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Interview with Sushant & Sakshi, The wonder couple from Temporary Local

I was so excited to know more about Sakshi & Sushant when I heard the concept of Temporary Local.

Temporary Local offers work plus travel retreats for remote professionals & digital nomads. It brings together participants from different parts of the world who can live, work & travel together across different Indian cities for period ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months.

Hi, can you give me a brief introduction about you both?

Sushant Kumar: An Ivy league B school alumni & corporate professional turned entrepreneur, Sushant is a passionate trekker & has done a number of challenging & tough treks in across Dhauladhar & Pir Panjal Ranges & across Himalayas.

Sushant is a fitness icon & runs his fitness venture which aims at making a paradigm shift in lifestyle of those looking to lead a healthy lifestyle. His blogs & transformation story has been featured by leading health magazines & fitness related digital portals. Currently, Sushant runs Temporary Local alongside successfully managing his fitness venture with Sakshi Bali.

 

Sakshi Bali: Poet & writer by choice, technology enthusiast & entrepreneur at heart with degrees in Management & English (Hons) , Sakshi has played multiple roles across marketing & IT in her 12 year long professional career.

Her career spans from banking, real estate to IT & digital marketing. She has successfully handled digital marketing & website development projects for more than 300 clients. At present, she is running Temporary Local besides managing fitness venture with her life partner, Sushant Kumar.

About Temporary Local. How does it work?

Temporary Local offers work plus travel retreats for remote professionals & digital nomads. It brings together participants from different parts of the world who can live, work & travel together across different Indian cities for period ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months.

Our customers are primarily digital nomads & remote professionals who come from diverse functional backgrounds such as bloggers, writers, authors, entrepreneurs, digital marketers, freelancers, consultants & architects ( to name a few).

Essentially, we blend work plus travel wherein our customers can continue with their work at our designated co-working spaces alongside indulging in host of exciting events & activities such as adventure, travel, trekking & cultural & historical immersion. To top it all, we also provide a platform for professional networking events.

Interested participants can register with us for one of our retreats. Upon registration, team of consultants will interact with the participant over skype to understand their current state & how Temporary Local’s retreat can help them accomplish their personal & Professional growth. Upon confirmation & payment, participant will have his spot reserved. Only thing Participant has to do is to show up. Temporary Local will take care of the rest, right from accommodation, co-working spaces, internet, adventure & cultural immersion & networking events.

Which people/books have had the most influence on your growth and why?

Sakshi Bali: The Butterfly Experience by Karen Whitel had a huge influence on me. It taught me how to unleash myself from the mental prison and spread my wings of thoughts to fly high.

Sushant Kumar: Into thin air by Jon Krakauer.  This book made me realize that meticulous planning & flexibility is a vital recipe for a success. Besides, the book also made me recognize that trekking/expedition gives life learning lessons to entrepreneurs like me on how to navigate from uncertainty & be adaptive to changing situations.

How did you get started with living a Digital Nomad Life?

Sakshi Bali: The concept of Digital Nomad inspired me since 2011, but after switching jobs and careers, I finally became a full time digital nomad in August 2017.

I decided to do my own venture as a digital marketer initially setting up in-house digital marketing agency.

via GIPHY

Sushant Kumar: I came across the concept of Digital Nomad while interacting with one of my American friend who is a digital nomad and an architect. The way she explained the benefits associated with profession encouraged me to know more about it.

While researching about digital nomad and remote working in detail, I thought what if I can work and continue my passion for trekking concurrently.

During my trek to Goechala Pass in February 2018, I met my life partner Sakshi & discussed in detail how we can create value for digital nomads. Later on, we both came together to launch Temporary Local, a work plus travel platform for digital nomads.

What kind of companies/people does Temporary Local benefit?

Our customers are primarily digital nomads & remote professionals who come from diverse functional backgrounds such as bloggers, writers, authors, entrepreneurs, digital marketers, freelancers, consultants & architects ( to name a few).

What made you want to build something like this?

Sushant: During my visit to Spain in June 2018, I met couple of my batchmates in IE Business School, who shared about work pressures and paucity of time in managing their work-life balance.

This made me analyse that as we all have access to sophisticated technology and sitting at a stationery place for work is not mandatory anymore.

As such, professionals can work from anywhere alongside pursuing their passion and personal interests. This gave me a brilliant idea of starting something on blending work and travel. Solution to this gave birth to Temporary Local.

Tell us about your biggest failure and what you have learnt from it.

Sushant: Till now, my life has been a roller coaster ride. However, I too had ups and downs in my life.

The biggest failure I could think of is closing my healthcare venture in 2016. This failure made me realise that a proper planning and its time-bound implementation is a vital recipe for success of any venture.

Sakshi: I have been very passionate about entrepreneurship since 2012. I made an early start in the world of Real estate business, wherein investor’s money was involved. The first 6 months were smooth, but eventually ended up in huge losses. This failure helped me learn about crisis management and recognize my abilities to deal with pressure & deadlines.

What has been your biggest customer success moment so far?

We are in process of launching our first retreat in April followed by another one in May. We shall share the customer success stories upon completion of our retreats.

What are the most common questions that you get about Temporary Local and how do you answer it?

Most of our potential customers are keen to know about co-working facilities, fellow participants & the experiences/immersions they will indulge in.

We give them detailed insights about how do we structure the work facilities & internet, about plan/schedule for the adventures & immersions  & how they can lay their hands on every activity.

What does a typical day in your week look like?

Our day starts at as early as 5 am while witnessing beautiful snow covered mountains from our apartment on top of hill. We then devote 2 to 3 hours on our workout & spend time with our pets followed by breakfast.

We then continue with our work /planning for temporary local & attending client calls related to our fitness venture.

Post lunch, we continue with our work/meetings with our vendors/supply chain partners.

After 6 pm both of us spend time on our personal engagements & walking through beautiful roads in Kullu. 9 to 10 pm is time devoted for customer calls for Temporary Local.

What’s your plan for the future?

We plan to, move up the supply chain & bring in more value focussed offerings for our customers. We already have skilled based professional development & mentoring session/ track in pipeline which we are building for upcoming retreats later this year.

We are planning to incorporate CSR focussed on women empowerment & promoting environment friendly products made by locals.We also plan to launch fitness & meditation retreat going forward.

We have plans to launch our in-house trekking market place with focus on moderate to tough treks & expeditions. This is going to be launched by mid of this year.

How do you like to celebrate your downtime/victories?

Being passionate travellers, we both prefer to explore non-commercial / off beat areas & nurture the beauty of himalayas while camping at riverside. We both are typical foodie & look to try new dishes specifically prepared in local off beat areas in India.

How is the support from friends and family?

Our friends & social network has been very encouraging with our idea of being wanderers, starting up temporary local & relocating from metro to a small town in Himachal Pradesh to pursue our dreams.

 

Tell us a little bit about your work culture. How you connect, how you bond, do you joke around a lot – stuff like that.

We are very open minded & collaborative in nature. We prefer to meet new people, enlarge our social & friend circle & discuss new & disruptive ideas. We have been also courteous in helping /advising handful of start-ups on pro-bono basis.

Is remote working the future of every business out there? What do you think?

Decade long ago, working remotely was a distant possibility with limited access to modern communication mode. If your boss or manager wanted to get in touch with you when you were away from office such as on a family vacation, travelling to interior areas or on a trek, they couldn’t e-mail or message you.

The best they could have done is to connect with you on an alternate contact number. The only jobs which could have done justice to work remotely at that time were either customer service/customer care or telemarketing jobs. Such jobs were considered only a bridge jobs & were never a full time career.

future of remote work

In today’s era with technology taking the lead along with new & innovative means of communication emerging, organizations do not need bunch of employees sitting at one place & delivering their tasks.

Organizations have adopted the concept of distributed or fully remote teams where they can get their job done irrespective of where they team of employees are based. For instance, a digital marketer working for a US based marketing agency may be sitting in Bali & doing the marketing campaigns for its banking client or a web developer may be sitting in India & delivering website for a Japanese client.

It is predicted that with workforce becoming more progressive, such virtual modes of communication including virtual reality tools will become preferred mode of communication as compared to face to face meetings. Even Artificial intelligence will play a potent role in managing remote workforce.

As a result, lot of organizations have given up office spaces & instead taken up slots in co-working spaces to accommodate their remote workforce. With advanced modes of technology, telecommuting & mobility working has become a common practice.

This has led not only a possibility of work from home , coffee shops or co-working spaces but has opened up opportunity for another league of corporations/ventures that are coupling travel & work & providing all possible infrastructures to enable digital nomads indulge in adventure, travel, fitness, learning, exploring cultural & historical affinity without keeping their unattended.

Such work plus travel retreat offerings are shaping up future of remote work. Lot of US & European based organisations have amended their HR policies to include remote & flexible working as a standard operating model for employees.

This concept which originally started in the U.S. is expanding its wings to Asian sub-continent as well. A large proportion of global remote workers/digital nomads are specifically looking forward to Bali, Philippines, Bhutan & now India as a preferred destination to be part of such work & travel retreats.

Read: Top Travel Destinations

Traditional organisations should give serious thought on remote & flexible working & should bring specific amendments in their HR policies. This will not only positively impact productivity & performance but also lead to better employee retention considering the flexible component in the work schedule.

Wrapping Up

How was the Interview? Was it Informative? I believe Sakshi & Sushant have inspired many of the readers and digital nomads.

Would like to know your thoughts. Please comment below your thoughts and opinion. You can reach them here.

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Author: shamnas