So, you want to break into the Indian tech industry. And why not? Technology is reshaping the country and changing the way people live and work. From ordering food to buying gold, promising young entrepreneurs have changed the world … and made a ton of money. All you need to join the most in-demand career on the planet is a killer idea for a startup.
Oh. You don’t have one?
Worry not, because we’ve got the next best thing: a handy guide to help you look like you belong in Bengaluru’s tech scene. You won’t need a unicorn of your own, if you follow these simple tips and tricks!
Camp out at a coffee shop
Every good startup needs an office. But why pay for one when you can set up your laptop at a coffee shop? Think WeWork, with better lattes.
Third Wave Coffee Roasters and Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters rule the
roast roost in Bengaluru. (Picking a side and defending it as the best in town is part of the game.) Be sure to observe all the right rituals, like awkwardly asking for the Wi-Fi password, complaining about the spotty connection, and speaking just a little too loudly while wearing Bose headphones. Don’t worry if you don’t have a genius idea yet: the coffee shops are full of VCs meeting with founders. Eavesdrop on the right pitch, and you can launch your app before the competition makes it out of beta.
Talk about wealth creation … a lot
Nothing says Bengaluru tech bro more than having an obsessive discussion about compounding wealth with anyone who so much as asks what the time is. (Time to get rich, of course!)
If you want to sound really good, remember to pepper in a few direct quotes from the Twitter feeds of tech philosopher Naval Ravikant or the media-hating crypto godfather Balaji Srinivasan. A prop will help you stand out: arrange your home screen to show off the many (many) apps you’re using to invest in cryptocurrency.
“Work out” at Cult.fit
Being a Cult.fit member is less about healthy living and more about bragging rights. Members of this hip, app-first fitness company can sign up for workout classes like boxing, dancing, pilates, swimming, yoga, football, and more. But you’ll never actually book one, of course, because everyone knows that the most important part about being a member of Cult.fit is telling everyone you’re a member of Cult.fit.
Forget bicep curls: the real flex is spending 17,000 rupees a year just to use the gym’s shower. Who has time to work out? The real hustle is back at the office.
Have never-ending debates about Cred
What is Cred’s business model? Well, like many startups, it plans to scale rapidly and then figure out an actual business model later. But that’s not the point. Wondering aloud about the monetization plans of the credit card payment app is the go-to icebreaker, if you want to be taken seriously at a tech meetup. It can also save you from conversations about how much money your startup has made, which vaccine you got, or why your knockoff AirPods are better than the real thing.
The Cred question has such a powerful draw that it has even been used by the company as part of recruitment ads. But actually knowing the answer isn’t the point: as social media so ably demonstrates, why settle for the truth, when you can wildly speculate instead?
Drive an electric bike from Ather
Getting an Ather electric scooter? Sure, that’s great. The Bengaluru-based electric vehicle startup manufactures sleek, battery-powered two-wheelers that are undoubtedly cooler than their sputtering gas-powered counterparts. But the real benefit isn’t the bike: it’s gaining entry into the subculture of Ather owners. Nothing says techie like having passionate debates over charging infrastructure and the latest firmware updates for your electric scooter.
On the other hand, you could just jump to the steadily growing camp of people using the rival S1 e-scooter made by Ola. Why join an old crowd late, when you can get in on the ground floor of something new? There’s no better burn than smugly informing people that you were there first.
Start your own newsletter ASAP
Everyone has a newsletter. Wait, you don’t? Uh oh.
It doesn’t matter if you’re only a first-year product manager. Even a weekly burst of unoriginal content, compiling the same top five business and funding stories as everyone else’s newsletter will do. If you are not already demonstrating your thought leadership by building a direct relationship with a base of engaged subscribers (and your mother), well, pack it up. It’s too late for you to make it in tech.
At least … until the Substack boom ends, and everyone stampedes to something else. Wait, you don’t have your own Discord server?