Startups, spirituality, and happiness – My mind-altering India experience

In India, people are more giving. They often help each other without thinking what they may gain from it. This is something unique.’ 

Before I came to India, I wondered if it was the right decision – would there be life with friends after work and during the weekends? Would I be able to understand Indian English? And most importantly, at this time, would I be happy?

These, I think, would be the normal thoughts of any 19-year-old who has just finished school, and is planning to intern in India. Now, after three months in India, on my way to Bali, I feel I should share my exciting experiences from India to motivate more young people to get work experience in India. In a nutshell, India changed my mindset.

With Shradha, and my father Tobias Oswald during the ‘Heartfulness of Leadership’ event in Hyderabad

“Happiness is when, what you think, what you say, and what you feel, are in harmony.”

So said Mahatma Gandhi, and a lot of people in India live like this.

In Germany, people get good wages and have a high standard of living. On the contrary, there is a lot of poverty and injustice in India, yet most of the people are happy. In Germany, almost no one is happy.

They are happy for some days when they get a new position in their job, a new expensive car, or find a new love. But soon afterwards, they want more, and more, and more, and come back to their depressed mode. In India, people living in small villages cook, clean, farm, and do all their work themselves; they are happy people. They appreciate the life they live with their families, that they are able to see and to talk to their whole family every day.

In Germany, people only take. They take advantage of other people, but never give back. They do not do any favours for others, and don’t help as well – they are mostly on their own. In India, people are more giving. They often help each other without thinking what they may gain from it. This is something unique. This impression has been amazing for me during my time in India, and I will introduce this behaviour in my daily life.

The other big aspect of Indians next to their happiness is their spirituality.

Holi celebrations at the YourStory office

Spirituality, along with an open heart, positive thinking, and most importantly, meditation and solitude, are big and very important topics in India. I first meditated when I was in India, and I hope to continue doing it.

A very good example of the spirituality in India was the ‘Heartfulness of Leadership’ event that I attended in Hyderabad, where many entrepreneurs came together to explain and share their spiritual experiences in business and life, and to meditate together.

This event impressed me, and I think Germany could definitely learn from this.

India’s startup ecosystem is incredible. During my internship with YourStory, I had the chance to visit a lot of startups, and I’m deeply impressed. Startups like Dunzo can manage your whole day, Paytm allows you to pay and receive money through your mobile phone, BigBasket gives you the opportunity to do all your grocery shopping online, and cab-hailing startups like Uber and Ola are giving people the chance to get a cab in every situation, almost everywhere.

India’s technology is fascinating. They are constantly working on machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning to develop the world, and the technology we are living in. I met giants like Continental and Mindtree, and their already-invented technologies are amazing.

Autonomous driving, electronic printing, and robots doing our work is the current future, and India is playing a big role in it. Engineers are grown here, and the whole world needs them. There are two startups that impressed me the most – Stalkbuylove and Juggernaut.

Online fashion retail store Stalkbuylove has a very effective philosophy to only focus on bestsellers. Juggernaut, on the other hand, is a digital platform to find and read high-quality, affordable books, and to submit your writing. Along with publishing digital books, it also has a reading mobile app.

The company is solving the lack of reading by giving India’s big mobile phone population a cheap possibility to read all kinds of books. In addition, it is giving a platform to all Indian writers to publish their works and connect with readers.

“Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of Love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving.”  – Osho

I met a lot of lovely people in India. I also made friends for life who helped me change my mind and become a different person. People in India are very nice, open and friendly, and I loved having long conversations with them to learn about their life, their problems and their beliefs.

I was very inspired by some friends I made in India. They basically taught me life. Another thing I learned in India is that age doesn’t matter at all. All my friends here are way older than me, but it was never a problem.

I changed my behaviour after meeting people here, and thinking about life. Now, I think how I want to be in life in terms of being happy and spiritual. My internship gave me a good entry into work life, startup business, the Indian ecosystem, and the amazing Indian culture. I would recommend it to every student.


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