The concept of a shared office has witnessed unprecedented growth over the last few years and has literally revolutionized the way the world and Indians work. Co-working spaces, as they are better known, are helping people find flexible, productive workspace options.
Globally as well as in India, the growth of this concept can largely be attributed to a start-up ecosystem, whose preference for co-working space is due to multitude of reasons. It includes lower rentals, savings on operational costs and a more flexible work environment. At present, India has about 300 co-working spaces spread over 15 million square feet. The demand will continue to rise across the country so much that about 13 million people are expected to work in co-working spaces by 2020.
It is interesting to note how the rise of co-working spaces is influencing normal office design today. Numerous surveys have established that millennials are set to form nearly half of the global workforce by end of this decade. As a result, all new office spaces, co-working or not, need to address the requirements of this new workforce. For the millennials, offices are no longer restricted to the confines of an uninspiring cubicle or a desk. A design language is slowly evolving to create workplaces which can enhance creativity, use technology to network and make the workers feel empowered.
Let us now try to understand how co-working spaces are redefining office design in the 21st century
The workplace has changed and changed for good. All offices today need a decent community space near their entry which was unheard of earlier. The idea is that employees will mingle in this space and also conduct informal meetings all day long. The standard brief today to an office designer is that the office look-and-feel should appeal to the millennial and there should enough space for collaboration. Standing meeting rooms are getting common. Phone booths and nooks are a space requirement which cannot be ignored today while planning spaces in an office.
People are bored of the grid ceiling. Designers have realized that it is possible to have offices without ceiling. All the services running above the ceiling are now seen and used as significant design elements. The added height is always an advantage. Designer metal ceilings, wooden rafters, fabric elements, acoustical materials are now used to accentuate specific areas in the office. Biophilic elements are also being introduced in the ceiling.
The nylon carpet tile, which was the default flooring option in an office is slowly giving way to raw tiles, wooden planks or even bare concrete finish. Carpets and rugs are being limited to only meeting spaces and cabins. Luxury Vinyl Tiles and any material which brings warmth in the office are being explored.
Solid walls are giving way to transparent walls. Glass is the preferred material for all partitions unless we need solid wall for functional reasons. Screens, metal frames and even fabrics are being used to define semi-formal spaces. The long boring corridors are livened up with eclectic artwork, theme based installations and graphics.
The cubicle is dead and the linear workstation is the new way to work. This is now a reality because the nature of work in offices is also changing. Using a smaller module for your worktable is opening up spaces which can be used creatively to enhance the workspace experience for employers. Hot desks and agile workspace are now part of the new office furniture idiom.
As the grid ceiling makes way for open ceiling, the 2*2 light fixtures also is making way for decorative office lights. Designers are going berserk selecting various types of decorative light fixtures to literally decorate their offices.
Most of the corporates today have already decided to have at least 30% of their seats in collaborative spaces. This means, there is a sudden need for designer loose furniture in these spaces which are functional and aesthetic in nature.
Functionally, there are differences between a co-working space and a company owned corporate office. However, the popularity of this disruptive design among the millennials cannot be denied which is in turn influencing mainstream designers to adapt it for their corporate clients. As a design trend it is here to stay and thrive.
However, the end users need to note that following a new trend does not mean we ignore the fundamentals of circulation and engineering. We still need to make sure our offices are energy efficient and functionally aligned to employee wellness. Sound, light and temperature can affect the performance of an employee if not designed well. With that word of caution let us remain positive about the new direction in office space design thanks to the advent of co-working concept.
The concept of co-working is becoming very popular among small, medium and large enterprises all over the world. Co-working office spaces offer an economical option to businesses and individuals because of low investment cost and various other factors. Gurugram has witnessed an impressive growth in the co-working segment over the last 3 years. With the increase in the number of startups, software companies and other companies, there is also an increased demand for fully managed offices in Gurugram.
Plus Offices, a fully funded venture by few angel investors announced that it will be soon opening up one of Gurugram’s largest customized and co-working office space. Spread over an area of 55,000 Square feet, this fully-managed co-working space is located in Sector 67, Gurugram.
Plus Offices started their operations from Gurugram, India in January 2018 and have been expanding their business operations. The company started its first co-working location in Sector 44 and their Managed Workplace and Business centre. The sector-44 centre hosts clients including Cars24, Mettl, Unicommerce, etc.
Plus Offices is a rapidly growing venture which is helping growth bound ventures, SMBs and corporates to move into customized, managed and co-working workspaces.
Ravi Kikan, Chief Operating Officer of Plus Offices, said
After a fantastic response to our Sector 44 facility we are now expanding to Sector 67, Gurugram to a new massive 55,000 Sq feet facility. This place would be ideal for startups, entrepreneurs, SMBs and enterprises who are looking at a productive workplace with a customized format. The current format can be easily customized from a 10-member team to a 1000+ growing enterprise. In fact, we have a mandate of growth for around 1.5 Lac Sq Ft area in Gurugram itself in the coming times.
Our focus is completely customer and productivity oriented. Growing enterprises, SMBs or a Corporate who are looking at customized and productive workspace should definitely talk to us. We can plan productive workplace seating right from a 10 member team to even a 2000+ strong growing enterprise. Our vision is to provide customized workplace solutions for across sectors and business formats around India. We have had a great start from Gurugram and now we would want to replicate the same to tier A and tier B cities in the coming times.
Most of the managed and co-working facilities focus only on infrastructure however very few are focussed on building a productive environment and building service levels for customers keeping in mind the efficiency and productivity of the teams working in those facilities.
Plus Offices has also started their Mentor Plus Program where they are trying to help growth bound enterprises to get on business acceleration by connecting them with regional and global mentors.
CBIX, a premier office-leasing platform in Delhi-NCR has launched its dedicated Co-Working & Business Centres vertical – to help clients looking for flexible and managed office options. CBIX claims to have mapped out all possible serviced office options across Delhi-NCR and provide it in a usable, easy to browse manner to clients.
The company says around 30% of its incoming leads are for flexible and co-working spaces. With the huge increase in demand for such spaces, a number of co-working and managed office options have sprung up in all major cities in India. Established brands like Awfis, Innov8 and 91Springboard operate multiple locations that run to full capacity.
Recently global majors WeWork and Spaces have also launched services in prime locations. To make sense of the whole range of options customers have, CBIX provides an aggregated platform and gives clients a personalized dashboard with shortlisted options as per their requirement. CBIX is not a marketplace connecting clients to brokers or service providers, but works with clients to narrow down best options and helps with negotiations and leasing right until move-in.
Co-working spaces have been on the rise in India and the wave is catching up the interest of the entrepreneur as well as the investor community. The primary advantage that co-working space brings to the table is you can find passionate folks who might have complimentary skills that could be of help in building your startup. Most of these co-working spaces also host number of events around scaling, marketing, design, funding, etc. In order to make startups sustainable, it may be important to involve large businesses in their growth story, and such programs further add more value to co-working spaces [Source].
Couple of weeks back, we had written about GoodWorks CoWork,a design-inspired co-working incubation studio started by serial entrepreneurs Vishwas Mudagal and Sonia Sharma. As per the founders, the major USP of GoodWorks CoWork is that along with office space, entrepreneurs can also use GoodWorkLabs’s expertise in order to polish/validate their idea. GoodWorkLabs is a boutique Software and Mobile App Development Company in India and USA which was started by the duo. Through GoodWorks CoWork, they plan to give back to the entrepreneurial eco-system and angel-fund the startup [in case if they find the idea path-breaking].
We caught up with Vishwas Mudagalfor a chat about this venture, its USP, insights into co-working, etc. So, lets get started…
Can you please give a brief about the team behind GoodWorks CoWork ?
After successfully establishing GoodWorkLabs as a leading new-age Outsourced Product Development Firm [OPD] and UX design studio, Sonia Sharma and myself wanted to use our knowledge to give back to the start-up ecosystem. GoodWorks CoWork was launched to build a thriving start-up community and provide the best ecosystem for them to succeed. Under Sonia’s valuable guidance and thought leadership, and my years of experience in handling startups, co-workers can expect to learn numerous tricks and trades of the industry.
What are some of the pain points your team identified which would be solved if a startup is working out of GoodWorks CoWork ?
As a new entrepreneur, you need to wear multiple hats. The sales guy, the tech guy and the marketing guy, you are constantly juggling between different roles. The most valuable benefit of working out of a coworking space is that it reduces burn-rate and allows investment in core business requirements. Secondly, it reduces the logistical pains of running an office and lastly, it provides the best opportunity for networking.
The objective of GoodWorks CoWork is to help budding entrepreneurs grow their business without the hassles of managing operations and logistics. Through GoodWorks CoWork, we aim at creating a perfect ecosystem for startups to nurture their growth.
There has been a plethora of co-working spaces that have been recently started in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, etc. what are some of the USPs of GoodWorks CoWork vis-a-vis other co-working spaces in the city.
Apart from providing world class services, I think what really sets us apart is our unique approach to coworking. The USPs are as follow:
Design-inspired coworking space – We provide creative, design inspired coworking spaces for our coworkers. Every element in the coworking space has been selected after considerable thought. The wall décor, the seating layout, the lighting structures and overall ambience have a creative undertone. We want to encourage creativity and innovative thinking in this space. We also have inspirational posters and graffiti on the walls to keep the community motivated at all times.
The possibility of getting funded – After successfully establishing GoodWorkLabs as a world-leading and award-winning new-age software lab and design studio, the founders are now all set to provide seed investment to upcoming start-ups and extend our Thought Leadership to help businesses grow. We plan to choose upto three promising start-ups annually that have a ‘real’ business/revenue model and growth potential and plan to invest anywhere between Rs. 20 lakhs ~ Rs. 1 Crore.
Consultation with In-House Experts – We have an in-house team of management consultants to help get the basics in place for your company. Start-ups can book a time with our experts to discuss problems and issues related to HR, Finance, Marketing, Design and Branding faced by the company.
The founders also act as mentors to the startups selected by us and support them through every step of their startup journey.
Can you please walk us through the application process for GoodWorks CoWork ?
GoodWorks CoWork was started to help budding entrepreneurs grow their business without the hassle of sweating about Operations & Support Services. So we’re open to any startup, entrepreneur or small business owners who are passionate about their new venture. Our space provides all the facilities needed to run a company smoothly without logistical hassles.
Is your team looking into particular sectors that a startup operates in or is GoodWorks CoWork open to startups in any sector ?
We are open to all sectors, there is no restriction as such. However, most of the queries we have received is primarily from the IT and Design sectors. However, we do not want to be limited to these two sectors only.
Given that GoodWorkLabs is a pioneer in the software industry. What are some of the areas where GoodWorkLabs can be of support to the companies in GoodWorks CoWork ?
GoodWorkLabs brings tremendous insights and valuable learning to cowork division, this aspect is one of our main USP’s. We provide consulting services for design, software development, android development, iOS development to name a few. The startups can really benefit from all these services which would be very unique in nature.
Vishwas, you as an entrepreneur have seen ups & downs, what is one best reason why a startupper has to choose working out of a co-working space vis-a-vis working out of SOHO
Coworking encourages networking and collaboration. Entrepreneurs, space providers, thought leaders, investors and mentors come together and exchange value with each other creating a mutually beneficial ecosystem. Also, working amidst various people, observing and adopting diverse work cultures can increase productivity as it helps maintain a professional outlook and also helps create your own identity.
This congenial environment doesn’t only foster interesting and divergent work, but also encourages knowledge sharing and instils a sense of ownership. Communicating regularly on work topics, trending news and exchanging jokes helps build a healthy environment for entrepreneurs.
Working out of a small office from your home closes all doors to such knowledge sharing and networking opportunities which are integral to your business growth.
GoodWorks CoWork is currently operational in how many cities and what are the future expansion plans ?
Currently, we have one co-working space in Whitefield, Bengaluru and the response has been overwhelming. We want to become one of the largest players in the premium coworking and shared office market with a Pan India presence. We will continue to provide creative, design inspired coworking spaces for startups, freelancers and entrepreneurs encouraging the shared economy. We believe that GoodWorks CoWork is not just a workspace. It’s a way of life & a path to success!
Apart from the business idea, what are some of the key things your team looks into while assessing the applications for Angel Investment ?
We will be selecting startups who demonstrate an idea that solves ‘real’ business problems and must be able to sustain itself. The startups will receive intense mentoring and training over a period of time and they are expected to iterate rapidly. So we are open to any startup, entrepreneur or small business owners who are passionate about their new venture. Our space provides all the facilities needed to run a company smoothly without logistical hassles. As mentioned apart from mentoring, the basic administrative facilities will be taken care of and most importantly, you will get free tech-consulting services with our team.
Vishwas, you don multiple hats [serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, etc.], how do you manage time ? [especially for founders since they need to get priorities right] ?
I won’t lie to you by saying it’s easy. It’s incredibly hard to balance different roles. I am a CEO during the days and a storyteller by night and weekends. I wish I had 48 hours in a day. I have so many stories to tell, and I have so many business ideas to execute. Our group companies GoodWorkLabs and GoodWorks CoWork are doing some incredible work right now, so things are hectic.
However, it is my passion that drives me and if you’re passionate enough you’ll find the time to do it.
Can you share some tips for building an effective team for startups [especially the initial core team] ?
Building the core team is one of the most critical factors that leads to the success of a startup. It is important to attract and hire the people who have the same values and reflect the same ideologies as the founding members. It’s easy to lose track of the goal and get lost in the initial days, if everyone’s not on the same page. The core team must believe in the idea as strongly as the founding members. No matter how many years of experience or how well educated the person may be – if he isn’t convinced about your proposition, it’s not going to be a fruitful partnership.
You have witnessed ups & downs in your career [shutting down of your startup than bouncing back], how according to you should entrepreneurs deal with such adverse situations and how they can keep themselves motivated so that they can bounce back ?
I have experimented a lot in my life. I have tried so many different fields, done random experiments, failed, succeeded, and all that. I usually tell budding entrepreneurs – ‘Be shameless. Experiment. That’s the only way to identify your true passion.‘ If I had not experimented by being shameless, I would never have identified my passions of writing and entrepreneurship.
With push for Digital India, sectors like Fintech, etc. what are some of the areas that might catch entrepreneur’s & investor’s interest in 2017 ?
There are many emerging markets and it’s vital for investors to keep an eye on what’s happening in these sectors. I am closely watching sectors related to – AI, AR, Machine learning, AR, VR, IOT, organic farming, renewable tech, REG [REGULATION TECH] and eGovernance and believe they are the future to look out for.
VC Funding or Bootstrapping, your thoughts on the same and when should a founder look out for institutional funding
Both VC Funding and Bootstrapping have their pros and cons. With bootstrapping, it’s a lot harder as the founders have invested their own money, scalability is a lot tougher and a much longer process when if comes to bootstrapped companies. On the other hand, getting funded doesn’t make the journey any easier. Companies will be giving away stake to investors and with it their freedom – you’ll have to be answerable to the investors and need their approvals for every step that the company takes.
However, the right time to apply for funding is when the startup has a Minimal Viable Product [MVP] and some traction or successful pilot to validate their business model.
Any books that you recommend and when would your next novel/book hit the market ?
Ayn Rand is my favorite author. Her book The Fountainhead influenced me deeply during my college days. It’s the perfect book to gift. I also enjoy reading Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, Sydney Sheldon, & Jeff Archer among others. So people can gift me a range of books! I like reading science fiction, thrillers, adventures, and many more genres. But I usually stay away from books that are boring. I have very little patience.
My next novel is completed and in the final stages of editing. It’s an exciting trilogy that I’m thrilled about, I’m hoping that it hits the market sometime in December. I will be announcing more details about the story and launch plans shortly.
We thank Vishwas for his time and sharing valuable insights with our readers! If you have any questions for Vishwas about GoodWorks CoWork, startups, funding, technology, etc., please email them to email@example.com or leave your question in the comments section.
After creating a multi-million dollar company, GoodWorkLabs CEO Vishwas Mudagal and Co-Founder & MD Sonia Sharma have ventured into becoming Angel Investors in 2017. They are joining the leagues of marquee investors such as Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata or Infosys Founder Narayana Murthy, who are investing in start-ups across the country and helping to raise the maturity of the start-up ecosystem in India by the launch of their Coworking Innovation hub, GoodWorks CoWork, a design-inspired co-working incubation studio, which is located in the heart of Bengaluru’s Silicon Valley—Whitefield.
It was in 2013 that Vishwas and Sonia started GoodWorkLabs, which now a multi-million dollar company is recording a 500% revenue growth YoY. Recently, GoodWorkLabs was also ranked as the 5th fastest growing tech company in India by Deloitte in 2016. Their products are being used by 60+ million people globally.
After successfully establishing GoodWorkLabs as a boutique Software and Mobile App Development Company in India and USA, Sonia and Vishwas are excited to build a thriving start-up community through the launch of GoodWorks CoWork. Not only that, this year they are also set to mentor upcoming start-ups and extend their Thought Leadership to help businesses grow. They plan to choose three promising start-ups that have a ‘real’ business model, growth and potential and plan to invest anywhere between USD $50,000 and USD $200,000.
We were invited to the GoodWorks CoWork office in Akshay Tech Park, Whitefield and the space looks amazing. The entrepreneurial zeal is clearly visible in the design of the office, some pitcures below:
The New Year was a great occasion for us to try out something that we have been wanting to do for a long time. It will mark a new beginning, a new chapter in our lives and we hope to give as much as we got from the ecosystem. Bengaluru is a great breeding ground for start-ups and we are extremely excited to provide the best ecosystem for start-ups to succeed.
By working at this 3000 sq ft. co-working space, the start-ups will get access to virtual offices, dedicated and private offices, conference & meeting rooms, high-speed internet, 24/7 surveillance, storage units, unlimited beverages, in-house security and maintenance, among others. However to entrepreneurs Sonia and Vishwas who are industry leaders with a strong entrepreneurial background, the GoodWorks CoWork studio is not just a shared office space. The start-ups will also get access to technology, marketing, design and PR as well as mentorship from Sonia and Vishwas. Not only that, they will also be able to tap the network of both Vishwas and Sonia and get funding for their ventures.
Sonia Sharma, Founder and Managing Director, GoodWorkLabs said
By giving access to core services for entrepreneurs, new and old alike, such as marketing, Accounts & Finance consulting, HR and recruitment, Tech consulting, Design, UI & UX consulting in addition to other facilities, we want to dig deep into assessing and mentoring new entrepreneurs who maybe just have an idea and a business model to support it, but might have limited resources to assess its scalability & growth. Also this will help create a symbiotic ecosystem additionally helping us to choose the startups we can fund.
GoodWorkLabs is a world-leading outsourced product development company that designs and builds mobile apps, software products and games for top clientele globally. With offices in Bangalore, Kolkata and San Francisco Bay Area, the company is growing at 500% YoY and has established itself as a premium tech provider for Fortune 500 companies and startups. The company is led by industry veterans Vishwas Mudagal, CEO & Co-founder, and Sonia Sharma, MD & Founder, and is a valued member of NASSCOM. For more information on GoodWorkLabs, please visit GoodWorkLabs. To know more about the GoodWorks CoWork community please visit GoodWorks CoWork
Mumbai-based entrepreneur & founder of SutraHR, Waqar Azmi, recently launched MumbaiCoworking in Andheri West, Mumbai. This marks the formal start of SutraHR in the business of co-working in India. ‘MumbaiCoworking’ has currently established 60 work seats in the office. The company also announced that it would be expanding its business very soon.
It’s a known fact that finding a cheap place to rent out an office or a house in Mumbai is not easy, especially for budding startups. Imagine, operating from coffee shops or cafes in the city, which itself would not be an affordable affair. This has apparently increased the demand for co-working spaces in the city. Waqar Azmi understood this need, as he himself runs a startup called SutraHR. The company majorly targets startups, SMEs, freelancers, independent consultants, etc.
MumbaiCoworking is location friendly, based in Andheri, in the heart of Western suburbs. It is just 2 minutes away from the nearest bus stop, 10 minutes from D.N Nagar metro station and 12 minutes from the nearest railway station. The company aims to establish its presence as a leading provider of shared office spaces in Mumbai.
SutraHR started out of a garage like office with limited office amenities. We ended up spending more than usual for setting up meetings in cafes, low quality internet service and running around for menial things. We therefore will offer every basic thing that is needed for our coworkers. All they need is to just step in a quirky office and we will take care of the rest.
‘MumbaiCoworking’ offers its clients daily cleaning services, high-speed internet, unlimited access to snacks and beverages, a quirky and colourful office, and other amenities.
The rental cost ranges from Rs. 500 a day to 7,000 a month. Their budget friendly prices start as low as Rs. 5,000 for a floating seat and go up to Rs. 7,000 for a fixed seat inclusive of access to meeting rooms. Members can also avail discounts when they book bulk seats or take up the entire 8/14/16 seater rooms. ‘MumbaiCoworking’ also offers meeting/conference rooms separately on a half and full day basis for Rs. 3,500 and Rs. 5,000 respectively. You can also get a daily pass at just Rs. 500.
It is also well suited for the digital nomads or travelers who are in the city for business meetings or people from other cities who are in the initial stage of setting up an office in Mumbai.
MumbaiCoworking is a shared office space located in the western suburbs of Mumbai. The office offers a quirky rental space for startups, SMEs and anyone looking at an affordable space.It is conveniently located 2 minutes from the nearest bus stop and is at close proximity from the metro and railway station. The company aims to establish its presence as the leading provider of shared office spaces in Mumbai. For more information, please visit MumbaiCoworking