#5 Upcoming Trends in 2017 that Co-working Spaces Should Prepare for

12 April 2017

#5 Upcoming Trends in 2017 that Co-working Spaces Should Prepare for

  • Entrepreneur India

The number of co-working spaces has increased considerably in India and abroad in the recent years. What apparently started as a trend has, with time, attracted many start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for its cost-effective facility. Even big companies are slowly embracing this unique concept.  The entire concept of a usual workplace has undergone a complete transformation. Compared to traditional offices, the co-working spaces provide a comfortable working environment, besides taking care of other factors like flexibility and cost effectiveness.

In a conversation with the Entrepreneur India, Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis, shared his view about the upcoming trend this year towards opting for co-working spaces. The facility is working wonders for start-ups, which are looking forward to scale up their business and are ready to share a co-working space.

Concept Of Workplace Will Change

“The notion of work itself will change and so will people’s way of perceiving work related to desk. Wearable tools and technology will ensure that you really don’t need to be connected to laptop physically. Instead, you could use your Google Glass to do your work in advance and be a little ahead of time. I can wear this tool of advanced technology and get my work done,” he said.

Workplace Design

“Earlier, I arranged for a desk and chair in tandem with the notion of work that tells you need a desktop. Now with the laptop you have the freedom to work for hours in a relaxed posture and also its wireless. Before 2000, it was all about the hierarchy. From 2000 to 2010 it was about the collaboration. So team work and collaboration came into play,” he highlighted.

Choice Will Become Important

Today, the employee is at the center of attention and a workplace should be designed the way employees want it to be, Ramani said. “This is precisely the reason why giant companies like Facebook and Google have a desk in their offices, but have also kept bean bags to laze around. The work will change to become employee-driven. So the employees’ comforts will define the workplace. The office atmosphere should be adaptable so that if I want to sit on a sofa and work, I should be able to do that,” he opined.

Create a Network of Spaces

The idea that the city requires three to four large co-working centers and 2,000 seats in three locations across the city will not work anymore, Ramani said. “A network of spaces has to be created. If my business is in the South- Ex area, I need to have a co-working centre in South –Ex. Multiple centers should be built across the city. The network effect will be important because people will not like to waste time commuting,” he added.

Co-working Category Will Have Few Big Players Left

“When we started two years ago, there were four co-working spaces, today there are 115 in the country. The fact is even if a landlord gives you free space, you have to pay for the lights and furniture. Ultimately, I feel that only a few big boys will not come under this category as it happens in every case. Business centers will slowly merge with the co-working spaces. It’s not that companies will stop making headquarters. If I have to build headquarters in Gurgaon for 3,000 people it will come up, but in future companies will stop setting small offices, in addition to large headquarters,” he added.

(This Awfis coverage appeared on Entrepreneur India on April 12, 2017. You can read the original story here.)

Flexible Working: The New Normal Of a Post-COVID World

23 February 2021

Flexible Working: The New Normal Of a Post-COVID World

  • Posted by Arathy Nair

The novel coronavirus has impacted every industry today and the co-working space is no exception. We are slowly tracing our steps back to the business-as-usual mode as it is time to embrace the new normal when it comes to working and productivity.

Co-working spaces have been at the epicenter of collaboration and flexibility for a diverse group of audiences ranging from multinationals to new-age startups and even the lone wolves—freelancers. The allure of shared desks and common space may dampen with the new social distancing laws and can bring a shift in the core functioning of a shared workspace.

However, things may not be as bleak as they seem because remote workers still need to work. According to an early-April 2020 MIT survey of 25,000 American workers, it was found that nearly half the US workforce has been working from home due to COVID-19. A similar trend has been witnessed around the world for the first time. In India, most IT giants have announced work from home as a permanent solution, even in a post COVID-19 world. More than 70 per cent of companies are likely to continue the work-from-home policy for a percentage of their total staff for the next six months to maintain social distancing and for business continuity, according to a survey by Knight Frank.

We are at the behest of our livelihoods and not having one can have a devastating impact. In fact, according to the report of Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), over 119 workers have lost their jobs within the first two weeks of the lockdown. In such cases, those who have been freelancing or working remotely full-time, need to double up on their efforts and need to work. The usual desk at home is not exactly a long-term solution for many. Additionally, not all Indian households are equipped for optimum efficiency and output as infrastructure and technology continue to pose a challenge. In such cases, appropriate working solutions are the need of the hour.

Not all organizations can rely on big office spaces but need a fully equipped office space to carry out day-to-day operations. While it is not easy to overcome this challenge, it is achievable with the help of co-working spaces. With a vast network of centres in the city, they offer corporates the flexibility to follow an effective hub and spoke model, keeping in mind the well-being of their employees in the current scenario.

While in some places, easing up restrictions is witnessing an influx of ‘normalcy’, certain regions continue to be under the spell of lockdown. Unlock 1.0 was implemented to restart the economy which also meant getting back to offices while following government SOPS. However, it has been witnessed that the majority of the workforce, despite offices implementing stringent sanitization methods and social distancing measures, continues to work from home as they save the travel time and cost with zero commuting, they have a flexible environment to carry of their tasks and are able to maintain a better work life balance.

This story appeared in the 10 August , 2020 issue of Entrepreneur India and is authored by Amit Ramani, Founder and CE0, Awfis. This article was originally published at: Flexible Working: The New Normal Of a Post-COVID World (entrepreneur.com)

This Start-up is Leveraging Technology to Make Smart & Affordable Co-working Spaces with The recent Fundraise

06 September 2019

This Start-up is Leveraging Technology to Make Smart & Affordable Co-working Spaces with The recent Fundraise

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Co-working spaces are one of the biggest examples of disruption in the real estate space. With over 450 co-working places in the country currently, these spaces in India have transformed the office culture of India.

Awfis, a co-working startup founded in 2015, by Amit Ramani recently raised US$30 million in the fourth funding round led by Chrys Capital. Existing investors, Sequoia India & The Three Sisters Institutional Office also participated in the current round.  Currently, it has 30,000 seats across 63 centers in 9 cities.

Ramani says that co-working spaces have disrupted the commercial real estate segment. He says, “The Indian commercial real estate sector was highly unorganized with little to no transparency & lack of conducive work environment. Coworking spaces identified a gap which existed in the CRE segment for Grade A workspaces at affordable prices and are providing flexible solutions to their clients.”

With this fundraise, Chrys Capital has ventured into co-working for the first time, “We have a long-established history of investing across financial services, healthcare, life sciences and consumer brands etc. so far. With Awfis, ChrysCapital has now ventured into the co-working sector for the first time.”

Ramani also highlights that more and more investors have now started investing in co-working spaces and have realized the vast business potential in this market.

He also added that the funding will be utilized in sustaining the position that Awfis holds in the industry and also in expansion. He said, “We plan to add 2,00,000 seats & 400 centres in 36 months. The investment will also be used to enter new micro markets across Tier 1 & 2 cities in India while penetrating further into existing markets.”

He further added that they are introducing innovative products/solutions for community members attract untapped customer segments. He said, “The capital will be utilized to capture a larger share of CRE market through Awfis Enterprise Solutions (AES),its B2B offering. Awfis aims to further mobilize technology to build smart yet affordable workspaces for the workforce of ‘New India.’”

Making a Mark in this Crowded Sector

The co-working space is becoming an increasingly crowded market with new ones getting launched month after month. How does Awfis plan to combat competition with other rivals like Innov8, GoHive, WeWork, 91 Springboard?

Amit Ramani feels that the product is “well attuned for Indian market.” He also added, “. Awfis takes a different route than any other industry players, we are more “value driven” and are betting on that for a much larger market share. We are very different from a commercial real estate perspective and we have built knowledge of micro-markets across India and are expanding beyond CBDs in key cities and into new locations.”

The focus of Awfis is more SMEs and corporate driven and that provides it an edge over its competitors according to Ramani.

Awfis reaches more enterprise and SME driven customers who focus on value. “We are happy taking a more value-focused approach and are also looking to the meat of the market – SMEs and corporates,” Ramani concludes.

Please visit the below link to read the published article:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/339065

Nitin Gadkari Plans to Take Indian MSMEs Global Through E-commerce

28 June 2019

Nitin Gadkari Plans to Take Indian MSMEs Global Through E-commerce

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), currently contributing 29 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) hold the potential to take the figure up to 50 per cent in the next 5 years and Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari has a plan in place to ensure the target is met.

With much dialogue around e-commerce already going on, Indian MSMEs might be the next in line to hitch the stakes by entering the space. The Indian government is reportedly considering a proposal to set up an e-commerce platform for MSMEs to be marketed across the world.

Addressing the International SME Convention on June 27th, the Minister of MSMEs hinted that people from across the world should be able to reach the micro and small entrepreneurs of the country through the platform. “The ministry has already begun working in this direction,” he shared.

“For the marketing purpose, I have already suggested to my department that we need a platform like Alibaba or Amazon where MSMEs are there and anyone in the world can access that and see what products they are offering,” Gadkari provided.

The Plan
Gadkari believes that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s vision of India becoming a $5 trillion economy can only be fulfilled if MSMEs, often touted as the backbone of the nation’s economy, are helped out of the bottlenecks they currently battle, including the lack of credit, infrastructure and especially, technical advancements.

“We are a rich country, but a poor population. Skilled manpower, the appropriate policy will help us achieve the goal of $5 trillion economy,” he said. The employment within the MSME sector can be extended to 15 crores from around 11 crores at present.

The Push
Indian MSMEs have been witnessing the growth push from all directions. While the government is taking its own measures to take them global, the startups have been making efforts to promote the industry. GlobalLinker, a unique SME enablement ecosystem has tied up with Awfis to allow small business owners to work from anywhere without experiencing loss in productivity.

Recently, Flipkart also decided to revamp its ‘Growth Capital’ seller financing program. This will allow over one lakh MSME sellers on the platform to avail credit at competitive interest rates from non-banking financial companies (NBFC) and banks.

Please visit the below link to read the published article:
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/335989