Co-work­ing spa­ces at­tract big­ger com­pa­nies to look­ing to save cost

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Bidya Sa­pam ht­spe­cial­pro­jects@htlive.com n

Co-work­ing spa­ces, so far pop­u­lar with start-ups and en­trepreneurs, are in­creas­ingly at­tract­ing larger com­pa­nies as well, as mo­bile work forces and cost sav­ings en­cour­age many or­gan­i­sa­tions to try out new ways of work.

Co-work­ing spa­ces can save around 20-25% of real es­tate costs, says a re­port by prop­erty con­sul­tant JLL In­dia.

Me­dia com­pany Dis­cov­ery Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Inc. has booked around 150 seats at an up­com­ing shared of­fice premises from We Work at Mum­bai’ sB an­dra Kurla Com­plex (BKC), two peo­ple aware of the devel­op­ment said, on­the­con­di­tion of anonymity. In Jan­uary, WeWork, a US-based co-work­ing space provider, leased the en­tire 16-storey ENAM Samb­hav tower in BKC and plans to start of­fer­ing of­fice spa­ces with 2,000 seats start­ing Septem­ber. A Dis­cov­ery Com­mu­ni­ca­tions spokesper­son did not re­spond to email queries on the devel­op­ment.

WeWork’s In­dia lead Juggy Mar­waha de­clined to com­ment on the deal, but said that many large firms in­creas­ingly pre­fer shared work spa­ces due to the lim­ited avail­abil­ity of qual­ity of­fices in prime lo­ca­tions and also “to un­der­stand and in­cor­po­rate start-up cul­ture into their or­gan­i­sa­tions ”“We are in a sce- nario where good qual­ity spa­ces are not avail­able in the mar­ket. Co-work­ing spa­ces of­fer a good so­lu­tion not only to start-up­sand free­lancers but also to large en­ter­prises for short-term re­quire­ments like 12-18 months,” said Mar­waha.

In July, WeWork opened its first cen­tre in Ben­galuru with 2,300 seats, of which 90% has al­ready been oc­cu­pied. Two more cen­tre sin Ben ga lu ru are in the pipeline, he said. The com­pany has also leased an en­tire four-storey com­mer­cial prop­erty at And­heri, which pre­vi­ously housed the head­quar­ters of broad­caster Star TV In­dia, to set up its sec­ond co-work­ing of­fice in Mum­bai. Mar­waha said the new place would start op­er­a­tion by De­cem­ber this year and would have around 800 seats.

Sumit Lakhani, chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer of co-work­ingser­vices provider Aw­fis Space So­lu­tions, agreed that many large firms are find­ing such spa­ces cost ef­fec­tive. Aw­fis, which started op­er­a­tions in 2015 , op­er­ates in 30 cen­tres with to­tal seat of around 10,000 seats.“One of the things that we have seen is that com­pa­nies do pre­fer to have their own head­quar­ters where they don’t mind in­vest­ing in re­sources and man­ag­ing the whole space. How­ever, with re­spect to of­fices across var­i­ous other cities, they pre­fer to take co-work­ing of­fices,” he said.

In the last two years sev­eral big and mid-sized firms have used co-work­ing spa­ces par­tic­u­larly for their sales force and other mo­bile staff. This month, Aw­fis also leased over 23000 sq.ft in Crescenzo, a com­mer­cial of­fice build­ing in BKC, Lakhani said.“Our sales forces are spread across the coun­try and for that, we don’t need a big of­fice. Se­condly, leas­ing an of­fice comes with the ad­di­tional headache of main­tain­ing the place, ad­di­tional man­power, de­posits, reg­is­tra­tions etc.,” said Su­vo­jit Mukher­jee, re­gional man­ager (South In­dia), Pepe Jeans Ltd, adding he is able to save around Rs 20-25,000 ev­ery month as com­pared to leas­ing space at a prime of­fice build­ing in Ben­galuru.

Gu­ru­gram-based food tech com­pany Zo­mato said two of its teams of 20 each in Mum­bai and Kolkata op­er­ate out of co-work­ing cen­tres run by Aw­fis. “Co-work­ing spa­ces come with a plug-and-play set-up and of­fer most ameni­ties that a func­tional of­fice needs, and the over­head of lease lock-ins, and­fur­nish­ing etc is also lower since we have smaller teams work­ing out of th­ese spa­ces,” a spokesper­son.

Ac­cord­ing to Vikas Lakhani, co-founder of Gu­ru­gram-based In­staof­fice Busi­ness So­lu­tions Pvt. Ltd, nearly half of all desks are va­cant in large of­fices and most spa­ces are un­der­utilised. “With co-work­ing spa­ces, you end up sav­ing a lot of the over­all cost of op­er­a­tion ”he said

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