Working in India as a digital nomad

Updated 2020-06-03 13:36

The largest country in Southeast Asia and second only to China in population, India lures travellers with its astounding diversity and colourful customs. Steeped in history and home to some of the world's renowned artistic and architectural heritage, India is a constant discovery.

Why India

India is a land of remarkable differences and offers its visitors a kaleidoscopic experience in geography, nature, climate, culture and cuisine. From admiring the country's magnificent landscapes and learning about its tumultuous history to succumbing to the temptations of its culinary traditions and so much more in between, a trip to India opens up a whole new world of senses and adventures. It is on many digital nomads' list, but despite being a popular travel destination, India is still an enigma and a puzzle to solve.

Working in India is a challenging adventure. While you are sure to find most of the amenities required for a remote working camp in the bigger cities, venturing beyond the urban centres may take you to places devoid of even the most basic conveniences. India's resort destinations like Goa have all the facilities for visitors but are not geared up to welcome digital nomads, mostly due to the slow and patchy internet coverage. And while the country's mysticism, spirituality, and captivating scenery do make the difficulties worth it for most travellers, it is generally advised to come prepared and make prior arrangements to be able to stay online.

Best Indian cities to work from

Mumbai, previously known as Bombay, is India's busiest and most cosmopolitan city. A centre of commerce and one of the country's biggest ports, Mumbai is not a haven for quiet and calm. Rather, it's the perfect destination for those wishing to immerse themselves in all that is India, with history and legends tucked away at every corner. The setting of Gregory Roberts' famous novel Shantaram, Mumbai rarely leaves its guests indifferent.

Those looking for a resort setting complete with stretches of sandy beaches and parties lasting into the sunrise, head over to Goa. With a population of just under two million, Goa is not a populous city by local standards and, for many it offers a much-needed escape from India's noisy urban setting.

Jodhpur is a city of many names. Called 'Sun City' for its all-year-round blistering sun, 'Blue City' for its predominantly blue housing and 'Gateway to Thar' because of its location on the edge of the Thar desert, Jodhpur is booming, atmospheric and colourful. With loads of history both inside and on the outskirts of the city, it is also a rapidly developing tourist destination.

The internet and coworking spaces in India

Internet speed and general mobile connectivity are where India is lagging significantly behind. The internet connectivity has been significantly improving in India with an average download speed of 27mbps. However, If your work is heavily dependent on you being online and connected, it is generally advised to stick to big cities and tourist areas. A portable 4G modem would make your moving around significantly easier but do note that even 4G coverage is patchy in some areas.

When staying in larger cities, you won't be strapped for choice when it comes to picking a place to work from. Coworking offices are easy to come by and the country's many restaurants and chai shops offer a convenient work setting.

Coworking spaces in Mumbai

The Playce, 1st Floor, Marathon Maxima, Lal Bahadur Shastri Road, Moti Nagar, Mulund West

Mumbai Coworking, 402 B, Annapurna, Near Adarsh Nagar, Oshiwara, Above Delicacy of China, Off New Link Road, Andheri (W)

Coworking space in Goa

91springboard Goa, 201, 301, Shanta Building, Opposite Broadway Book Centre, 18th June Road, Panjim

Leisure in India

India will leave you with very little time to do nothing ' there is just too much to see and experience whether you choose to stay in one of the cities or explore the countryside. From visiting the classic architectural wonders like the Taj Mahal, Amer Fort, the Golden Temple, Qutub Minar and others, to simply strolling down a winding street sampling local street food and chatting with the locals, you will find that no matter how long your stay is, you will always find something to do.

What to know before arriving in India

Citizens of some countries can travel to India visa-free, but the majority will require a visa to enter the country. Some are eligible for a visa on arrival, while others can apply for an e-visa. Alternatively, you will need to apply for a stick-in visa in advance at one of the country's diplomatic missions.

Useful links

India Ministry of Tourism

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