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How Do the Young and Single Find Love in Bengaluru?

Welcome to Bengaluru, where the excitement of tech meets the search for love. Authors Malini Goyal and Prashant Prakash spotlight the experiences of young entrepreneurs, as they navigate the city’s startup culture and dating platforms. Gear up to unravel the complexities of modern dating in Bengaluru and find out whether this city, known for delivering everything on tap, can also deliver the elusive emotion of love.

Let the unboxing begin!

 

Unboxing Bengaluru
Unboxing Bengaluru || Malini Goyal, Prashanth Prakash

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From coffee to condoms, this city of young techies can deliver everything on tap.

Well, everything except perhaps love.

I spoke to multiple male founders who are young and single to understand their point of view. On one Sunday in October, I spent a leisurely evening catching up with a well-to-do founder—let’s call him S. Ashwin—in his early 30s. He is an NIT engineer with an Oxbridge MBA. Founded in 2014, his startup had scaled up decently with 300-odd employees. For a long time, his monthly salary was a measly Rs. 60,000. ‘Initially, many women thought since I was a founder, I would be loaded. What they didn’t understand is that all my wealth was on paper,’ he says. Soon, he figured out how to signal correctly for his Tinder dates. He would arrive in his run-down scooter on first dates. Instantly, his conversion rate from first to second date dipped. But then the second to third date conversion rose sharply. ‘The elimination strategy worked,’ Ashwin says.

 

Whether they are men or women, for founders in general, the initial few years are always hard. They could be working seven days a week, twelve hours a day, with zero vacation time, little money and a rollercoaster life that is constantly on the edge. Consumed by their startup and the all-round pressure, there is little bandwidth for anything else. Such distractions or preoccupations during intimate conversations can be very off-putting. Lack of time for social engagements can be a deal-breaker. Raghav Chakravarthy, thirty-three, cofounder of Walnut Knowledge Solutions, experienced this first-hand. ‘Being an entrepreneur, I was so busy building my startup that I often found myself zoned out during conversations. There wasn’t enough time to build a relationship,’ he says. In 2022, as the startup stabilized, he finally took the plunge and got married.

 

 

However, there is a consensus among both men and women that dating platforms have made casual hook-ups very easy but finding love or companionship and building a long-term relationship very difficult. Start with the available pool on the platforms, with its gender and demographic skew. With a strong bias towards younger singles in their twenties, older singles have a tough time finding matches on these platforms.

 

Beyond this, men and women face different sets of issues. Women like Gowda and others worry about fake profiles, men lying about their relationship status and about falling prey to fraud. Men have very different problems. Many complain about not finding enough matches on dating apps. ‘On dating platforms, conventional attributes like tall, fair men with beards, good cars get many more matches than people like me,’ says pet parent Siddharth Ram. Ram has been using these dating apps for a few years now. He says the ratio on these platforms could be as bad as ten boys to one girl.

 

His experience on matrimony platforms like BharatMatrimony.com and Shaadi.com has been much better, but they pose another set of problems. ‘Here, I got fifty to sixty matches. It was a great morale booster. But it had another problem. It was the girl’s  parents who were the arbiters. So my condition was that I will not talk to parents. The thing with parents is that they just fuck up the entire dating experience. They don’t understand what figuring out is,’ he says. Also, these sites offer filters like horoscope, caste, gotra that often do not resonate with the younger lot. There are others, like IITian Shrrinesh Bala—who is now building his startup Mello—who are looking beyond dating apps. ‘I wasn’t very lucky on dating platforms. So I was surprised by the many interesting profiles I got through matrimony sites like IITIIMShaadi.com,’ he says.

 

What are these young men and women seeking on these dating platforms and in their relationships? Have things changed at all? It’s a question I ask many young people in the city. Sex and casual hook-ups are obvious. And it isn’t just men seeking it. ‘There is equal desire on both sides. Women are quite comfortable with it,’ says Ram.

 

For those looking for longer-term relationships, there are many filters, old and new. Like the decision to have kids. It is no longer a given. ‘Many more women today don’t want to have kids and are upfront about it,’ says Ashwin. Similarly, the topic of marriage or cohabitation does come up occasionally. For some, a shared love for pets is important and can be a deal-breaker. ‘In general, I notice that what they want isn’t very clear but what they don’t want is absolutely clear,’ he adds.

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Get your copy of Unboxing Bengaluru by Malini Goyal and Prashanth Prakash wherever books are sold.

Exploring Career 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0: Which Path Suits You?

Ever thought about how jobs used to be and how they are now? Abhijit Bhaduri’s ‘Career 3.0’ shows us the way careers are changing. It’s like going from having just one skill for a job to juggling three or more skills in different places. So let’s take a peek into this shift in the work world and find out which career path suits you best.

 

Career 3.0
Career 3.0 || Abhijit Bhaduri

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Career 1.0: Monetizing a Single Skill in one Ecosystem

In Career 1.0, individuals are focused on monetizing a single skill that they have developed through training or experience. This may be a skill that they have formally studied or learned through on-the-job experience. Stable workplaces with relatively few changes offer opportunities for a person to continue pursuing a career with a single employer or doing the same work for different employers. Professional sports is a good example of Career 1.0 where a single skill is monetized in one ecosystem as the rules of a game don’t really change. A professional singer spends a lifetime using one skill in one ecosystem.

 

Career 2.0: Monetizing a Second Skill in Two Ecosystems

In Career 2.0, individuals are monetizing a second skill, in a distinctly different ecosystem. This second skill may be something that they have formally studied or trained in, or it may be a skill that they have developed through personal interests or hobbies. A college professor who writes a bestselling book or the CEO who serves on the board of a start-up is operating in a second ecosystem.

The skills gained in an ecosystem may not be useful to succeed in the second ecosystem. That is no different from the accountant who performs as a stand-up comedian on weekends or the coder who drives an Uber to make a few extra bucks. They are all using a second skill, in a new ecosystem in a Career 2.0 model. Earning money from a skill shows how much it is worth. Having another way to make money and growing it makes people feel good about their abilities. They can do both or choose one.

 

Career 3.0: Monetizing Three or More Skills in Different Ecosystems

In Career 3.0, individuals are monetizing three or more skills in different ecosystems. I once met an accountant who works for a large multinational corporation (MNC). He spends his weekends cooking for a restaurant in the neighbourhood whose customers love his curries and cakes. He also plays the keyboard and drums and used to play for a band when he was a student.
The band were so successful that for a while he thought of doing that fulltime. Laughing, he adds, ‘My problem is that I enjoy being an accountant as much as I enjoy being a chef and a musician. Why limit myself?’

 

Paychex, an American firm providing human resources services, found in a survey that 40 per cent of workers in the US have multiple jobs, and half of Gen Z workers are splitting their time between three or more employers. They call it ‘polyworking’. Meanwhile, 33 per cent of millennials are holding down three or more jobs, compared to 28 per cent of baby boomers and 23 per cent of Gen X professionals.

 

There are a few key characteristics that define Career 3.0:

Curiosity: Career 3.0 comes naturally to people who are curious. They will often experiment and learn something new just to be able to figure it out. They teach themselves by watching videos, listening to experts, finding apprenticeships and attending classes. Most of all the learning by being unafraid of failure. When an opportunity comes their way, they are often prepared to grab it. These are people who are comfortable with skills that are often seen to be at two ends of a spectrum—e.g., science and coding both demand logic and are polar opposites of fields like humanities and languages. Curious people often enjoy learning something even though there is no apparent use for it. Quiz contests often bring together people who are curious about everything from Greek mythology to astronomy to sports.

 

Adaptability: Monetizing multiple skills requires adaptability, as individuals may need to shift between different areas of work depending on the demands of each skill. Being comfortable with ambiguity and being flexible go together. An unpredictable world that is constantly evolving needs people who are comfortable with uncertainty. It is much like driving through thick fog. The driver navigates the road ahead one metre at a time.

 

Mindset: Career 3.0 needs the mindset of a VC who has to quickly figure out whether the idea being pitched is a big idea that has potential—an opportunity they must not miss, or if it is a passing fad. It often means that the VC has to place multiple bets knowing that the majority of the investments will fail but that the one that succeeds will more than make up for the rest. It needs the ability to take risks and walk on a path less travelled.

 

Overall, the three career archetypes—Career 1.0, Career 2.0, and Career 3.0—represent different approaches to monetizing skills and building a career. While each approach has its own benefits and drawbacks, the key is to find the right balance that works for an individual’s unique strengths and goals.

 

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Get your copy of Career 3.0 by Abhijit Bhaduri wherever books are sold.

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