Co-working latest trend for entrepreneurs
If you thought co-working was all about optimising costs and going for a plush office space to conserve resources alone – you gotta think again. Entrepreneurs are increasingly veering towards co-working spaces that allow perfect settings for networking and creativity all within their premises.
A Nasscom report predicts that India will house as many as 11,500 tech startups by 2020. Clearly such a burgeoning rise will fuel the demand for workspaces that are not just economical and flexible in outlook but also new age in their cultural mix.
And it is not just small businesses that are on the lookout for up and coming co-working spaces. In recent times major conglomerates have also taken to such office networks for varying reasons. Chinese ecommerce major Alibaba, for instance, took space in CoWrks in Bengaluru to kickstart its operations in the country. Even companies like GE, Accenture, Paypal and Dr Reddy have shown active interest in the segment in recent times. Some corporates also see this as a convenient option for employees to avoid long traffic hours via their ‘work near home’ model in a co-work space and thus acting as a win-win for both.
Real estate consultancy Colliers International throws light on some key aspects in its research on co-working spaces. It estimates that co-working operators are planning to lease 8 to 9 million sq feet by 2020, up from the present 1.2 million sq feet! The research forecasts that such office spaces are expected to especially mushroom in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurugram on the back of good infrastructural facilities and the immense scope of growth potential for such startups in these cities.
So what really works? To start with, it is not just an office space as we know it. This ups the ante – here you can be a part of a robust community which pushes the envelope on a diverse range of networking events, stress free zones, meditation centres and varied hobby related pursuits. It redefines the typical work environment to include a host of people who want to be part of a community that nurtures talent, innovation and creativity.
Moreover, the flexibility in the cost dynamics acts out as a great incentive as well – inhabitants have the option to upscale or downscale without worrying about fixed costs as is the case in usual leases. Lower overheads, swanky work spaces and a hub promoting collective innovation end up being a great pull for entrepreneurs looking to carve a niche for themselves in their chosen fields. With the majority of the demand coming from startups, freelancers, entrepreneurs, bloggers, informal work groups and part timers, the varying price plans that can accommodate everyone at a co-work space are undoubtedly attractive to such professionals.
The future then is surely bright for co-work operators looking to cash in on the boom that has taken the startup industry in the country in its grip. The concept may still be relatively nascent in India as compared to the West but it is well on its way now to finding a strong foothold in the country and is poised for a dynamic growth in the times to come.