APAC Director Marketing HackerRank

Why did you opt to come down to Belagavi?

Due to COVID 19, all of us were confined to working from home starting March this year. Given most tech firms aren’t going back to the office anytime before Jan 2021, this opened up the opportunity of coming back home for a few months and working from here. Thanks to good broadband connectivity, if you’re in tech, you can pretty much work from anywhere. Family and the good old charm of Belagavi are more than enough as reasons to work from here.

Do u plan to continue to work from here?

As of now yes. Until work mandates going to office in person on a regular basis, the plan is to stay in Belagavi and continue working from here.

What is that Belagavi has and the world needs to be told about?

For me, Belagavi is home. And that reason is enough. But if I were pitching to a newbie, I’d say the convenience of being in a modern city, good clean quality of air, a great airport with strong connectivity to Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai with multiple flights operating on an everyday basis make Belagavi a compelling place. And the fact that Goa is just a three-hour drive is an added bonus! 🙂

Abhishek Latthe, CEO SenseGiz Technologies

Why did you opt to come down to Belagavi?

Belagavi happens to be my hometown and there will always be an emotional connection with this place along with the network of my family and friends over the years. But back in the day, we had very limited specialized job opportunities barring prospects in the industrial and educational sector, which mostly had long tenure employees already working there. After graduation, moving to places like Pune, Bangalore or Mumbai was the norm. While I was pursuing my Masters in Mechatronics in Southampton (UK), I always had this vision of having my own set-up back in India and having to create something on my own. Needless to say, there was no dearth of talent and I had seen enough ‘brain drain’ happening from India and Belagavi specifically. I firmly believe that world-class companies can be built anywhere, not just in metro cities. Before COVID, we had offices in Belagavi, Pune and Bangalore. With the way things unfolded in the last few months, we started concentrating more towards Belagavi as it was apparent that we had to control costs and still be able to deliver world-class solutions.

Do u plan to continue to work from here?

Due to COVID19, we have consolidated almost our entire workforce here in Belagavi, and now we are able to connect better as a team with more face-to-face interactions and brainstorming sessions. We have also realized that the commute time for all our employees is not more than 5 to 10 mins and their work-life balance has improved drastically compared to when we were working out of our offices in metro/tier-1 cities. Our overall costs in terms of real estate, talent acquisition, and other operational factors are cut down to almost 50% which is very remarkable for any sector. Without a doubt, we will continue to work from Belagavi and add more to our existing workforce here. With Belagavi being well connected by Rail, Road, and Air, our employees can always travel as and when required to customer locations for deployment.

How is life different here and what are the advantages?

We have a very closely-knit community and life is a lot less hectic here compared to tier-1 cities. With improved work-life balance, we can pursue other interests outside the monotonous 9 to 5 routine. The pollution levels in Belagavi are also way lower than in other cities. But the most important aspect of life here is the fact that you get to spend quality time with your family and friends. There’s an exhaustive list of advantages but the major ones include Reduced Costs, Better Quality of Life, Abundance of Talent, and not to forget that there’s no place like HOME!

What is that Belagavi has and the world needs to be told about?

There was never a doubt in this fact that Belagavi, from the very beginning, churned out brilliant minds and inspiring entrepreneurs. We all know the kind of educational institutes we have here and the kind of talent pool we create year on year. We need to seize this moment and provide the right career path by creating more jobs and training opportunities. We have facilitated reverse-migration, with many job aspirants moving here from bigger cities and other states. You might have also noticed the rise of many start-ups and small/medium businesses. Everyone here is engaged in carving their niche and with the right tools I’m sure we will succeed. It is time to tell the world that we have arrived, and Belagavi is not just the town with picturesque and memorable past but a desired destination of the future.

R K Patil CEO-Co Founder Vayavya Labs –

We have been saying that smaller cities offer far better quality of life and productivity; it is only the individuals who have to make the move. What I have realized is, for young professionals the lure of the metro is very high. They want to experience all the glitz and glam, they want to break free from small towns where they studied and they also feel they will miss the company of their friends and competition if they continue to stay in smaller places.

For experienced people who have lived in cities they have unknown fears related to safety of their job. They sight esoteric topics like the quality of education and health for their kids. It is funny that they forget their own upbringing as kids and how the smaller cities and environs shaped their personality. To top it up a lot of them dread living with extended families once they return back…..They are too possessive about the freedom they have as a nuclear family.

Looks like the Covid has shattered all such hollow reasoning and showed that remote work in smaller places can happen as perfectly as in any metro place.

Shirish Chincholimath- Shirish Productions

Why did you opt to come down to Belagavi?

Belagavi is such a beautiful place with mixed languages and culture. I have been brought up in Belagavi but had shifted to Bangalore in 2012 due to the quality of projects and clients.

Today, Belagavi has everything that a software company would need to establish its presence. Naming few:

Good internet speeds, Quality of freshers in Computer Science, Improving IT support. Easy commute and fewer expenses compared to any metro cities which saves a lot of time and money.

Due to the current pandemic, people are forced to conduct online meetings and work remotely which has also enabled people like me to come back to their hometown and still work on high-quality projects. This is the reason why I opt to settle down in Belagavi.

Do you plan to continue to work from here?

Yes, I have completely shifted by base from Bangalore to Belagavi. We have a new office set-up in Belagavi too and we would like to keep this as our headquarters.

What is that Belagavi has and the world needs to be told about?

Talented and lovely people which you don’t find anywhere else in the world.

Leave a Comment