Digital Creative Professionals in India01.6.22
With just a few clicks, Jon Mason and Varun Parange’s company, Hotspring, can provide VFX talent with access to a network of clients and teams from around the world. The company was founded by Jon and Varun in 2019. The goal for the platform was to create a sense of autonomy and authority for VFX creatives, no matter their location or proximity to creative agencies and VFX studios.
Hotspring gives mobility to international workers living further away from VFX hubs. Avinash Singh, Mayumi Boruah, Rohan Sarkah, Saurabh Thakur, Ajay Achari and Siddesh Gawade are part of the team based in India who work with Hotspring every day. The five creative professionals located in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Pune share their experiences of how their lives have been changed by the remote working lifestyle made possible by Hotspring’s platform.
HOTSPRING MAKES HOMETOWNS A HOTBED FOR TALENT
Whilst education and opportunities are undoubtedly a blessing and a goal that most people strive for, rural areas and smaller towns often miss out on reaping the benefits of educational success with graduates heading to bigger cities to pursue their careers. Platforms that enable remote working have led to the redistribution of talent across the country and, with that, perhaps even economical benefits to the home towns they return to. “I always wanted to work from my hometown”, said Sarkah. “Sadly I never got the opportunity as most of the major VFX companies are in west or south India. Hotspring made it happen! I get to live with my family and also live out my career dreams.”
Gawade explains the impact of Hotspring on the creative community, he said, “it has and it will keep on benefiting creative professionals in every possible way.” The world is not hassle free, he explains: “…people move far away from their homes to make their bread and butter. They wander to different places which eventually increases their cost of living. For us in India, often a comfortable life comes at the cost of leaving your family behind. Having a place to go to make progress in my career and not needing to step out of my home is the freedom Hotspring brings me.”
PRIORITIZING FAMILY, HEALTH, AND HAPPINESS WITH HOTSPRING
The team at Hotspring do not always work from 9am-5pm. The creative professionals can contribute as much time to their work as they wish, bearing in mind meetings with international clients or deadlines. This flexibility means that the lifestyle of one Hotspring professional is often entirely distinct from another.
Singh said about the start of his working day: “I concentrate on my health first. I begin my day with a 6 kilometer walk followed by a nutritious breakfast and then do my office work. I finish the day with some household chores and head to bed where I enjoy watching some technical videos.”
Similarly to Singh, Thakur schedules time for himself in the morning. He starts work after exercising on his bicycle. After his shift, he finds time to meet up with friends or catch up with shows on Netflix.
Boruah, the mother of a six-month-old boy, said she starts the day by checking the day’s delivery schedule followed by a quick chat with the shift producer. “I run through the handoff and discuss immediate actions needed if there are any. Once the clients are online, that’s when the actual day starts. My team and I attend to the client’s requests. Every day brings a new challenge and we solve it together- and I get to do all of this while attending to my sweet little boy, family talks, daily tasks and travels too.”
For the producers in India, having the freedom to prioritize their health, family or well-being is unique compared to their previous jobs. At Hotspring, every stakeholder benefits from ensuring creative professionals can have a flexible lifestyle. The team appreciates having time to manage their priorities and therefore approach their work with more focus and creativity, ready for any challenges that may come their way.
FINDING BALANCE WITH HOTSPRING
For Gawade, everything about Hotspring is a new environment. He commented: “the idea behind Hotspring is to make the workflow easy so the creative professionals can focus on the projects themselves. I love the flow of work, interaction with the clients. When I finish for the day I think to myself that people can only imagine what I have created today.”
Gawade likes the idea that creative professionals can work on high-profile projects from the comfort of home, almost like being in two places at once. Like Gawade, Sarkah feels home and work have come together when working with clients, he said: “I have learned how to handle international clients and artists with such ease, it feels like we are standing right next to each other and chatting.”
In the case of Boruah, Hotspring has removed the formidable friction of choosing between work and family. Boruah explains, “In previous roles, work involved a lot of overtime so family harmony was a myth. I was in a stage where I had to choose my family or my career. But now, I get to spend time with my family all day long, play with my newborn and work even whilst traveling. Work-life has never felt so balanced!”
CREATIVE FREEDOM FOR HOTSPRING’S WORKERS
Jon and Varun’s aim for Hotspring was to provide agency to visual effects professionals around the world. The five team members interviewed all shared their appreciation for the opportunities that Hotspring’s platform has given to creative professionals in India.
For Boruah, a producer working from Pune, she realized that creative professionals in India are not typically well paid for the hours of work they put into their jobs. Fortunately, Hotspring allows Boruah the possibility to earn more money if she works extra hours which can benefit her growing family. The earning power she gains from Hotspring is something she encourages professionals to explore when joining the platform.
INSPIRING MOBILITY AND AGENCY
Hotspring is a platform that has changed the dynamics of work. The shift towards working at home that has become common in the West makes it possible for creative professionals to prioritize the things that matter to them like health, religion, and family. While adding significant value to the platform, these ambitious professionals have been able to find a balance in their lives that has not previously been possible.