Singapore-based Reboot Life offers remote work and travel programmes globally that brings together like-minded professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers and explorers.
Startup: Reboot Life
Founders: Nitin Sawhney
Year it was founded: 2017
Where it is based: Singapore
The problem it solves: Work-life balance
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
Nitin Sawhney had taken some time off from his duties as the COO of BagITtoday, India Today’s e-commerce platform, to work on his own venture, iOrderFresh, an app-based fresh food and grocery retail business.
While setting up his new venture, Nitin would often end up working during weekends and even work from home.
When working from home, his six-year-old son would often pester Nitin to take him to the beach for a holiday. “First, I tried reasoning that I had an important assignment, which I could not avoid at the time, but it did get me thinking that I really could do the same work from anywhere. Also, my son told me if you are anyway going to be on the laptop, you can do so anywhere,” he says.
“Being an avid traveller, it got me excited to explore the possibility of somehow marrying work and travel on a real-time basis,” says Nitin. That is how Reboot Life was fleshed.
It is a global remote work and travel programme that brings together professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers and explorers to experience travelling the world while working remotely.
The participants of the Reboot Life programme are freelancers, and those who can work remotely, as well as techies who have the option of working from home or different areas. Even entrepreneurs setting up their businesses can participate in the programme.
“These can also include people who are consulting or are taking a break for a while, and looking at different venues and options,” adds Nitin.
The programme designs a plan that takes participants on a trip across 12 cities in 12 countries, where they stay for a month each. Reboot Life has tied up with cafes and locations, and tech partners, where participants can get easy access to wifi internet.
“People can choose to travel for a year of pick a month of the year to work remotely. Most of these people work remotely,” explains Nitin.
The programme covers premium itineraries, which cover a wide spectrum of locations ranging from Melbourne, to Cape Town, and Bali, to name a few.
Costs and challenges
Reboot Life is currently reviewing 30-50 participants for its first programme, which will start in March. The team is targeting around 150 participants over the first 12 months. The annual programme fee has an initial down payment of $4,500, while the total cost is $27,300. The monthly programme fee has an initial down payment of $300, and total cost of $2,400 per month.
The fee includes accommodation, flight tickets, transfers, access to a co-working workspace with 24 x 7 internet services, events, excursions and workshops with industry experts.
The task of designing a plan, however, wasn't easy. Building credibility for a global customer base was a challenge, as Nitin questioned why someone would trust him with their money.
To address this, he first got help from travel experts to design the right programme. The idea was to bring in unique offerings, and make itineraries that were aspirational and premium.
“To ensure that the costs are nominal and work, we are partnering with unique properties and co-working spaces across the cities we are traveling to, providing a safe, comfortable and hassle-free travel experience. In the future, we will be partnering with tourism boards and global remote work promotion councils,” says Nitin.
What does it do?
“The participants - we fondly refer to them as 'Rebooters' - make a new city their home each month, embracing new cultures, living like locals, and evolving both personally and professionally. The company already has a global team working in different parts of the world,” says Nitin.
People start with making a preliminary application, based on which the admission team invites shortlisted candidates to complete a detailed application. “After evaluating their candidature, the admissions team may invite them for a video interaction as a final step in the application process,” says Nitin.
He adds Reboot Life looks for people who like to put themselves in a space that is out of their comfort zone, and actively seek new and inspiring experiences.
“We are looking for free-thinking souls who can truly enrich the experience of others they will travel with,” says Nitin. While applicants can send in a request anytime, the team at Reboot Life follows a rolling admissions policy, and encourages participants to join at a time and place convenient for them.
Others in the space
Curated travel, as a concept, is fast picking up in India. Byond Travel, started by Vikram Ahuja, has been curating and building different travel experiences for people – from yoga retreats, to jungle safaris.
There is also Jagriti Yatra, which works closely with social entrepreneurs and takes them to different parts of India. TripFactory, backed by Mohandas Pai, also builds and creates trips. Apart from these, Jaipur-based enTRIPreneur, a platform that builds curated trips for entrepreneurs and wantreprenuers.
Working as a travel networking initiative enTRIPreneur aims to change the way entrepreneurs connect with each other. The platform organises exclusive trips for entrepreneurs to interact, connect and learn from each other.
Currently bootstrapped, Reboot Life is also looking to develop co-living properties across the world. It is also curating special work and travel programmes for specific geographical locations.