The years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 witnessed mushrooming of co-working spaces in major metros in India. The co-working companies were aimed at fulfilling the need of workspaces in the burgeoning startup ecosystem in the country.
By 2017, it appeared the market had reached its saturation point. However, the market received a surprise with the arrival of international behemoth WeWork in India in July 2017. The launch indicated the space still had an immense potential and there was still need of such co-working places to meet the workspace requirement for startups.
Abhishek Kumar Gupta and Kushagra Awasthi, founders of Let’s Work, believe that the co-working space market has covered only a small fraction of the market. The segment has more potential and is expected to expand at a much faster pace.
They said that there has been a major shift in the work culture and rise of startups, solopreneurs and freelancers in the recent years have been instrumental in this shift towards co-working spaces. Apart from startups, freelancers and solopreneurs, even large companies are adapting this culture as it helps them in expansions rapidly.
Encouraged by the market growth and the business potential it possesses, Gupta and Awasthi with an early investment of Rs 2 crore launched Let’s Work this month in Noida.
Awasthi has been running a successful interior design and fit-out firm Furnish Your Dream for the last 5 years. While Gupta is the enabler of Startup Delhi, a Facebook group, that he started in 2015.
Let’s Work will play the role of catalyst
It provides coworking space and office infrastructure to freelancers, startups and individuals at monthly fees structures starting from Rs 1,999 to Rs 7,499 per person. The space has a total of 150 seats.
“We are trying to build a community-centered coworking ecosystem that is on the path to make power and knowledge of community accessible. In the community, startups can share resources with each other and help their companies and the entire ecosystem to grow,” said Gupta.
Further, Let’s Work claims to provide accessibility and a compelling working environment where solving problems is the only concern. The co-working space would enable the growth of individuals and startups through the power of community. It plans to play the role of catalyst in the growth of startup ecosystem, he added.
Let’s Work is also eyeing the expansion. It is planning to expand to tier-II and tier-III cities by next year. “Expansion plans are already underway. We have a blueprint to create 10 more centres by 2019 with a total of 100,000 Sq ft -125,000 sq ft in 5 cities such as Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Noida, Hyderabad and Pune,” added Gupta.
Besides, it is also targeting cities such as Lucknow, Indore, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and others for expansion. “The trend is now moving towards Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities too. So, we expect immense growth in this sector in the coming years,” said Gupta.
Market size will accumulate all
In recent years, there has been a massive growth in the demand and market value of co-working spaces in India.
In a recent report by JLL India, India’s co-working market is expected to grow by 50 per cent to reach over 1 million square feet of leased areas with an investment of $400 million by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, the estimated potential market in India for coworking spaces is 15.5 million people.
According to CRE MATRIX, leasing of coworking spaces in 2017 had gone up at a fast pace, and the trend is bound to continue. Across all major cities in India, leasing of over 5.2 million sq ft for coworking space providing companies, has gone through tremendous changes since 2015.
Innov8, 91springboard, Awfis, Stirring Minds, BHive and Investopad are some of the notable players in this segment. Whereas Breathing Room and MyCuteOffice are evangelising aggregation model in the co-working space.
While space seems crowded, the market size is big enough to accommodate several co-working players. The arrival of new startups including Let’s Work reflects the growth potential of the segment.