I know many might call me stupid, but lately I have been waking up every day thanking God for having brought me back to Bhubaneswar, some four years back.
For those of you who don’t know, Chandigarh and Bhubaneswar were probably the two most planned cities post the Indian independence era. One planned by the great Swiss born French architect Le Corbusier and the other by the by the great German architect Otto Königsberger. One built on the concept of mesh of rectangles and others on concept of neighbourhood units. One with the highest per capita income in India while other, the most promising business destination offering long term investment potential; be it in IT/ITES, metal/metal products, tourism, infrastructure. I can go on forever. Literally. Both World Bank and Cushman and Wakefield vouch for this; if you are looking for credentials. Bhubaneswar, they say, is a complete loss of decorum; they joke of the crab mentality, when one guy is trying to pull the other’s leg as he climbs up the success ladder; they say you need to be mafia to be heard. I say, because of complete loss of decorum, there is a huge space to Build. A space to Create. A space to Solve – virtually any and every problem you can think of Bhubaneswar has it!! Alternative energy needs? Check. Speciality Restraunt? Check. Entertainment needs? Check, Check. And the list goes on reaching into virtually every nook that penetrates our life. They say, great universities and research institutes attract the most brilliant minds from around the globe and it is this that form the core of a city’s uniquely strong and vibrant tradition of research and discovery and help foster and institutionalize a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem. I say, Bhubaneswar is lucky to have NISER, IIT, AIIMS, ISI, IMMT, CIPET, ILS, CIFA, CRI but most importantly has young, first generation, entrepreneurs who are today ready for enormous commitment and are ready to take a huge amount of risk. The start-up space is definitely looking interesting today. I agree it has a lot of catch up to do with Bangalore. While on the one hand the higher education opportunities in the state are pretty much looking up, much is wanting in the primary and secondary school education space. You want to work on the elementary education system? It’s certainly so decayed, that anything you can do will be a step up! There will still always be more ideas, more challenges, more connections, and more opportunities in this encompassing city and so I also call it the “City of Paradox”. If you plant a seed here right now it will probably grow into a tree and a very fruitful one at that. A market that is perhaps complex to understand, yet very much alive and ready to consume. My point being, you can do almost anything you want here given careful evaluation of who you are trying to target, what it is that they need, where they need it and when. So my question is, why live somewhere where life is seamless and where the markets are so saturated; a place where no matter what you do and no matter how hard you work it will all be taken somewhat lightly? Live in a place that needs you. A place that needs your help and where with the same amount of effort your impact can actually reverberate. Live in a place where you feel like you matter because of what you do, are doing or have done. A place where if you leave your absence will be felt. Live in a place that motivates you to work hard because the harder you work the more you can see your impact grow. Impact. One of my favorite words. Impact. See, it sounds so strong. It shakes you a little because that is what true impact is meant to do. It is meant to shake and disrupt. It is meant to solve, change and challenge. It is meant to be non-disposable, lasting and memorable. So my friend, if you love challenges, risks, hard work, excitement, fun or are just plain crazy you know the city you should be in… These days I have been waking up every morning energized. I feel like I’m tripping on this city and I just can’t get enough.
Author– Devasis Sarangi
Note– This article was first posted in Odishadiary.com