There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding Indianapolis consumer services company Angie’s List lately. Kalpesh (Kal) Unune came to Indy for the source of the buzz. As an internal consultant on the Angie’s List team, Kal works on business improvement via process, technology and people.
The role at Angie’s List was a key factor in Kal’s decision to return home to Indiana. “Angie’s List is rebuilding the business with disruptive technologies to a model that will revolutionize the service marketplace,” he says. “I wanted to be a part of that opportunity and ingenuity.”
Kal attended IndyXmas in 2013 while visiting family for the holidays. “After 15 years away, I wanted to get closer to my Indiana roots, community and family,” Kal says. There, he connected with Angie’s List. “IndyXmas was one of my first eye-opening views into the tech sector that Indianapolis has to offer.” He immediately saw that Angie’s List could be a strong fit as he searched for his next career move. “I appreciate the flat organization, access to high-level management, and being an integral part of decision making.”
Outside of the promise he saw at Angie’s List, Kal was inspired to move home by the changes in the city and his personal connection to Indiana. “Indianapolis as an economy, demographics, and mindset has gone through a positive transformation from what I knew growing up. Being in Indiana allows me to focus on things important to me outside of my career.”
Kal grew up in Indianapolis, attending the math/science magnet at Arsenal Technical High School. After graduation, he headed to Wabash College in Crawfordsville, where he earned a physics degree. From there, he headed west to Colorado to work for Qwest Communications. Eventually, he moved to Seattle, where he worked in tech for six years.
While his path was right for him, Kal recognizes a shift in the tech sector. “When I came out of college, the general consensus was to work for a larger corporation and work your way up,” he says. “In today’s world, I think newer college graduates are more confident and willing to take risks. As we continue to increase the high-tech cluster density within Indiana, these industry clusters allow for synergies between companies. Firms will use this momentum to be more productive with knowledge spillover and sharing of resources.”
Like many Indianapolis Xpats and transplants, Kal has witnessed the openness of the tech network in the city and state. “Indiana has an open culture with access to resources and leaders willing to listen to ideas and provide guidance,” Kal observes. “This support network for entrepreneurs provides an engaged audience willing to give their time to listen to ideas to provide direction.”
Kal stresses that “Hoosier hospitality” is stronger than ever in Indianapolis. “If you have a good idea, I think it can be easier to find the right supporting cast to help because of access and approachability. The degree of separation is smaller and people are willing to help a good and thoughtful cause.”
Kal’s move to Indianapolis didn’t come without hesitation. “My reservations about moving here circled around my personal outlets and hobbies. I was worried that I would run out of ways to explore my interests. So far, I have had plenty of new experiences with festivals, volunteering, sporting, musical, and art-related events here.” To get plugged back into Indy, Kal is taking advantage of his existing connections, including the Wabash alumni network. “The roots here in Indiana are deep, and I hope to connect and give back to that community.”
Asked whether he’d decide again to move to Indiana, Kal’s response was unwavering. “There is no doubt I would choose to move here because it fits my holistic goals. Indianapolis is on an upward trend,” he says. “I am thrilled to be a part of this transformation and growth.”