In Bangalore, the traffic being quite unpredictable, for a client meeting yesterday, I took an Uber pretty early.
As luck would have it, there was not much traffic and I arrived very early for the meeting. Reluctant to wait at the client’s office, I went around the block to see if I could find a cafe. I had about an hour to spare.
I saw the signboard of a cafe attached to a co-working space. I went into the large air-conditioned space with an assortment of furniture – desks, chairs and loose cane seating. I was told that the cafe is not operational. I requested the person at the front desk if I could spend some time in the co-working space. He smiled and agreed.
As I settled down on a comfortable sofa, I looked all around me.
In the middle of the large room, a bunch of youngsters was huddled around a laptop discussing animatedly. On one side, a row of youngsters seated around a very large table was tapping away at their keyboards. Some were facing each other and having a serious conversation. A couple of ‘boys’ were relaxing on the Lazyboy kind of recliners.
I was dressed in complete formals while all around me, I saw youngsters in various outfits. Wherever I looked, I saw youngsters in torn jeans, and some in shorts. Some wore sneakers but most were in sandals and many pairs of sandals were abandoned at the center of the room while they worked barefoot.
This was Start-up India in action.
I was fascinated by this new world of work. In this new world, work is defined by what you do and not by what you wear. It is not defined by any protocols – no fixed timings, no fixed compensation, and no fixed roles. In a world where your colleagues are your friends, where your office meetings happen in pubs and cafes, where your connection to the world is through a laptop, where tradition is passe and innovation is at a premium.
For all you know, I could have been watching the birthing of a new global enterprise run by some bright youngsters whose time had come. Only time will tell.
I recalled my Quote #45:
‘Age is neither a prerequisite nor a guarantee for wisdom.’
In this new world, all you need is an idea and a future is born.
Welcome to the new world!