WeWork's Karan Virwani says it’s time Indian startups aim at global markets



Karan Virwani needs no introduction. When people were still trying to get a hang of the shared office space concept, Karan went ahead and formed a joint venture in India with global workspace major WeWork.

Karan spoke about his journey with WeWork, and more, at MobileSparks 2017, in a fireside chat with Madanmohan Rao, Research Director and Writer at YourStory.

It’s all about the experience

Talking about the importance of networking, Karan said, “We’ve seen huge growth in the use of social networking platforms. But at WeWork India, we believe that no matter how much social media progresses, as humans, there is always a need for a physical interaction to really network and connect.”

According to Karan, WeWork is more than just about building co-working spaces. It is about creating an office experience. WeWork, which straddles the real estate and hospitality sectors, offers growing companies a way to enter new cities without the hassle of having to scout for locations and negotiate contracts.

The key mandate at WeWork is to create a vibrant environment that energises the workspace. However, it also ensures that it adds value when it comes to office culture. Karan said, “We add local cultural elements that represent either the city or the area where the office is located. The idea is to create something native that the people of the locality will connect with and be proud to call their office.”

Going global is key

Companies have started to realise the importance of having a good working space. “No one wants a huge corner office and boring executive cabins anymore. Organisations now understand that these are no longer a necessity - sharing is better in this era of innovation,” Karan said, when asked about the growing industry trends.

Karan believes that more than force-fitting a certain culture on a company, WeWork serves as a platform that allows companies to create their own sense of culture. He also spoke about how important it is for companies to take an international leap.

“I think it’s very important for Indian startups to explore the global markets. We have some amazing startups in the country, so I don’t see why they should be constrained to just the Indian market. It’s time we made a mark in the global markets,” he added.


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