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

  • Entrepreneur India

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

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

Why Coworking is Perfect for Building a Strong Workspace Community

06 March 2019

Why Coworking is Perfect for Building a Strong Workspace Community

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The ability to work and share experiences with like-minded and compatible human beings helps to form a healthy social-professional spectrum that breeds creativity

Historically, the human sense of community can be traced back to roots of their existence. Humans are actually hardwired to be connected with each other as part of a community. At the very onset of our existence, we understood that hunting, gathering and agriculture were easier to accomplish together. From there on, humans established some of the first civilizations: Communities bound together by the common goal of survival. Traditionally, communities were formed basis geographic sense of place like neighbourhood or a milieu (such as temple, church, recreation centers) where people congregated. Common interests & values, social ties, profession and diversity were accompanying factors around which communities formed and co-existed. In 1986, social psychologists McMillan & Chavis defined the Social Capital of community as “a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together.”

Amidst rapid socio-economic evolution, as institutions and hierarchies erode, people globally are rebuilding a sense of community, to reinstate collective optimism in their lives. The daily struggles, stress and chaos of modern life make communities a source of support for individuals. With the best part of our day spent in a workspace among co-workers, the communities at commercial enterprises have become significant and a primary touchpoint for psycho-social interactions.

The ability to work and share experiences with like-minded and compatible human beings helps to form a healthy social-professional spectrum that breeds creativity. This, coupled with the fact that 65 percent of our workforce fall into the bracket of young millennials, makes it vital to adopt a heterogeneous and flexible work culture in offices worldwide. Hence, it comes as no surprise that most enterprises are realising the potential of coworking and propagating community building initiatives to bring in a strong sense of belonging among employees.

With 19000 shared workspaces worldwide and over 1.74 million diverse members, coworking industry is leading the wave of enhancing the social-professional experience for startups, freelancers, SMEs and large enterprises by providing the perfect platform for collaboration, commerce and community building. From being restricted to designated cubicle and interacting only with intradepartmental colleagues in traditional offices, coworking has successfully blurred the rigid lines of workspace relationships by allowing for social bonds to be formed beyond demographics and designations.
With the 3Cs, the momentum shift toward coworking is set to continue as it provides a holistic approach toward the modern workspace culture.

Collaboration – In terms of perception and functionality, coworking is largely synonymous to collaboration. There is a high degree of mutual learning between companies and individuals at a shared workspace. Startups gain from the learnings of SMEs, SMEs learn from the experience of established corporates who in turn benefit from the ripple effect of budding innovative startup culture. According to a report, 84 percent of the people working at a coworking space are more engaged and motivated than traditional offices. The collaboration, however, doesn’t just stop at learning from each other. Companies often find mutual corporate needs and may collaborate on a business level to enhance their scope of work as well.

Commerce – The existence of a highly conducive business environment is key to the success of coworking spaces. It opens the door to a world of endless possibilities, led by business alliances and exchange of ideas through innovation and B2B associations. Over 83 percent of the enterprises admit to seeing tangible business benefits after moving to shared workspaces, according to a study.

Community – Connecting enterprises and individuals across different hierarchies, demographics, industries and skill sets is key to building a strong workspace community for sustainable business growth. Coworking also sets an extremely high benchmark in setting a strong corporate and learning culture by organizing appropriate networking and social events to solidify the bond between not just different colleagues and individuals but also between enterprises and their employees. From speaker sessions, frequent celebrations and specially curated experiences, coworking spaces provide a good reason to form social relationships beyond business objectives.

Undoubtedly, the trend of community building and promoting collaboration at workspaces will gain further momentum in the coming years. Developments in artificial intelligence, voice recognition and IoT will soon replace the need for desktops and laptops. In fact, wearable technology will lead to complete workplace mobility, making coworking spaces with ample activity-based settings, the perfect meeting ground for social-professional interactions leading to a sense of belonging, inspiration and motivation.

Please read the published article on the below link:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/329642