Back in July 2019, I had no idea that NomadGao – a digital nomad hub in India – was about to happen. After spending years building teams and traveling as a digital nomad, I decided to move to Goa with the family. I had spent the prior few months being unemployed. While I always wanted to start a coworking-coliving space and build a digital nomad community in Goa, I didn’t think it will happen until mid-2021. I was saving up.
I saw the NomadGao OG property on July 25, 2019, and I knew this was it. Over the next 3 days, I called up friends and borrowed to start NomadGao on August 1, 2019. Sounds unbelievable, right?
Sitting here at NomadGao’s Zen space and writing this, even I can’t believe it!
Table of Contents
Let’s start with the WHY behind NomadGao
Those who know me know how passionate I’m about making India popular among digital nomads and making remote work popular in India. The pandemic took care of the latter.
I have engaged with the government, advised a coworking-coliving operator, have run retreats, and have done all sorts of crazy things to make the first one happen.
I wake up every morning, thinking about how remote work can transform India. I’m lucky enough to go to bed with the same thought! In between, I’m building NomadGao to make it happen
Enter the pandemic
NomadGao was gaining traction, especially with global digital nomads. I left my job in January 2020 to focus on it full-time. Little did I know that all the assumptions were going to be toppled in just a couple of months. Our rooms were full for months before the pandemic, mostly with foreigners. Indian digital nomads was still an almost non-existent community.
Come March and most of the foreigners had left NomadGao with the fear of being stuck in the country (Good call). We were not sure how it will pan out with the Indian audience. We had tons of questions and doubts.
Instead of waiting for things to clear up, we refocused our marketing efforts and emphasized educating Indians to be digital nomads. In June 2020 when the national lockdown was lifted, we were full again in no time! It was overwhelming.
Community-funded digital nomad community!
The pandemic made millions of young Indian professionals taste this lifestyle for the first time. We had a good problem to have. We were saying no a few times a day for booking requests and we hated it. However, as a bootstrapped start-up, we didn’t yet have the funds to expand. Our community came forward. They funded us to expand from a tiny place with 5 rooms to a network with 4 locations in 3 villages in Goa with 34 rooms!
The love that we have got from our community is beyond the money. They have pampered us with Airbnb superhost status for 18 consecutive months, and heart-warming reviews. Here is just one of such reviews:-
The road ahead for the digital nomad hub
For the last 2 years, we have done tremendous hard work to make Goa popular among global digital nomads. We are also on a mission to enable a million Indians to be digital nomads and to help companies and startups to go remote while keeping their employees engaged.
Our community members keep asking us to open NomadGao in other parts of India and we are on it! Meanwhile, we are working round the clock to improve operations and overall experience at NomadGao spaces that we already have.
Today, millennials and Gen-Z want flexibility along with human connection. They want to be at a place they don’t have to worry anything about. Startups need plug-and-play places where all they need to worry about is building great products and companies. Remote teams want a place their team can get together at, once in a few months.
We are building the NomadGao network for you so that you can focus on what matters the most! On the other side, we want to transform India while building rural coworking-coliving spaces.
It’s not easy but we are here to make it happen!
We can’t do it alone though. We are looking for like-minded team members, collaborators, real estate partners, remote work advocates to make it a massive movement and enable professionals and teams to stay productive, be close to nature, connect with other like-minded people, and make an impact!