In an effort to attract new employees and meet increasing work demands, Viasat is opening a new office in the Indian city of Hyderabad. The growing technological hub is about 400 miles from Viasat’s offices in Chennai, India, where about 270 employees now work.
“Our demands are increasing, and our standards are high,” said Viasat Vice President Sathya Narayanaswamy, who oversees operations in India. “So we’re looking to gain access to more talent. We’ve always wanted to expand to Hyderabad; it’s a great city.”
Senior manager Rasanth Kandoth, now based in Chennai, will relocate to Hyderabad to oversee the office. Rasanth has been with Viasat India from day one of its first Chennai office in 2015, playing a key role in its development. Additionally, many of Viasat’s current India employees are natives of Hyderabad.
Hyderabad is the capital of the Indian state of Telangana. Once the only global center for trade of large diamonds, emeralds, and natural pearls, it’s known as The City of Pearls. Since the 1990s, it’s emerged as a hub for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and high tech.
Viasat has leased a coworking space in the Hyderabad Information Technology and Engineering Consultancy (HITEC) City, a 151-acre technology business district. About 700 companies, including well-known multinationals like Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, and Google, have offices in HITEC.
It’s an ideal location for Viasat. The India offices are helping build Viasat’s footprint in Asia as the company moves toward becoming the first global internet provider. Engineers in India work on our ground segment, cloud, virtualization,and distributed software applications, mobility platform, and data analytics – cutting-edge technology that draws ambitious tech employees. In addition, we also have a growing team of employees from finance, accounting, and people & culture doing global work from India.
“Employees are looking for challenging work with companies that are making a meaningful difference and that are global,” Narayanaswamy said. “They’re seeking companies where they can learn and grow, and also feel a sense of respect for what they do. Those are all part of Viasat’s culture.”
Employee reaction to the new office has been positive. While the site is initially opening with about a dozen employees, 20 more have requested a transfer to Hyderabad.
The new site an effort to address the rapidly changing world of office work. It allows employees to stay within their already established social and family circles while also giving them in-person time with coworkers. Challenging work like at Viasat may not require relocating to another city or working fully remote.
The approach is particularly fitting in India, where family and community are the foundations of the country’s culture. Several generations of family often live under the same roof, and both families and communities are socially interdependent.
“The pandemic taught us we could do business differently,” said Vinod Sivadas, head of Viasat India’s people & culture. “In India, people always have their families closer to them. The pandemic gave them an opportunity to be at home and close to families, while at the same time not compromising on the quality of their work. Post-COVID, people value being closer to their homes.”
The future of work
“One of the strategies we are working on is what the future of work is going to look like,” said Ramesh Soundararajan, director of engineering at Viasat India. “There are a few studies that show that while people do want to be closer to their social circle, they also want to have good quality face time with their colleagues.
“Currently, some of our remote Chennai employees live 900 to 1,000 miles away. It being a fairly large country, we thought it made sense to have offices in additional locations closer to them and also gain access to new talent.”
Sivadas said Viasat will use the Hyderabad office as a test site for future locations.
“We want to learn from this and build on it,” he said.
Viasat started its engineering center in India in 2015.