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