Why Coworking is Perfect for Building a Strong Workspace Community

06 March 2019

Why Coworking is Perfect for Building a Strong Workspace Community

  • Entrepreneur India

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

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

Don't Let Hyper-Growth Derail Your Startup: Tips For Startup CEOs

13 June 2018

Don't Let Hyper-Growth Derail Your Startup: Tips For Startup CEOs

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Hyper-growth stage of business development can be a roller coaster ride with unforeseen challenges, complexity and ambiguity in every step.

Congratulations on making it to the next phase of your startup! As a CEO of an early stage venture, you have achieved a significant milestone if your startup has been able to find the product market fit and now moved into the stage of hyper-growth.

As the historical data suggests, 50% of businesses fail before the 5-year anniversary. What is more interesting is 90% of the businesses fail in their growth stage. So if you are the CEO if a hyper-growth business, here are a few important tips for you to keep in mind as you champion your company and organization towards a successful business.

Ajay Singh Founder, Stoodnt.com, a career guidance portal, strongly advocates for building the right team, as he feels it is critical for the leader of an organization to hire complementary team members and build the right leadership team, including the consideration of whether you are the right leader to transition the startup from current stage to the next stage.

What You Do Now Impacts Your Organization In The Long-run

Singh also suggests using cash productively. “If your company is growing at an exponential rate, you need to invest money in hiring, development and driving growth of the business. Having sufficient cash to run and grow operations is one of more important task, so make sure you have a good CFO keeping an eye on cash flow, investment requirements, expenses and fund raising. Approximately 80% of startups die because of poor cash flow,” he explained.

Staying focused on the customer is extremely critical. Your customers have bought your product or service and made your company successful so far. “Do not take your eyes off from servicing and keeping your customer satisfied. They are your biggest assets when you are a young company. If you are not able to service and meet their needs, they will go to a competitor or to other products and services,” notified Singh.

This is also the time to start thinking about processes to scale and Singh says now is the right time for you to start thinking about putting certain processes in place for the organization to scale effectively and efficiently. “Processes can be an impediment when you are early stage startup, but start to get important as you grow and scale. What you do now impacts your company and organization 12-24 months down, as you get larger,” he elaborated.

Open & Honest Dialogue Across Company

When it comes to growth, every company has a unique path to follow. Hyper-growth stage of business development can be a roller coaster ride with unforeseen challenges, complexity and ambiguity in every step. According to Amit Ramani, Founder & CEO of Awfis Space Solutions, a strong leader is required to anticipate and admit the short comings and keep an open and honest dialogue across the company. “For Start-ups it is imperative to have a robust business plan, a clearly outlined list of future endeavours that the organization wishes to achieve against measurable goals. Prioritization of tasks according to its importance and weighing its’ impact on the business also becomes key when on a growth trajectory,” he maintained.

The other essential thing is to focus on strategic hiring where the leader can rely on a strong network of people who will capture the company’s philosophy, remain focused on goals and will ensure all problems are solved on time. “In a hyper-growth state, it is important that CEOs communicate the organization’s vision and ongoing endeavours frequently to internal and external stakeholders to ensure transparency and building employee trust. When your company is expanding at an explosive rate, empower your team by setting directives for them to lead, build your brand and nurture your booming start-up,” enumerated Ramani.

Remain Open To Possibilities & Ideas

Michael Lyngdoh, co-founder, Tripoto, attributes Tripoto’s success to strong support from his employees and investors. “We had to focus the frenetic growth on what really mattered,” he says.

His first tip is to “Identify and focus on your priorities”. They used the Pareto principle to identify the 20% of activities that were bringing 80% of the value. These were marked as non-negotiables. The company would collectively work towards these focus areas and reduce money and time spent on the others.

Lesson number two from him is to hire emotionally adept and agile leaders. “A key reason for Tripoto thriving while many others failed is because our team is made of dedicated and strong employees that are able to transform the way they think and act quickly. We haven’t lost the startup mentality even as we’ve grown,” he says. “People still feel as free to walk up to me or my co-founder Anirudh with ideas as they did when we were a small crew,” enthused Lyngdoh.

This leads him to offer his final recommendation, “Don’t lose the best part of being a startup – the scrappiness! No matter what phase or pace of growth you are at, remain open to possibilities and ideas. Don’t confuse growth with structural rigidity. If you become a large corporate with silos, it will become hard to innovate, create or kill as quickly as you used to when you first started out! These are my key principles for successfully navigating hyper growth for startups.”

Finally, continue iterating, innovating, learning and moving fast. Never lose the sight of being impatient, innovating, learning every day and moving fast on execution. This is what separates success from failure and one of the main reasons why more established companies and brands get disrupted. Congrats again and good luck in your steering your company to bigger success!

View this article from the below link:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/314810

#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

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

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.)