This month, Nurall residents will be gathering again in Bangalore to discuss a topic that has been on everyone’s minds lately: AI and the Future of Work. This time, we’re tapping in on the expertise of Saurav Arya to lead the event. A digital nomad (and digital native) who has taken his work on the go with him in 2012, Saurav has been building small businesses ever since—one of which, Small World, a boutique accommodation and event space, is our venue for this five-night event. Over the course of the residency, digital nomads and digital natives will gather to share their skills and participate in brainstorming sessions all about where we are going next, not only with our passports, but also with our careers.
To prime the exciting conversations that are sure to come, we sat down with Saurav to learn about his impressive travel record (with 91 out of 195 countries crossed off his bucket list so far) and his thoughts about AI and the Future of Work.
What motivated you to start traveling?
I resigned from my engineering job in 2011 and decided to live a gap year that I called a year full of Sundays. The whole idea was to live every day like it was Sunday. Go with the flow and to not have a boss or a subordinate. First I circumnavigated India, then I went to Southeast Asia, China, and East Africa. And that one year was so eventful, so eventful, that I felt like I lived 10 years and that made me take the final plunge to decide not to ever get back to a regular office job ever again. In 2012, I decided I would rather be building small businesses that allow me to be completely remote.
How did you get started with your business?
So my first business as a digital nomad was an infographic design agency. I was making infographics for online marketing and branding, but then I felt venturing into hospitality would also be cool and that was also something that I was very much interested in. So I started with Airbnb, then I got into tech and I started building tech products using no-code tools and started building communities, so now it’s like a portfolio and my businesses are all spread across hospitality, tech products, and communities.
Why host this residency in Bangalore?
Bangalore is truly the Silicon Valley of India. It’s quite cosmo. This is where you meet interesting minds. This is a place for building any product or business and I feel most alive in Bangalore when I’m in India.
What inspired the programming of this residency?
Magic happens when you bring people together and we are bringing together people that have a similar mission. Those who are joining us for the residency are those who are really excited about the future of work, many of them are building products, and they are joining because they feel that they need to work together and collaborate with other folks who are equally invested and interested in this topic. I have seen how in a residency like this, even if it’s a short one, there is so much idea-sharing. In fact, many people get clarity about what they should be doing next. Many folks start a new business or a new project altogether.
My approach is to ensure that all the participants get sufficient time together to have more serendipitous discussions and events.
What do you think AI means for the Future of Work and how do you think it will affect digital nomads?
I see that nomads are the flag bearers of the Future of Work because we have been advocating why it’s important to be remote, prioritize life over work, and work async. For me, the Future of Work is not just remote and async. With AI, we can see that every week brings something new and exciting. It has never been this fast and this is the time to come together and discuss it, understand, and learn from each other what we have to be prepared for, and what we have to be ready for.
How can digital nomads use AI to their advantage?
In terms of tech, it’s going to impact everyone in the world. For a really long time, bringing ideas to life was limited to those folks that knew how to code, but now that is getting democratized with AI. I don’t think that its humans vs. AI, I think it’s humans and AI, as a companion that is going to make our lives easier.
Interested in joining the conversation in Bangalore? Spots are limited, but you can find all the details and sign up here.