Entrepreneur returns to India after 7 years, shares perks of living in Bengaluru over San Francisco

entrepreneur returns to india after 7 years, shares perks of living in bengaluru over san francisco

An entrepreneur lists Bengaluru's perks.

An Indian-origin entrepreneur says Bengaluru is on par with San Francisco when it comes to the startup ecosystem. Hardeep Gambhir, founder of The Residency, says he returned to India after seven years of living in the San Francisco Bay Area - a globally recognized hub for technology, startups, venture capital, and higher education.

Gambhir shared an X thread on the aspects where Bengaluru matches or outshines San Francisco.

“Since I moved out of India 7 years ago, I thought I'd never live here again,” the founder of The Residency wrote on X. “After spending a lot of time in the Bay, in May, I moved to Bangalore where I had never been to start The Residency. And it has been an immaculate SF-like experience in this city,” he added.

Uber Zone

Gambhir began with his first day in Bengaluru, where he stepped out of the airport and did not have to wait for an Uber. Instead, he reached the Uber Zone at Kempegowda International Airport. At the Uber Zone, one can “simply book an Uber and go to the first car in the queue of cars, tell your PIN to the driver and off you go to your destination,” he said, adding that there was no waiting time with this method.

English is widely spoken

Next, he spoke about the prevalence of English in the city. Gambhir, who is originally from Toronto, said he was expecting to speak a bit of Hindi in Bengaluru.

“Surprisingly when I first spoke Hindi to an Auto-rickshaw driver, I got replies from him in English,” he shared. “Turns out Bangalore is the city with English as the most spoken language in India. I was so surprised by this.”

‘Insane talent’

“HSR layout is like the Hayes Valley of SF here,” he continued. “Once you're tapped into the startup ecosystem, you start bumping into people in popular places often.”

Gambhir also praised the talent in Bengaluru and wondered why venture capitalists are not investing heavily here. “In 1 month, I have met some insane builders here,” he wrote.

Services like Swiggy Instamart

Next, he spoke about the much-touted convenience of living in India, where food and groceries can be delivered in 10 minutes flat. He urged his American readers to think of quick commerce like Swiggy Instamart as getting “ Walmart delivery in 4 to 7 minutes and 24x7.”

“I once ordered a bunch of misc things at 2:33 AM and by 2:37 the dude was outside. Delivery charge was $0.03,” he offered as an example.

Low carrier charges

The Bengaluru-based entrepreneur also mentioned low carrier charges in India. “For $3.59 I get 1GB of 5G data per day for a month with unlimited calling,” he said.

For mobility, where San Francisco has Lime, Veo and Baywheels bikes, Bengaluru has Yulu electric bikes.

Women’s safety

Gambhir also touched upon an aspect for which India is often criticised - the safety of its residents. He said that HSR Layout in Bengaluru, at least, is pretty safe, even for women.

Mega cheap

All in all, life in Bengaluru is “mega cheap” he wrote. Gambhir said his monthly expenses in Bengaluru come to around 900 USD, as opposed to the 2,500 USD he was spending per month in San Francisco.

The city also offers “Awesome community events like you’d find on Luma in SF,” he added.

Pleasant weather

Gambhir praised the one thing which comes up in every discussion about Bengaluru - the city’s amazing weather.

“India is known to be deadly hot during this time of the year. Bangalore is fortunately in South India and it has mostly been a pleasant 23ºC on average,” he wrote.

Of course, there are also things he does not like about the Silicon Valley of India - like its “mosquitoes and ridiculous security deposits for renting,” he said.

All in all, however, Gambhir said that much like San Francisco, Bengaluru offers a vibrant startup scene. “Highly recommend for someone curious about another country's startup ecosystem like SF to come visit here. Also, the e-visa should take 3-5 days to get fully remote,” he concluded.

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