Kochi – Queen of The Arabian Sea

In 2019, whilst working on the idea to set up a venture fund, I made a couple of trips between Bangalore and Kochi.

Ironically, the flying distance from Cochin Airport to Bangalore Airport is just 1 hour 30 minutes, and it took me 1 hour 40 minutes by car to get from the Bangalore Airport to the Taj at the heart of Bangalore city!

Anyways, we finalized 1 never say never our decision to settle in Kochi (Cochin) and made a visit in January 2020 to search for an apartment to rent, with the intention to explore Kochi more over the year and settle down into our own apartment sooner or later.

Then in March 2020, COVID19 happened, and the rest as they say was shit history.

Anyways fast forward to today, I’m technically a Kochikaran – having purchased an apartment here. Though in the last 16 months, I’ve realized you can never really ‘settle down’ in life. It’s constant motion, life is energy, and should be.

For a person who left India at the age of one when his parents migrated, and now forty years later settling down where his roots are, doesn’t seem like progress, it seems backward. But it isn’t. Keep reading…

These days I get asked the question quite often, why Kerala (that’s a discussion for another day), and why Kochi?!

Well, why even write about this? I was recently responding to a question put by a well-known investor, Vishal Khandelwal and it got me thinking, people really don’t know much about Kochi.

Yes, we have Kerala Tourism, and they do a decent job, but we don’t talk about our place enough, are we passive little beings that don’t want to share the wonders that surround us with others. Are we just happy in our own little world?

And this led me to share two videos with Vishal, one was from a more business point of view, as to why someone should be in Kochi. Watch the full thing and come back here…

Okay, now that you’re back – you probably noticed two things, this was by Cognizant Technologies, a big company, so draw your own conclusions (as that video is unlisted).

But keeping that aside, there is one thing that Kochi brings that you don’t see many other places…

Art & Culture.

Yes, that’s something that is part of life, life is not all code, not all work, sometimes there’s play and whenever art and culture have flourished, it is an indication that the people had the time to produce, they understood that art was a reflection of our minds. And more than anything, creativity is the essence of life.

Art in itself is wealth. And I’m not just talking NFTs here. If you’ve recently watched The Billion Dollar Code on Netflix, you can understand how art & technology can merge. If you haven’t watched it yet, then please do!

Age aka Demographics.

The second video I shared was a bit more up-to-date, you could say. Because it portrays Kochi as a hip, new-gen place, and that is probably the case as I see it now. (And if you want to see how a country will develop & thrive, just look at its demographics, it should be bottom-heavy, meaning more younger workers to tax).

The branding that Kerala has become an old age home where all the children are abroad (in the “Gulf”) still remains, if you actually look around, but I feel that is slowly changing.

If we are to make Kerala the place where your children are to grow and have a good lifestyle (not just make money), then you have to invest in the future generation, and create the opportunities that they got abroad, right here in the state itself.

This is where I’m doing my part, bringing investors to invest here and startups to set up here. It’s not going to be a one-year thing, this is a 20-30 year marathon.

And I pray that God gives me the energy to carry on with this mission.

So, if you’re in Kochi, or planning to settle down and need some help, hit me up on jpmartin @ twitter and I’ll be happy to share my notes.

Kochi Pazhe Kochi Alla