Co-working space provider Awfis Space Solutions Pvt. Ltd., which has more than 25,000 seats located in nine cities across 55 locations, has chalked out a plan to increase its seat capacity eight times to 2,00,000 in three years, a top company official said.
The company’s clients include start-ups, freelancers and even small and big companies looking for convenience and affordable workplaces.
“There is big demand for our spaces. There is so much latent demand and then there is so much vacancy in Indian commercial real estate. We see lot of demand from SMEs and big corporates,” said Amit Ramani, founder-CEO, Awfis Space Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
To cater to this demand, the company is planning to expand its operations and will be in 15 cities in the next 36 months.
“We will add tier 2 cities. We are in nine cities now and will be in Chennai soon. Then, we will expand to Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Indore and Bhubaneswar,” he said.
“In our first year in 2016, we had less than 1,000 seats, next year we had 3,000, today we are 25,000 in the third year of our journey. We will now go to 45,000 seats and plan to scale up to 2,00,000 to 2,50,000 seats in the next 3-4 years. So that is the kind of expansion plan we have,” Mr. Ramani said. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are a big focus area of the company. “SME are getting into better office infrastructure at a comparable or better price and better value. Today, almost 50% of our business comes from SMEs and that is the largest segment,” Mr. Ramani said.
The company has so far raised $51 million and is currently jointly owned by Mr. Ramani, Three Sisters Institutional Office, and Sequoia Capital.
It had been tripling revenue every year. In FY17, the revenue which was ₹18 crore rose to ₹56 crore in FY18 and in FY19 it expected a revenue of ₹170 crore. “From October this year, we are profitable at the company level,” he said.
A recent phenomenon, co-working space has gained in prominence in India faster than the West and contributed a lot for absorption of commercial real estate space in the country,
“In India the adoption of co-working has been very quick as compared to global markets,” said Sumit Lakhani, CMO, Awfis Space Solutions.
“Co working trend in the U.S. started in 2007-08 and it took almost seven years for enterprises to warm up to the concept. The first 6-7 years it was primarily for start-ups and freelancers. But in India, in the last two years, every large Indian corporate to MNC to SME has quickly adapted to it though it is a major culture change,” Mr. Lakhani added.
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