A new workspace business model is gaining momentum in the country, as MNC and domestic players roll out seamless working environments for employers and employees. This trend augers well for building products and allied industry players.
The coworking concept is emerging as the next big thing in the office space market. The new genre of workspace offers organisations and individuals opportunities to work in a shared office space. This enables them to slash rentals and derive benefits from collaboration in a relaxed, peaceful and homely environment. These attributes are being felt as the key facilitators for incubating business ideas, and the source of enhanced employee productivity and happiness by India Inc. No wonder coworking spaces are being preferred by startups, SMEs, and even larger companies in the technology, E-commerce, media and entertainment, travel and tourism sectors among others.
According to a recent joint report by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), real estate consultancy JLL, and global collaborative workspace major WeWork, the Indian coworking industry is expected to grow to 1-crore sft by 2020. The report also finds that the potential number of seats in the coworking industry stands at 1.2 crore to 1.6 crore, whereof the largest, 1.3 crore, is attributed to large companies, 15 lakh to SMEs, and another 15 lakh to freelancers. Startups comprise the smallest of the chunk at 1 lakh seats.
Company-wise, WeWork has added its fourth space in Mumbai. Located at Oberoi Commerz II in the city’s Goregaon, the latest space comes after openings at BKC, Marol and Vikhroli. “As Indian organisations grow, culture and collaboration are keys to driving innovation and fostering a productive work environment. By strengthening our presence in Mumbai, we are able to support businesses of all sizes in their growth trajectory with the services, space and community that they need to succeed in the global business ecosystem,” says Karan Virwani, CWeO, WeWork India.
The new space, Virwani informs, spans six floors of a 30-storey LEED Gold-certified commercial building, in an area designated as International Business Park of Mumbai. Members can enjoy a view of the Mumbai skyline, and access high-rise buildings with premium office spaces and a five-star hotel.
He also informs that the latest location is equipped with WeWork’s signature elements such as phone booths, nooks, game room, meditation or wellness room and large common areas. It also has dog-friendly spaces, mother’s room, multiple conferences and conversation rooms, showers and an on-site gym for comfort and convenience.
“Upon entering the building, its modern interiors augmented with the use of Italian marble Satvario and concrete flooring stands out in the light-filled space. With the design team maintaining continuity of the building’s architecture by adding strokes of bright colours to give off a contemporary vibe, the main member floor and common area reflect the spirit that brings the space to life along with contemporary furnishings in velvet, suede and leather that also infuse the space with comfort and style,” he adds.
A key visual element and component of the space is a tree-like seating feature that gives it a very modern vibe, he describes. “With this being the perfect spot to sit around and share ideas or just have a cuppa with team members, space is also accompanied by abstract, vibrant artwork designed by the WeWork Art & Graphics team that perfectly complements the grey concrete floors and white walls.”
The company’s members comprise entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses, middle market and Fortune 500 corporations. This includes global enterprises such as Jaguar Land Rover, GoDaddy, besides SMEs such as Miller & Camron, Megshala (NGO), AA Hospitality, and Get Gorgeous.
IndiQube, which positions itself as the country’s “leading” smart workspace solutions provider, has raised Rs 100 crore of equity in a round led by one of India’s leading investment firms WestBridge Capital. It will use the funds to strengthen its execution capabilities as well as fund aggressive expansion plans across Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and NCR.
“Our commitment towards creating office spaces of the future that are flexible and scalable has helped attract large companies to set up their offices at Indiqube. Today, our workspaces not only appeal to the new age workforce but also address business requirements of companies across segments more effectively. We believe that our partnership will help us accelerate our expansion plans in new markets and better address our existing and prospective customer requirements,” says the company’s co-founder and chairman Rishi Das.
A major player in the startup hub of Bengaluru, the company has 25 office spaces strategically located at prime locations with over 14 lakh million sft of the workspace. Besides, it plans to cross 20 lakh million sft of cumulative workspaces by the end of this year, informs Das.
The company serves all the real estate-related needs of their clients. This includes workspace planning and flexibility, managing cafeteria, conference rooms, Internet lease-lines, power back-up, security, etc to create a hassle-free environment enabling them to focus on their core business.
IndiQube has been home to top emerging startups, brands and offshore development centres (ODC), including companies such as Levis, Red Bus, Bluestone, Scripbox, Fresh Menu, No Broker, Rubrik, Thoughtspot, Fungible, Lendingkart, Cleo, and Eximius among others.
Spaces, the Amsterdam-born coworking space provider by IWG Plc, has launched a centre at Kanakia Wall Street in Andheri, Mumbai. IWG’s country manager for India Harsh Lambah has reportedly said that the company plans to double the number of its coworking spaces in the country in the next three to four years. It has 110 workspaces in 16 cities in the country, out of which six are under the Spaces brand and the remaining under the Regus brand. While both provide coworking solutions such as modern meeting rooms, designed workstations, and business lounge facilities, the former is designed for the creative set with an entrepreneurial spirit, and the latter is a professional workspace.
Also, Awfis is reportedly eyeing to scale to 90-100 centres and 40,000 seats over the next year. It has 55 centres that have 25,000 seats and a 15,000 membership base, according to the company’s CEO Amit Ramani.