New Delhi, September 16: Coworking is the current buzz word in the commercial real estate space. It has changed the face of the office sector in India in the recent years. It is thereby providing a thriving work environment for young professionals.
“As of 2018, the coworking industry in India makes up for 10 per cent of the total leasing market. Although this trend gained momentum later than the US and Europe, it seems to have caught up nevertheless. The difference between the Indian coworking industry and its global counterpart is that companies in India mostly prefer private seating than open workstations. Another difference is that of events. It is an integral part of coworking spaces around the world but is not essentially of utmost priority in India,” said Mukul Pasricha, Founder and CEO, Spring House Coworking.
Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC) – a global property developer headquartered in Thailand – has entered India by launching its first project ‘Whizdom Club.’ The company has introduced its first collaborative workspace ‘Whizdom Club’ at Greater Kailash-II in south Delhi. Spread across 22,000 square feet, the club will have over 400 seats.
Asked about the reason for entering Indian coworking space, Chulamas Jitpatima (Amy), Director, MQDC India Real Estate, said, “When talking about the coworking segment, it’s one of the fastest-growing segments in the commercial real estate. India being the third largest hub for start-ups is another factor making the segment more attractive for global companies like us, drawing them towards the country. With the benefits that coworking spaces offer, it is no surprise that the coworking ecosystem is growing exponentially.”
While distinguishing Indian coworking spaces from other places in the world, she said coworking spaces in India are turning out to be the cult trend as compared to many other countries.
“This is due to the high majority of youth in India’s demography. Coworking spaces are thereby providing a thriving work environment for young professionals. Most of the young professionals in India today include freelancers, introducing a new form of the economy called ‘Gig Economy’. Freelancers and even start-up employees and founders prefer a very flexible work environment and look for a place where they can build professional connections and even unwind. Hence the coworking spaces in India have a strong focus on community building to cater to their needs,” she added.
In India, the coworking spaces are cost-effective in leasing; most MNCs in India are adopting such spaces.
“Lastly, considering the youth in the country, who happen to be highly creative and entrepreneurial, coworking spaces are adopting creative elements such as- a nature-themed workspace(bringing in outdoor and natural elements in the workspace), home away from home theme(mimicking the spaces found at home), a ‘frustration zone’( a boon for all the frustrated and short-tempered workers). As a result, the growth of coworking spaces in India has skyrocketed faster than in many countries,” said Jitpatima.
Pasricha said one growing trend in the coworking industry is that of unique spaces. These customised spaces cater to particular sectors and segments and facilitate the growth of the targeted professionals.
Another upcoming trend is that of sustainability. Coworking spaces anyway promote sustainability through shared workspaces and facilities. Some global operators are also adopting greener initiatives like ‘bike to work’ to help reduce pollution.
The trend of enterprises and corporates shifting to the coworking office model is also on the rise.
“The large companies prefer to be part of the coworking set up as it helps them save time with respect to the administrative challenges on a day-to-day basis. The Indian coworking space operators also provide enterprise clients with an option of Built-to-suit model wherein the space is designed as per the convenience of the company and common areas such as cafeteria, washrooms, break out areas are shared amongst other members,” he said.