I am one of the few lucky ones who have a job that lets me travel all year round and whenever I want. And maybe because of that, we are followers of the ‘Work and Travel’ tribe. But for the other bunch of people who want to do something on their own and still travel the world, we have solutions like Remote Year, Remote Life, We Roam and so on.
We discussed this with the CEO of Remote Life, Mr. Nishchal Dua, based out of India. His concepts excite us and his ideas gave us hope. His new program maybe the next big leap for a new travel generation in India.
” Travel is the most amazing thing to do. It is all about experiencing things outside the comfort zone and seeing the world the way it is. Travel is the answer to most of the misconceptions that people have about what is out there. There are problems that can be solved entirely by going out, talking to different people and by seeing what is really out there.”
What is the idea behind Remote Life?
A bit of my background first, my father was in the Army and we used to travel around a lot and for me it was all about seeing something new. I started travelling actively three and a half years back. I am a serial entrepreneur and I have started two companies in the past. After I sold my second company, I traveled for 4 months crossing off my bucket list items one after another. From the Everest Base Camp trek to skydiving and scuba diving in Mauritius – I did it all. What I then noticed was a lot of people in my network reaching out to me, asking me to help them see the world in a ‘non-touristy’ way, for lack of a better word.
“A bigger part of the world works 50 weeks a year just to take 2 weeks off and that is not what these people wanted.”
So it all started with me building a program for these 5-10 people for a few months. As good feedback kept rolling in, more and more people wanted in and that is when I thought this could really be something that people want. I then took around 6-8 weeks to set up my partners in three different countries, built a website and then launched it in December 2016.
So, how is Remote Life different from the other programs out there?
The most important part of such programs is logistics because most of the people joining us are either entrepreneurs or full time employees who are expected to be online all day. Hence, a stable Internet connection is prime importance 24/7. In all these countries, we place special focus on the accommodation, workspace and connectivity.
The second focus is on mentorship, which is how we differentiate ourselves from the rest of the opportunities out there. Since I have an entrepreneurial background, I am already helping build capability for seven other start-ups. Tapping into this experience of our team and also the experience of the people who are joining us, we have also planned workshops and other sessions on topics of branding oneself, digital marketing, how to go about building a business, setting up a website etc. All these build on to the starting point of leading a Digital Nomad lifestyle.
Are corporate employees with a remote working option in your preferred clientele list or you prefer more entrepreneurs?
At this point, I want to call out our flexibility. Interested candidates need not join for the entire three months, they can choose which month they want to travel and then go back home for the next. Most of the corporate employees who have applied for our program are joining us for a single month. There are a lot of companies out there, the IBMs, the Googles etc. that already have a good remote working policy in place. We are also working with a few other companies in India to incorporate this into their rewards and recognition system where 2-3 people are awarded in a year to spend 3 months with us and work remotely if they are interested.
When is your first trip? How many people have applied for that?
1st of March till May and we have selected 20 people till now.
What is your selection process?
We have a two-stage selection process. Interested candidates first fill up an application form found online and we received around 700 of them since we launched. My team consisting of 6 people now, screened these applications personally by viewing their digital profiles and other information. They then shortlist the top candidates for a phone interview where we gauge the interest and their commitment. We finalize the team basis the diversity that we need in terms of backgrounds and experiences.
How do you address safety in your programs?
That is a very important focus area for us. All the places we are going to stay, the experience team, the local crew, they are all personally visited and verified by our team. Also, I am going to be there with the entire team and partners from other countries so we should be able to take the lead on problems that may still come up.
At times when there are incidents happening which are beyond our control like crimes against tourists, we place caution and make sure there are people around to help you in every situation. Also, these are the kinds of things that travelers around the world need to be aware of and we educate the applicants on such possibilities during the selection process. When you live in a place for a month, you need to understand the local culture, the issues the people go through there and be very sensitive to current political scenarios.
What is your vision for Remote Life? The bigger plan if I may.
My vision is to bring more and more people outside of their cubicles and their glass buildings into the real world. If there comes a day, when we are able to help a thousand people a year move forward to such a life sustainably, then that is something that we will be proud of.
The misconception that you need to work for five days, sit in traffic, surrounded by concrete buildings to get two days off is what I want to break. This is the reason why we are investing a lot to make sure the people who come in go away with knowledge and information on how to lead this new lifestyle.
If we have convinced you to take this step ahead, go ahead and apply right here!