I am writing this post to help people who are moving or have recently moved to Bangalore and looking for house/flats on rent or people who are running startups/small companies. My sole intention is to inform people since there is no such article on the web and to help people to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes which I and many other made when they moved in here first.
I moved to Bangalore in June 2010 so it has been 3.5 years now. It has been a good ride so far with few minor hiccups. Since Bangalore has huge influx of outsiders who are completely new to it, I thought to share my experience and knowledge with people who are looking for house and offices on rent as people learn these things which I am writing after burning their fingers and losing lot of money.
Bangalore has got extremely over crowded and since the city was not built for 8 million people, its infrastructure is collapsing. Those who moved here before 2005 probably got the best deals in terms of place and experience but for those who are moving now or have recently moved, get ready to pay ridiculous amount of money for rental spaces.
The reality about the realty of Bangalore rental spaces –
1. Brokers have inflated the whole market and unfortunately for someone who is new, you will be taken for a nice ride by them. Brokers inflate every flat/house by 20% since they get commission from both sides and often lie about locality, surroundings and the house. Do not trust them and do your own due diligence. Ask local friends about the locality and see if there is power backup as most of the power backups don’t work in old apartment buildings.
2. Broker ask for 1 month as fees which is standard but do try to negotiate it, for example you can pay 18k for a 21k per month flat. Make sure you get this clear the first time.
3. Don’t rush for a place, it will at least take you 6 weeks to find a decent place.
4. The agreement/transactions happens between 2 people – the owner and you with broker as middle man and it will always be you who is taking all the risk. The rest of the parties have figured out the modus operandi and after 11 months when the agreement gets expired, you will come to know how only you lost money. Do not trust the agreement and take it home, read it thoroughly and only then sign it.
5. The 10 month advance is almost a scam and the owners keep this money in fixed deposits and often return you after months (this happened with me once), normaly when new tenant moves. Ideally you should always negotiate the 10 month advance and get it to 6 or 7 months. Most of the owners will do it, if he is not, then some times walking about is the best option.
6. Owner deduct one months advance in the name of repair (the cost of the repair is often just few thousand), this is another way to mint money. Get this specifically in the agreement that the expenses will be shared by both of you or better just deduct a fixed amount from advance. Make sure you get this in agreement.
7. Koramangala is overpriced and over crowded, explore other options. I have lived there for 1 year so telling this from personal experience. There are of course people who work in office and need just a place to sleep and party, for them it works out well but honestly, for my liking the place is too noisy and cramped up.
8. Koramangala and Indra Nagar are two “posh” areas, they are crowded because of north Indian food joints and if you are a first timer, you probably want to stay at these places too but look for places near to them too like BTM layout, HSR etc (for Koramangala), you can find places 30% cheaper.
9. If you are first timer, always find a partner to give you local knowledge. This will also help you to cut down the expenses and avoid overpaying for bad areas. You can find flatmates at rentals section of sulekha.com.
If you are looking for office space
1. If you are a startup or a small business, do not look for office space but look for nice flat or a nice house, they will be much cheaper as IT office space is very costly.
2. Bangalore has 4-5 places where office space is given on terminals/seats. You can explore that option (search in Google) though personally I feels you should avoid it. Paying 3.5k for small seat looks to be too costly to me with not much freedom but if it works out for you, go ahead.
3. Most of the startups are based out of Koramangala and Indra Nagar, it happened because the earlier once (2004 to 2010) started from here so the rest just followed them. If you are a bootstrapper you probably want to avoid these places. If you need help, try to read older threads in OCC (open coffee club) and headstart google groups mailing list and see where other offices are located, try to talk to them and see if they can help you with local knowledge. You can also post in comments here and I will try to help you too.
I will update this post as I remember more points but this looks to be good enough, most likely you will find this post through social media and Google search so if you can add to what I have listed and can share useful info, please do it in comments since we need to make sure the entropy of the universe increases.
I just watched this video and loved the message, do watch it.
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”
Remember to put the glass down.
You need to get these 3 things right in life – Family, Money and Relationship
I was talking about this with my friend Rahul few days back that why it is so important to get 3 things right in life and those who get them right at very young age lives a much better life.
So almost every problem that we have comes from 3 things
1. Money – Mostly lack of money, we spent 60 hours a week trying to earn money to live better life and most of us spend the whole life chasing it.
Those who are able to solve this problem of having enough money by the age of 30 tends to get much more time do more in life than everyone else.
2. Family – (Parents, Siblings, Spouse, kids).
We are worried about their health, their finances, well-being, how they are not doing as well as they should be in life etc.
Those whose family is doing well, parents are in control of their lives as well as siblings in all aspects of life, they tends to worry less and do better in life as they can focus better and can get their priories right.
3. Relationships – (friends, colleagues, social circle, girlfriends/boyfriends etc)
We are worried about social status, how am I doing socially, having problems with office colleagues and friends, having problems in relationships etc.
Those who get their relationships right, seems to attract right kind of things, looks to be in better control of life and people around them, tends to worry less and increase overall positivity around them.
So to summarize, you really want to solve these 3 aspects of your life as fast/soon as possible, preferably by the age of 30 or 35 at max because if you do, life becomes much easier.
I am in Bangalore for the past 3 years now, have probably seen more than 200 startups (50 from TheMorpheus + 150 others at pluggd/TechSpark/TiE/Jaaga/SiliconeIndia etc) and I have yet to meet anyone who is not able to build “it”. Whether it is a product company or a services company (product needs building something tangible, services need building team of skilled people, both are equally difficult), the problem they face is, after building it, everyone hits a brick wall. Now what ?
When people start companies, they are way too high on adrenaline since startups are heavily glamorized. People sit in cafe coffee days, discussing how great our product/company will be, discussing features after features, reading HackerNews/TC and generic no context essays of PG. Once the excitement and the kicks settle down (normally after 8 months), people realizes that they never thought of marketing and how they are going to sell and acquire customers.
When they start (I also made the same mistakes), most of the acquisition strategies are just in your head and never tested. You tells yourself how easily you will go from 1 to 10 to 100 to 500 etc where as in reality, getting 1 to 5 to 10 sales can take months and this do lot of damage as mentally you were prepared to see numbers going exponentially which rarely happens.
Development is not that difficult, nor is Marketing (of course you can’t sell a product which is poorly built or if there is no market) but Marketing takes 3X more time. So if it is taking you 6 months to build the product, it will probably take you 18 months to do sales and marketing before you can really call your effort success or failure.
I hang out a lot on various web forums and India’s image has taken some beating in last 6 months. India is making the headlines on daily basis for two reasons. Rape and Loss of life.
Since Indian newspapers are filled with garbage, I don’t read them nor I have a television but here are some of the news items of last 48 hours.
Yes, India is a big nation, has 1.2 Billion population, media is more wide spread and yes, probably this is not all new and is going on since beginning but still this doesn’t mean we can close our eyes as these are not isolated cases.
I always felt that you should judge a country/culture with 2 basic things
1. How much respect they give to life.
2. How much respect they give to women.
I think we know pretty well where India stands. Unfortunately there is no quick cure for any of the above two problems and for India, it is more of a cultural and attitude problem. Well I can just hope that people in India irrespective of who or where they are and despite of their social, educational and financial status start respecting life and women.
If you know any such organization who is working on solving these two problems, please inform me, I would love to help them and be part of it.
My Engineering (I did it from IIIT Hyderabad) was a farce, I learnt nothing and consider my four years as total waste of my life considering I made only 2 close friends, was lost and confused all the time, was not enjoying how things were going and in 3rd year I wanted to drop out but didn’t had the courage to do it. Somehow I managed to finish my engineering and got my degree in Computer Science but it still hurt considering I lost the most valuable years of my life doing nothing.
The college was very nice with extremely smart students, highly qualified faculties, amazing staff and resources, it is just that I was not able to figure out what I want to do and how. Whatever I learnt, I learnt only from Internet and through library books which does give me some satisfaction that not everything was lost (I of course did found Internet in 2nd year which did changed my life for ever).
My Experience often makes me think about Indian education (specially higher) system and how shambolic it is. Most of the people who are doing engineering and management doesn’t understand what they are doing and why they are doing, everyone is following someone else, everyone want to be someone else and everyone wants to live someone else’s life.
Indian education system was built to produce cogs (by British Raj) and hence it is devoid of free thinking and nothing much has changed after 65 years of freedom. Indian education system is still producing cogs just to fit in the system. Today Engineering degree costs 5 lakh, MBBS costs 8 lakh, Law costs 10 lakh and MBA costs 12 lakh (all approximations) which is total waste of money considering most of the people learn nothing of any value (other than Medicine) and can learn things by themselves in 1/3rd of the time at 1/10th of the cost.
This really frustrates me and angers me because it is OK if you don’t have money, the country lacks resources and you didn’t have privileged upbringing but it is NOT OK to not able to think and to be part of system which kills creativity, stops you from thinking out of the box and forces you to be just like others.
I have promised to myself that whenever possible, I will try to convince people to seriously reconsider their decisions of higher education in India as to me it looks like a huge business scam. If you have money, spend it on yourself, learn by yourself.
Life is Unfair, Accept it and Get used to it. This is how Universe works.
I am not saying this in any negative way but I think this is how it works in real life. You just can’t complain that life was unfair to you because that is how it is. You can’t argue, you can’t reason, you can’t plead, you can’t blame.
I have also decided to write a book on my learnings (though it will take time, may be at the end of this year as I want to make it perfect), the book will pretty much have same thoughts and learnings which I write on this blog every week but it will be having better flow. And needless to say, the first chapter will be called “Life is Unfair”.
I saw this image from pulp fiction on Reddit and couldn’t resist myself replying in the thread since I strongly believes in betting on yourself and this conviction is getting stronger with each passing day. I had made a blog post 4 years back that what will you do if you have 50,000 rupees ?, you should invest on yourself since this is the best investment you can ever do with that money.
Here is what I wrote
I can not agree with this more. The amount of mediocrity that is there in the world is astonishing, not to mention people tends to give bare minimum by default (I myself have been guilty of doing this when I worked for others).
Throughout my life, whatever success I had, I only got it by betting on myself. I also strongly feels, you are your biggest asset and should invest in yourself rather than on others (I am not saying this in a negative way, right people will always be your best assets, it is just that people often think others are better than you when in realty you are not that bad and others are not that good).