With Snapdeal Tie, Awfis Eyes More Startups For Its Coworking Space

07 November 2016

With Snapdeal Tie, Awfis Eyes More Startups For Its Coworking Space

  • Hindustan Times

Soon, the Andheri West centre facility of coworking hub Awfis might be the next stop for startups.

After SoftBank backed e-commerce major Snapdeal booked a complete floor, with a capacity of about 90 seats, Awfis expects more startups to follow suit.

“This relationship (with Snapdeal) will increase our ability to attract new age businesses to our pro-working spaces and will have a positive impact on our business,” says Amit Ramani, CEO, Awfis Space Solutions.

Coworking spaces are shared office spaces wherein individuals or companies can rent desks for a day, weeks or months, depending on the requirement. As per Tracxn, a startup data tracking firm, there are 61 co-working spaces in India of which 16 were set up in 2016.

Explaining the rationale behind moving into a coworking space, Saurabh Nigam, vice president – human resources, Snapdeal said: “The office is located centrally in Mumbai and provides easy access to public transport, including to Mumbai Metro – important considerations to make the office commute easier for our Mumbai team. Being part of a larger facility will also provide us access to shared facilities like parking, security and cafeteria.”

At Awfis, the rent per desk includes basic amenities like free high speed Wi-Fi, printing credits, unlimited hot beverages, complimentary meeting room credits that can be utilised across any Awfis centre.

However, Snapdeal refrained from commenting on their operational and real estate savings as they move into a coworking set up.

Without giving any details on their deal with Snapdeal, Ramani said: “If a company sets up their own office for 50 persons, they will end up paying 30% higher than Awfis and if they set up office for 50 persons to 90 persons, they will be paying 20% higher than Awfis. Also, unlike conventional leases, Awfis agreements come without security deposit and draconian lock -in periods offering complete tenure flexibility.”

The Andheri Wast facility of Awfis comprise of two floors with 255 seats, four meeting rooms, one meeting lounge, break-out zones and collaboration zone housing companies including media companies Big Synergy and Trilogic Digital Media; ChompFoods, a food and beverage company; Dion Global, IT company; PL International, a construction company; Dreams Univision Interactive Pvt Ltd, an entertainment company and Offing Group, a shipping firm.

With 12 centres across India, over 2,600 desks and 2,300 active members, it is one of the largest coworking hubs. 20% of companies working out of Awfis Space Solutions are traditional companies.

“Established companies are lately choosing work-near-home over work-from-home which is a key benefit for employees to reduce their commute time significantly,” Ramani said.

This Awfis coverage appeared in Hindustan Times on November 7, 2016 under the title ‘With Snapdeal tie, Awfis eyes more startups for its coworking space’. You can read the story at http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/with-snapdeal-tie-https://www.awfis.com/inspiration/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/shutterstock_3835072871.jpg-eyes-more-startups-for-its-coworking-space/story-vqmH3fFNLhzCh1k4ZUrWNP.html
The workplaces of the future

20 December 2019

The workplaces of the future

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The last few years have witnessed a massive change in the workplace preferences of the Indian workforce. There has been a revolutionary shift from traditional offices to shared workspaces, making India the second largest market for co-working spaces, after China.

In the first quarter of 2019 itself, co-working had taken up about 2.9 million square feet commercial realty—a 70% increase on a Q-O-Q basis and a 277% increase on a Y-O-Y basis. The top three cities were NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru. (Source: CBRE).

Co-working is now being recognized as a major portion of the CRE leasing activity, giving tough competition to conventional offices.

Driving this growth is the rise in demand from metros along with Tier 2 and 3 cities. Over 13 million people will work out of co-working spaces by 2020, with tier 2 and 3 leading this change. This demand for co-working spaces was expected to grow at 40% – 50% this year, higher than Asia Pacific’s rate of 35.7% (Source: JLL).

With the economic growth in the top seven cities beginning to saturate, tier 2 and 3 cities have come into reckoning as the growth engines of the future. This is being led by a rise in disposable income, resulting in enormous opportunities for companies looking out for new markets to tap into (Source: Cushman & Wakefield).

Adding to the demand are the SMEs and corporates, who are moving towards co-working spaces for setting up their HQs, satellite offices, back offices, etc. Thus, given the strong demand and momentum that co-working spaces have gathered, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the best is yet to come and that we have only just touched the tip of the iceberg.

With the ever-growing competition, and in order to stay relevant for their clients, co-working players are continuously reinventing and adapting best practices. Thus, there is an immense focus on integrating technology at the heart of all offerings to capture the market share of the millennial workforce that breathes technology.

The advent of autonomous workspaces

Today, digital disruption is all-pervasive. Digital innovation is transforming economies and re-imagining the way businesses are conducted globally. The speed at which technology is evolving today reminds us of the industrial revolution in the 1900s. Every industry is experiencing the positive implications of it including real estate.

If embraced wisely, technology can serve as a catalyst to accelerate businesses, design user-centric workspaces and heighten productivity. Walkable treadmill workstations, pedal tables, virtual assistant-integrated desks and smart sensing technologies will provide untethered flexibility at work. Voice-activated systems and wearable technology such as wearable glasses, embedded chips, and wrist devices connected with work desks will make ‘working on the go’ more productive.

By integrating IoT with AI, co-working spaces can be transformed into smarter, dynamic and interactive offices. Automating the entry and exit, improving security, controlling energy consumption and utilization, and enabling cashless payments allow professionals to work in an accelerated environment. The volumes of data gathered are offering insights for future strategies. Cloud computing, web conferences, instant messaging, and e-diaries have enabled better communication around the world and within organizations. The ability of devices to interact with individuals provides a personalized workspace to inspire productivity.

This is an authored article by Mr. Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO, Awfis. This was originally published at: http://brandleadership.hindustantimes.com/brand_masters/amit-ramani/the-workplaces-of-the-future/?fbclid=IwAR1jk3QkvKC0FzXMJx9sRUIjagBMvpwiBkw0XRa0STggCAVTJCsT1UWeZsw

HT Brand Studio Live (Leadership Series) featured our Founder & CEO, Mr. Amit Ramani

20 December 2019

HT Brand Studio Live (Leadership Series) featured our Founder & CEO, Mr. Amit Ramani

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Watch the video here:

Co-working goes cross-country

30 November 2018

Co-working goes cross-country

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As start-ups sprout in non-metro cities, entrepreneurship catches on, companies based in the metros are offering them workspaces too

Last August, Gorakhpur got its first co-working space, Startup Cafe. When Arunn Guptaa, 30, launched it, he had to start from scratch – the concept didn’t really exist in all of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
“Many weren’t aware of the term. So I made animation video tutorials explaining it and posted them on social media, WhatsApp groups and took out advertisements in local newspapers,” says Guptaa, a graduate in business studies who has previously worked with major e-commerce platforms. Now, 50 people – start-ups and freelancer – work out of the 2,500-sq-ft space.

Awfis, which has made its mark with multiple spaces in the metros, launched an outpost in Chandigarh earlier this month. They already have centres in Hyderabad and Pune. Within three months, they plan to foray into Ahmedabad and after that, non-metros like Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Indore.

Elsewhere, young entrepreneurs are launching co-working spaces in cities like Surat, Rajkot, Udaipur and Panaji. They’re offering services like GST registration, incorporating local elements in designs and layout, and organising networking events to boost local start-up ecosystem.

According to a research report for 2017-18 by real-estate services firm JLL, there are approximately 350 co-working players / service providers operating an estimated 500 shared workspaces across the country, compared to less than 30 centres in 2010. The bulk of this segment is restricted to seven cities – Mumbai, Delhi/ NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata. But smaller markets like Jaipur, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Kochi are expected to see a boom in this segment, the research suggests.

“The entrepreneurial spirit in smaller cities has exponentially increased their potential to be up-and-coming hubs of co-working spaces,” says Amit Ramani, CEO and founder of Awfis.
Akshit Mehta, founder of Vorq Space that has two co-working centres in Mumbai, agrees. “A NASSCOM report says that lndia is expected to have as many as 11,000 start-ups in the tech domain alone by 2020, of which a significant number will be based in non-metro cities,” he says.

Responding to this potential, Mehta has chalked out a plan to penetrate non-metros markets. “By 2020, we want to open 10 more co-working spaces. The focus locations in the first phase are Arpora in Goa, Surat, Nashik and Puducherry.”
Availability of space, high speed internet and more importantly, low-cost leases, are also encouraging entrepreneurs to focus on non-metros. “Government initiatives like smart cities mission have enhanced real-estate growth in these regions, making it easier to provide Grade A workspaces at affordable prices,” Ramani says.

Based on the non-metro markets they are in, the spaces also feature local elements in their design.
At 9lSpringboard in Panaji, vibrant murals sport anchors and lighthouses. “Cultural sensibility also plays an important role,” says Ramani.

Launching co-working space in a non-metro has its risks and challenges, though. The first is familiarising locals with the concept. “Explaining benefits was a big challenge,” says Abhinandan Gupta, 28, founder and CEO of Adited, which launched its first space in Indore, a 34-seater, in November 2015 and now has three spaces in that city. “For first three months, we had just two small IT companies working with us. So we started focusing on networking events, which helped us build good reach. We reached 100% occupancy at our first branch in about six months.”
Once they understand it, the formula offers a win-win for the growing number of entrepreneurs in non-metro cities – they get office space without hassle of running it themselves or maintaining it; plus, they can network with other entrepreneurs at no extra cost.

Interior designer Anubhav Suri has been working out of a co-working space with a team of three members at Startup Café in Gorakhpur for five months. “Monthly rental for a 200-sq-ft office space would be Rs 20,000. I’d have to spend extra on infrastructure and amenities. Here, I can rent a fully equipped cabin for Rs 5,000 per month,” he says.

The above article was published in Hindustan Times- Mumbai Edition on 30th November 2018