This is what it’s like to be an Indian working in Silicon Valley

sundar

Google-CEO

Making it to Silicon Valley, (which is the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area) home to many of the world’s largest high-tech companies, including Apple, Google, HP, Cisco Systems and innumerable startups is a dream for every entrepreneur, business professional and most importantly techies of Indian origin.

As of last year, Indians and Indian-Americans in the US tech world appeared to be at its peak and as many as 15% start-ups were founded by Indians. Additionally, the elevation of Satya Nadella, who’s heading Microsoft, Indra Nooyi, the chief executive of PepsiCo and Sundar Pinchai, the Chief Executive Officer of Google have also contributed to this boom.

The bottom line is thus- Indians are abundant in Silicon Valley. But, which pegs another question- what is it like to be an Indian in Silicon Valley? Does it get lonely a time or is it to the best place to live in?

The bottom line is thus- Indians are abundant in Silicon Valley. But, which pegs another question- what is it like to be an Indian in Silicon Valley? Does it get lonely a time or is it to the best place to live in?

Shobha Vishwanathan, a Quora user who also been working and living in Silicon Valley recounts her experience in the big bad world of tech-

This is how it is like to be an Indian in Silicon Valley-

“If you’re working on an onsite-offshore model at an IT firm, then you would be slogging like a horse from early AM today to late AM tomorrow, since you would have to interact and co-ordinate with both the offshore Indian team and onsite American team.
The house or apartment you initially begin to live in would be bland and big, where you have to do ALL the housework, cooking, cleaning, and laundry. You learn the true meaning of “taking care of yourself”, and it is especially tough if you’ve had a protected and carefree life in India. Even a one bedroom apartment in the U.S. would be bigger than a two bedroom apartment in India. Rooms are big in general.

Sports and extra-curricular activities are given a lot of importance right from first grade, both at the school level, and at a personal level. Almost everyone is encouraged to learn a sport, a musical instrument, some art form or technology. This attitude is something that is new to a lot of Indians, but once they see the benefits of having a well-rounded personality, not only do the adults try to learn something new, they also actively encourage their kids to be multi-talented.

Life is most of the times totally colourless. You start appreciating India even more for the sheer vibrancy of colours in everything. Everyone wears pastels, white or black. If there is any splash of colour, it will be a dress of a single colour – solids – no patterns.

If you’re a vegetarian, it is difficult to find a restaurant that serves only vegetarian food. You will be forced to buy vegetarian food from a non-veg restaurant. During the handling and cooking of food, the people here don’t know to keep out the contamination of veg food by non-veg food. Eggs, fish, fish sauce and chicken stock is regularly used in vegetarian dishes, and unless you know the recipe or remember to tell them that you want vegetable stock in your cooking, you will end up indirectly eating non-veg food. If you order from Subway, they will use the same glove to touch the meat and the vegetables for a single order.

Work ethics are strong here. If you’re at work, you’re expected to ACTUALLY work, and not just chat around the water-cooler, coffee machine, snacks corner or lunch table.

And, lastly Corruption, on the whole, is less compared to India. Bribes are generally paid to break rules, not as an incentive to do their bound duty.”
If we had to summarise the experience in one word, it would be this line.
“The rent is beyond belief, but so is your salary.”

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