As a part of its vision to expand footprints across Asia, Singapore-based workplace design and build consultancy Space Matrix today announced its expansion into China by acquiring the interior design and construction company Muraya.
With the acquisition, Muraya will be rebranded to form Space Matrix China. Globally, Space Matrix will now have a total headcount of over 400 employees across 14 offices. Revenues are on track to grow over 40% and will hit S$165 million this year. India has been one of Space Matrix’s key pillar markets with nearly 45% of its global revenue coming out of India and a staff of over 250 in India alone. The firm has undertaken more than 120 projects in India over the last two years for key clients such as Airbnb, Eli Lilly, Gartner, ITC, LinkedIn, Piramal Realty, Schneider Electric and TransUnion.
“We plan to double our global revenues in the next four years and will also separately continue to look at M&A opportunities across the globe,” said Arsh Chaudhry, CEO, Space Matrix. “This strategic acquisition in China is part of Space Matrix’s vision to expand its footprints across Asia. With its entry into China, the firm affirmed a stronger foothold in North Asia reinforcing its Pan-Asian footprint amidst the eight countries Space Matrix has offices in. The firm is able to service and manage projects from Australia, to across India, Southeast Asia and now, China.”
He added, “In the last couple of years, we have seen an exponential increase in the number of Chinese companies expanding in India and vice versa. The likes of Alibaba, Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi have been growing their presence in India. This acquisition will give our teams in both China and India the chance to collaborate and offer a synergised service to our clients. In the first quarter of this year, Pan-India office space absorption saw a 23% year-on-year increase translating to 11.4 million sft, and we see this as a massive opportunity. This fiscal year, we have more than 60 new projects underway and strive to grow 25% year-on-year.”
“Having expanded our Pan-Asian footprint off the back of our dominant position in India and Southeast Asia, entering China was a natural growth strategy for us. China presents a massive growth opportunity for us. The economy continues to propel forward with 6.6 – 6.7% GDP growth. In Shanghai, the office stock is expected to cross 110 million sft by 2020 from its current base of 80 million sft. Sectors such as technology, pharmaceuticals and shipping are booming and we expect to see continued growth from other industry sectors as well,” he further added.
“When we started dialogue with the team at Muraya, it was clear to us that they shared similar core values and had a culture of execution excellence and client servicing that Space Matrix prides itself on. This was critical for us in choosing the right partner – we want to ensure that our Global clients get the same quality of service that they expect of us in all our key markets.”
In the Q1 2018 India Office Property Market report by Colliers International, the Indian commercial real estate recorded a robust growth with total space absorption of 12.6 million square feet in the second quarter of 2018. This trend is expected to continue driving demand for Grade the office spaces and increase institutional investments in premium commercial office assets in the next three years. The report cites an overall absorption for H1 2018 at a record of 24 million sft and indicates a trend of the use of coworking space attributing to 7% share of leasing in the same time frame. The co-working concept is expected to continue expanding notably in cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai and NCR.
Felix Jiang, co-founder and Director of Muraya in Shanghai said, “We wanted to elevate our performance to a new level. For me personally, the right business strategy is very important. We are confident that with this alliance with Space Matrix, there will be wider knowledge-sharing and it will further reinforce our business operations in China. We will significantly enhance our competitiveness and continue to compete with the best industry giants.”
Muraya currently has 45 employees on board and has completed over 500 projects across China. Some of the firm’s notable clients include companies such as Abbott, Alibaba, Kimberly-Clark, SAP and Volvo Group.
“We realized that we needed a strong global partner to continue giving our clients outstanding workspace solutions. Together we can share experience and research globally to continually outperform our competitors,” added Love Englund, founder and APAC Director of Muraya.
Last year, Space Matrix designed over 6.9 million square feet of commercial real estate on behalf of its global clients. In Singapore, the firm has been working with leading global and local firms, with the objective of creating unique and immersive workspaces that inspire people and impact businesses. Some of the more prominent projects that Space Matrix has designed in the recent past in Singapore are Prudential Insurance, The bridge by Ascendas-Singbridge, Li & Fung, IBM, Symantec, ServiceNow and Uber.