These 5 Indian companies are betting big in the coworking space sector
The coworking spaces sector came to a standstill when the lockdown was imposed. However, experts believe that the sector is bound to grow in the near future.
Over the last decade, coworking spaces garnered more interest among entrepreneurs and freelancers. Across India, many companies started offering these services at reasonable prices.
While this trend was growing significantly in the metros, even in Tier-II and III cities, the COVID-19 pandemic halted its progress. However, experts believe that the sector is bound to grow in the near future.
SMBStory lists five coworking spaces that are bullish on the coworking space sector.
The coworking culture has even travelled to Tier-II and III areas and holds a promising future. Though coronavirus has hit the coworking space sector severely, according to an industry expert, “The trend is expected to rise, slowly but surely. The fact that over 13 million people are already set to join the coworking league – most probably by 2020 – proves that there is no end to its growth, but only beginnings to newer opportunities and possibilities.”
To provide affordable office spaces, Mihir Shah and Nainesh Kapadia started coworking company YesssWorks in 2019 in Mumbai. Today, it has four coworking spaces across Mumbai and Pune, starting at Rs 7,000 per seat.
YesssWorks understands the need for flexible and ergonomically designed workspaces that are economical and provides a comfortable space. Keeping the emerging need of budget-friendly spaces in mind, the company was launched with its first space in Andheri, Mumbai. The second space was opened in Pune in less than a year of operations. The pre-COVID-19 annual revenue run rate of YesssWorks was Rs 5.25 crore.
Coworking spaces, an unheard-of concept just a decade ago, have become a preferred option for many startups and companies whose millennial workforce enjoys the perks of non-traditional office spaces.
Riding the trend is ABL Workspaces, founded in 2017 by husband-wife duo Ankur and Akshita Gupta. Based in Delhi, the coworking space provider has a total of 10 centres—with another four underway — and 2,700 seats, each priced between Rs 6,000 and 1,6000 per month.
ABL Workspaces has 10 buildings across Noida, Green Park, and Connaught Place, but these are not owned by the company. Rather, it works on three different models: lease, revenue sharing, and profit-sharing. Its occupants include employees of Bira, Lodha, Livspace, and Zomato, among others.
Started in 2016 by Gurbinder Rattha, Workafella likes to be cautious and expand in a carefully-planned manner.
Workafella aims to make a decent margin at each of its coworking centres before thinking of leasing a space for a new one. Gurbinder doesn't disclose Workafella's financials, but says the company offers 9,000 coworking seats, or workstations, in Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. Another 6,000 seats are said to be under construction currently.
Gurbinder says his experience with the Rattha Group helped him understand the real estate sector.
"I saw that the real estate market for office spaces was changing. Earlier, companies wanted bare-shell properties (properties in which the developer only readies its basic structure and core facilities). Then, companies started wanting more, such as other facilities, add-ons, luxuries, and even serviced offices," he says.
Gurbinder sought to tap into this demand and bring in more revenue for the Rattha Group. He says he started Workafella keeping in mind the group's strength in real estate partnerships and its understanding of value addition in the same space.
Coworking spaces today have become popular among startups, and are seeing exponential growth in India. The country has become the second-largest market for flexible workspaces in APAC, second only to China.
It was the vision to provide a sustainable ecosystem for these young innovators that inspired entrepreneur Sanjay Choudhary to start Incuspaze, a premium co-working space, in 2017.
Sanjay tells SMBStory, "We launched our first centre in Gurugram and then went on to further expand our horizons. In a short span of three years, we can proudly say that we are one of the fastest-growing coworking spaces in the country with a substantial presence in both tier-I and II cities."
Incuspaze says some of its biggest tenants include brands such as Fusion, Bira, BYJU’s, National House Building Council (NHBC), The Tech Tree, and more. It also collaborated with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for its property in Connaught Place, New Delhi.
As the demand for coworking spaces grows, brands such as WeWork, 91springboard, and Ixora, are becoming popular. But Bengaluru-based Brands of India winner in the real estate category IndiQube is trying to be different from the others.
By operating across workspace segments, IndiQube’s clients range from professionals using one seat to enterprises with 500 seats and above.
But most of IndiQube’s competitors, which operate in the coworking segment, cater to companies with less than 20 seats, says Rishi Das (44), Co-founder, IndiQube. According to him, IndiQube has developed the expertise to cater to the dynamic needs of clients and onboard them into the business’ growing ecosystem.
“This makes for a diverse client base, flexibility, and growth options, and a strong community. These are the key differentiators of IndiQube,” he adds.
Launched in 2015, it has already crossed over two million square feet of functional workspace. It has over 500 clients at the moment, Rishi adds. It has housed brands such as Levis, redBus, Bluestone, Scripbox, FreshMenu, NoBroker, Rubrik, Thoughtspot, Fungible, Lendingkart, Cleo, and Eximius, among others.
Edited by Suman Singh