Retire in NC – A Brief Summary of Prakash Buchireddy, Founder and CEO at Sustaino LLC.
“From Crossroads to Creation: My Journey to Creating an Indian Village in North Carolina!”
My name is Prakash Buchireddy, and I would like to share a summary of my life story. I was born and raised in a village near Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. After completing my education in Hyderabad, I pursued further studies and work opportunities in Bangalore before eventually moving to the United States.
Upon arriving in the US, I initially settled in Stamford, Connecticut. However, when my employer relocated its headquarters, I moved to Princeton, New Jersey. After some time in New Jersey, I was granted the option to work remotely, which allowed me to consider various locations such as Illinois, California, Florida, or North Carolina. As part of my consulting role, I had the opportunity to travel extensively across different states, exploring various places, meeting new people, and assessing growth potential.
During one of my visits to North Carolina in 2012, I was captivated by the state’s natural beauty, well-developed infrastructure, reasonable population density, ample open spaces, 50+ state parks, the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, the Atlantic Ocean, and the presence of economic centers like RTP (Research Triangle Park). Despite the challenge of leaving behind friends and extended family, I ultimately chose North Carolina as my new home, where I purchased a house and began raising my children.
Having lived in North Carolina for more than six years, I can confidently say that it was one of the best decisions I made. However, I now find myself facing a new dilemma as my children have grown up. My eldest is planning to move out of state, and my youngest is a high school junior who will soon embark on her own journey in just two years. I ponder over what I should do when both of my kids leave home, what to do with such a large house in a good school district, and whether I should continue living in the United States or return to India.
I hold my childhood memories close to my heart, reminiscing about growing up surrounded by cows, agriculture and fruit gardens, a strong sense of community, water streams, and temples. In those days, there were fewer plastics, landfills, and pesticides. However, I am aware that much has changed in India, and the dynamic nature of the country may make it difficult to reintegrate into the new environment. So, I find myself at a crossroads, unsure of the best path forward.
Some of my Indian friends have moved back to India, but most have returned to the US for various reasons. On the other hand, my American friends have downsized their homes and transitioned to 55+ communities. I have explored some of these communities, but I find that their way of life differs from my own understanding.
My long-term dream has been to develop a resort-style homestay on the way to Gudimallam (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gudimallam_Lingam) and retire there. However, when I tried to implement the idea, I faced harsh realities, and it was nearly impossible to manage the activities remotely.
After several years of soul-searching, traveling in both India and the US, I came to the realization that moving back to India while leaving my children in the US would not be practical. Similarly, living in a typical 55+ community would not fulfill my aspirations. It was during this period of introspection that an idea began to take shape in my mind – why not create an Indian village in the US that incorporates modern facilities?
Initially, this idea seemed ambitious, and I questioned why I should venture into real estate when my expertise lies in pharma software product management. I set the blueprint aside and explored various other possibilities. However, after a few months, I realized that this was the right path to take – a win-win solution.
Now, armed with this idea, I need to bring it to life. I recognize that it will require dedicated time and effort. I made the decision to put my Pharma IT career on a backburner and focus on realizing the concept of “Integrated Life.” With this goal in mind, we registered Sustaino LLC in 2021, my team and I acquired four properties ranging from 35 to 200 acres in four different counties. We worked closely with the respective planning departments, learning valuable lessons and engaging in constructive discussions with officials.
Finally, we received approval from Guilford County for the Integrated Life concept in its entirety, without any modifications. With this success, we pitched the concept to Forsyth County, which unanimously endorsed our approach for Vedic Village in September 2023.
Today, we proudly present two residential communities: Integrated Life and Vedic Village, located in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, respectively. To cater to various budgets and preferences, we offer both value and premium options, with lot prices starting at $80k and $120k, respectively. Our goal is to add value to the property by developing fruit gardens, barns, a community kitchen, etc., before embarking on building the homes, which is expected to take about two years.
I am eager to hear your thoughts, stories, and comments regarding our upcoming communities. Your feedback is invaluable, and I am open to making any necessary improvements. Please email me at [email protected] to share your thoughts. Thank you!
*Integrated Life is a self-sustaining, eco-friendly residential community that seamlessly blends gardens, farms, and open spaces with modern homes. Each lot encompasses one acre of land, with 0.25 acres designated for housing and 0.75 acres dedicated to producing food at the community level. The community features Indian cows in spacious pasture fields, and residents have access rights to the entire property, including the farm and community kitchen.
Residents can earn credits by completing tasks of their choice, such as helping on the farm, in the kitchen, or in the barn, among others. These credits can be exchanged for fresh meals or produce, creating a rewarding system that encourages active participation and engagement.
The community kitchen prepares fresh meals every time, utilizing locally sourced ingredients to ensure the highest quality and flavor. By operating on a closed-loop system, Integrated Life minimizes waste by ensuring that the byproducts of one process become inputs for another, fostering a sustainable and efficient environment.
Energy needs in Integrated Life are met through renewable sources such as solar and biogas, further reducing the community’s environmental impact and promoting a greener lifestyle.
Integrated Life offers residents a healthy and high-quality lifestyle at affordable prices, providing a harmonious balance between nature, modern living, and community engagement.