Spending your own money on a business is so 90s. Don’t you think so?
I had some savings from my career in digital marketing, but I decided to spend it all on building a co-working space for startups. Do you know why?
India, they say is a great country for startups right now. But at the root of India, when the startup actually has to face ground problems, it is not as rosy as it is on the surface. Every startup has its share of struggles and situations, some of which are under their control, but others are not.
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Infrastructure is one such problem in the country. We have huge portals for property listings like Housing, 99acres, MagicBricks, etc., which wonderfully help us in finding good real estate. But, how good is that real estate for our needs? What we want, do we ever get that in our budgets?
I started my digital marketing firm three years ago. We were totally cash-strapped and were looking for an office space for four people. The budget was obviously less but we wanted a decent office, maybe small but decent.
We searched in the scorching heat, from one real estate broker to another, and found really dingy offices that shared amenities with the neighbouring offices (not to mention what they did with the washrooms). However, if the small offices were good, they were located at a very far off location. If it was for three people, it hardly had space to sit for three people. In no way you can invite a client there or take an interview there.
Not to mention the power failures, the never ending office boy chase, the furnishing over-heads, and the electricity problems.
But we were trying to build a good brand, we were digital marketers, we wanted to concentrate on our business. I had visited some co-working spaces during that time, but they were not in the area I wanted to put up my office at.
After all those grave struggles we faced, I had determined that the day I have the capability, I will build a co-working space for startups where small teams could have a decent place to work out of. They could actually take interviews, proudly invite clients, and network with other people going through the same phase in life.
This business is not really profitable. It doesn’t give you as much money as a tech startup or for that matter even a digital services company would give. However, I did not want anyone else in and around Noida to face what we had to in our early days.
They say you should spend your savings in something that gives you happiness and satisfaction. Building this space gives me satisfaction that I have at least tried my best to help startups get a decent and affordable place to work out of. The startup community had helped me a lot when I was totally cash-strapped and struggling. Now it’s my turn to solve at least one of their problems.