Co-working – the new trend
Puja Gupta

There was a time when the concept of co-working spaces was not very familiar with most of the Indian businesses. And whoever started a new business had to put a lot of effort and money to get a rented office space. Today, however, the scenario has changed.

According to a survey conducted by Small Business Labs, the number of global co-working spaces will grow from 14,411 in 2017 to over 30,000 in 2022, which is an average annual growth rate of 16.1 per cent. Also, the global number of members is forecasted to grow even faster than the number of spaces. Co-working members are expected to grow from 1.74 million in 2017 to 5.1 million in 2022.

In Asia Pacific and India, the total number of co-working spaces in 2017 was 3,975, which is expected to double by 2020.

With the rising trend of co-working spaces in cities, most companies and entrepreneurs are opting for a shared office space, which is not just cost effective but convenient and upscale too.

Nakul Mathur, managing director, Avanta Business Center, says, “What we see today are more of flexible office spaces which I believe is the future. We had to first educate the market about the concept but in today’s time, the broader education bit is done, however, there is no end to it. Every company is in a different business field and their business requirement is also different and co-working spaces offer the same to them.”

“Also, businesses have thoroughly realised that taking risk on real estate is not their core business. Because in today’s changing dynamics no one knows what is going to happen one year down the business. One might make very aggressive business plans and not be able to achieve it, or a very conservative plan and can over achieve. So they don’t want to speculate on real estates.”

With 3–4 startups emerging every day over the past year, India has become the third largest startup hub in the world, with a total employee base of a million. And the numbers are expected to more than double by 2020. Also, considering the large space for freelancers in India, it is estimated that there will be a potential demand for more than 3.5–4 million seats in coming years.

“Studies have suggested that the number of start-ups in India and on a global level is growing massively . It is said that in coming years large companies will get lesser in number and SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) are going to occupy the space. For them, co-working is the best option as there is no capital investment, no need to manage an office, and it also offers flexibility,” said Mathur, who was an hotelier.

Avanta India itself witnessed 19.4 per cent growth in occupancy in H1 2018. It recorded 16 per cent growth in revenue in H1 2018 and further expects 6 per cent rise in H2 2018.

It plans to start operation in all the key metros in India at prominent business addresses, along with business centres in Hong Kong and in the Middle east. In the next five years, it plans to grow to 50 business centres and manage more than 2 million square ft space.

The UK-based Avanta has established its office spaces at strategic locations in Delhi. With about 500 clients on board, Avanta caters to all sectors – finance, FMCG, BFSI, IT, Consulting companies, defence, agriculture and many more.