Shared workspace concept catches on in India

13 April 2016

Shared workspace concept catches on in India

  • LiveMint

A few smaller developers are in talks with providers of shared working space as they seek to monetize underutilized commercial assets.

Shared working space, a concept popular among start-ups and entrepreneurs in the West, is starting to find takers in India.

A handful of smaller developers have initiated talks with providers of shared working space as they seek to capture the trend and monetize underutilized commercial assets.

US-based office rental firm WeWork, which announced plans to enter India on 15 January, is in talks with developers including Bengaluru-based RMZ Ltd and Embassy Group, Mumbai-based Wadhwa Group and K Raheja Corp., according to people involved in the discussion.

The Wadhwa Group, which operates high-end commercial office buildings in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), confirmed that it is in discussion with the New-York based firm.

“It is at discussion stage right now,” said Navin Makhija, managing director, Wadhwa Group, refusing to divulge further details on talks with WeWork.

Spokespersons for RMZ Ltd and K Raheja Corp. declined to comment.

“We have no comments, confirmations or announcements at this point,” said a spokesperson for Embassy Group in an email response.

Similarly, a spokesperson for WeWork said, “We have nothing to share at this time but we’ll be in touch if this changes,” in response to an email query sent on 14 January 2016.

Some deals for shared office spaces have already been closed.

Last month, Mumbai-based Hubtown Ltd, formerly known as Ackruti City Ltd, partnered with office service provider Awfis Space Solutions Pvt. Ltd to create a co-working office at Akruti Trade Centre, a commercial property owned by the real estate firm in Mumbai’s Andheri East.

Awfis Space Solutions will convert the 12,000 sq.ft space into a 200-seater office area targeting start-ups or those looking for a flexible workspace for a limited period.

With a minimal fee ranging between Rs.400 per day for renting a desk to as much as Rs.13,000 per month for taking up a private cabin, tenants can have access to facilities such as a common cafeteria, meeting rooms and other office facilities within the building.

Hubtown, which has entered into a revenue sharing model with Awfis Space Solutions, expects the concept of shared workspaces to catch up in the next three to four years and says that it is looking at replicating the model in other buildings as well.

“It is a new concept in India. It is a bit of risk but globally it has worked pretty well, particularly in the US for the last four-five years. One thing that works with this model is the utilization of space. It is easier to give the space that is lying underutilized,” Rushank Shah, promoter and director at Hubtown Ltd, said.

Awfis Space Solutions has also leased around 10,000 sq.ft of space from Poddar Developers in central Mumbai’s Lower Parel area, where it is currently operating a 230-seat co-working office.

Around 30% of the total seats have been occupied in a span of less than two months since it began operational in December last year, said Amit Ramani, co-founder, Awfis Space Solutions.

“Historically, the idea of shared workspaces was more about a providing short-term solution by developers for their long-term clients. They would rent out a small area, provide them an incubation space for a few months or a year till the building is ready. Now they (real estate firms) want to run this as a business,” said Ram Chandnani, managing director (transactions), CBRE South Asia Pvt. Ltd, a real estate consultant.

The concept, however, will work better in some markets and areas than others.

Wadhwa’s Makhija said the concept of shared workspaces will find more takers in tier II and tier III office buildings where the rentals are relatively low. It will be a challenge to popularise such a concept in high-end buildings. Ramani agrees that grade A office spaces are not suitable for shared office spaces.

Awfis launches e-commerce portal for WFH professionals

12 April 2021

Awfis launches e-commerce portal for WFH professionals

  • Posted by Arathy Nair

Bengaluru: Flexible workspace provider Awfis Space Solutions Pvt Ltd has launched its e-commerce platform to offer work-from-home (WFH) focused products as remote working continues to be the norm in the wake of the second wave of covid-19.

The e-commerce platform is in line with Awfis being an integrated workspace solutions provider, the company said on Tuesday. It will offer a range of desks and ergonomic chairs from affordable to premium price range.

WFH furniture has seen steady demand since last year across different e-commerce platforms. In line with this, Awfis said it has launched a direct-to-customer opportunity for easier accessibility by the consumers, primarily professionals between 25 and 55 years of age, who are currently working from home.

“We are excited to launch shop.awfis.com in line with Awfis’ vision to be a leading integrated workspace solutions provider. Through this offering, we aspire to continue to cater to the evolving workspace demands of discerning clients, across the spectrum,” said Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO, Awfis. “Most of us today are facing the new reality of hybrid work models and working remotely is now here to stay. Awfis Shop is the first of its kind offering by a co-working player, which combines functionality with convenience to offer both individuals and enterprises with best-in-class products while working remotely.”

Last year, Awfis had launched Awfis@Home that provides the flexibility to efficiently work from home while replicating the setting of a productive office work environment. Till date, Awfis has sold over 2000 units of work-from-home setup and the success of the offline model has led to the launch of the new e-commerce portal, which is an extension of the Awfis@Home offering.

The online Awfis shop would cater to both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) customers and will supply across all the key metro cities, Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets.

In the coming months, Awfis Shop plans to add more products to the platform.

This story appeared in the April  6 2021 issue of  LiveMint and was originally published at: Awfis launches e-commerce portal for WFH professionals (livemint.com)

Co – working Spaces Find a New Address : Shopping Malls

21 August 2018

Co – working Spaces Find a New Address : Shopping Malls

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Mumbai: Shopping malls, particularly underperforming ones, are becoming a favourite destination for setting up shared office spaces. Cheaper rentals, availability of large spaces and easier access to recreational facilities in shopping complexes are luring co-working office providers to malls. For co-working office providers such as Awfis Space Solutions Ltd, IWG Plc, The Hive and SmartWorks, shopping complexes provide one of the fastest and efficient ways to open co-working offices.
Apart from getting attractive deals, such retail destinations offer the right setting for an informal environment, a theme most co-working spaces thrive on, said executives of these companies.
Shared office provider SmartWorks Ltd is in the process of converting Pune’s Central Mall, which has been shut for the past two years, into a co-working office.
Nitesh Sarda, founder, SmartWorks, said the company is currently in talks with more than 20 landlords of the 120,000 sq. ft shopping complex to convert it into a co-working office.
He expects to start work on the complex in two-three months.
“Firstly, malls are now open to the idea of converting into a commercial space. There are a lot of collaborative areas that are designed in a mall which is quite attractive. Location is a big factor and some of the older malls are located right in the residential pocket,” said Sarda.
Awfis Space Solutions has opened co-working offices at five shopping malls in Mumbai, Pune and Gurugram.
The firm has chosen malls where footfalls have significantly dropped in 2-3 years or are under-utilized areas in a shopping complex to open shared office spaces.
For instance, Awfis operates a 30,000 sq. ft co-working office on the sixth floor of Ambience mall at Gurugram. Besides, it has also opened centres each in Raghuleela and Heera Panna mall in Mumbai and Nucleus mall in Pune.
According to Sumit Lakhani, chief marketing officer, Awfis, the higher floors of mall which are less popular among retailers provide an attractive deal to set up such shared offices.
“The rental difference between ground floor and higher floors is 35-40%. Access to parking spaces and security system are also well taken care off. Besides, most malls are generally located in some of the best locations around,” he said.
Luxembourg-based International Workplace Group (IWG) operates four Regus business centres out of shopping complexes in Delhi, Noida, Bengaluru and Chennai.
It has also recently opened a co-working office under the brand SPACES at City Centre mall in Chennai.
“Co-working is still looked at as an informal work space. Several firms may not like to associate with a mall as a workplace but for a co-working office, malls provide the right setting. Abundant parking spaces, along with a good amount of food and beverage areas within a mall, becomes a good fit for setting up co-working offices,” said Harsh Lambah, country manager (India), IWG.
For developers, leasing out to such office providers allows them to utilize areas in a shopping mall that are less popular among retailers. “A mall makes a whole lot of sense for co-working office providers. They don’t have to invest anything on food, entertainment and other facilities. Besides, for malls, it provides captive customer inside a mall,” said Pankaj Renjhen, chief operating officer, Virtuous Retail, part of private equity firm Xander Group.

Xander’s co-working office venture, The Hive, operates two centres at its two VR malls in Bengaluru and Chennai.

Visit the below link to read the online article:

https://www.livemint.com/Companies/4s9TSGKhkoe2IJuC12uv2O/Startup-coworking-spaces-find-a-new-address-shopping-malls.html

Realising that small space limits the capacity to design settings was a click moment: Amit Ramani

09 August 2018

Realising that small space limits the capacity to design settings was a click moment: Amit Ramani

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Amit Ramani says we decided to build centres with a capacity of 350-400 seats, to facilitate community interaction and enable members to collaborate, exchange ideas and create a productive work environment.

Shared workplaces attract people from diverse backgrounds and provide just the right environment for members to connect with like-minded individuals. When we started operations in 2015 with our very first centre, our objective was to redefine the traditional office model and integrate workplaces with a sense of community on the back of collaboration and enriching experiences.

Our learnings from operating this small 70-seater centre were critical for our long-term business success. We gained two major insights from this experience—the optimal size for a co-working space to trigger community engagement and the network that is needed to sustain it in the long run. The idea behind this small centre was to foster personal interactions between members at such a level that everyone would know each other on a first name basis.
However, we realized that a small space limited our capacity to design appropriate activity-based settings like collaboration zones, meeting pods break-out zones that foster collaboration. This centre with its limited seating capacity did not work well for us even on unit economics. It was with these learnings that came our click moment and we decided to build centres with a capacity of 350-400 seats, an optimum workplace size to facilitate community interaction and enable members to collaborate, exchange ideas and create a productive work environment. This size also allows ample space to experiment with designs and collaboration zones within the centres.

In the last few years, we’ve placed immense thrust on building a cohesive reach of our centres within 10 minutes of driving radius across cities in India. Today, Awfis stands strong with a robust network of 55 centres across nine cities in India and a strong community of 15,000 professionals.

There was one moment when fate turned their way, a moment that they can look back upon and say, that was when it started.

Visit the below link to read the online article:

https://www.livemint.com/Companies/tPKmIMjJPQVTspJ6oA23vO/Realising-that-small-space-limits-the-capacity-to-design-set.html