Co-working spaces gaining traction

Decreasing availability of commercial office space, cost-effective reason for growth.

By Author  |  Published: 13th Mar 2017  12:20 amUpdated: 14th Mar 2017  12:59 am
Co-working Spaces

Hyderabad: Swanky offices, hi-tech facilities and cost-effective are driving the growth of co-working spaces in the country in general and Hyderabad in particular. The concept of business centres with pay as per use model have been in existence for quite some time, but the whole idea of shared office spaces has gained traction only in the last few years.

Players like CLOwork (formerly Co.Lab.Orate), IKeva, iHub, RentADesk, CoWorkZone and AWFIS are some of the many players in Hyderabad that have gained prominence in the last two-three years. While some cater only to startups – either young or mature ones – some also expand their services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and corporates.

“The office spaces available in the market are very expensive for a young startup to invest in and other infrastructure cost also add to the cost. Thus, co-working spaces like ours provides affordable office space to startups and young entrepreneurs,” said Anurag Parepally, Founder, CLOwork, which has been in operations for almost three years now.

While cost-effectiveness is one of the biggest advantages of co-working spaces, but these spaces also provide for some great environment not only in terms of physical infrastructure but also in terms of networking. Some of the co-working spaces in the city have not only tech startups but also freelance writers, legal advisors and people from various fields.

“Hyderabad has seen a lot of activity in the last two years in co-working space. Spaces like ours provides commercial building for startups so that these early-stage companies have a recognisable address of their own at a cheaper rate. In addition, we also provide mentoring and funding support for these companies,” informed Pramod Kiron, Founder CoWorkZone, a one-and-a-half-year old company.

CoWorkZone has seen about 10-12 companies move out their space their own building, thus proving the success rate of their co-working space.

A recent report by JLL India points that there are about 100 odd co-working space operators in the country. “Co-working spaces are rapidly popping up across Indian metros and tier-II cities. Through these, start-ups get flexible working options at affordable rents. These spaces offer desks at cheaper rentals in an office-like environment,” said Nitish Bhasin, Managing Director – Markets, JLL India.

In terms of real estate as well, experts point out that co-working spaces are major boost to the sector as they have higher occupancy rate and are more cost-effective for the builders as well.

“We are seeing a lot of interest from not only startups to set up co-working spaces but also from many builders and developers. They see lot of potential in these spaces, as office spaces in the city in particular is becoming difficult to find. It is a bigger opportunity for not only buyers but also sellers due to the cost and higher occupancy rate,” said C Shekar former National President CREDAI and Chairman Indian Green Building Council (IGBC, Hyderabad chapter).