NEW DELHI: Co-working firm Smartworks has given on lease over 80,000 sq ft of office space, comprising more than 1,300 desks, in its facility at Noida to an IT-software company as corporates look for flexible workspace amid COVID-19 pandemic. Leading property consultant Knight Frank India facilitated this leasing deal, one of the biggest in the co-working space.
Smartworks, which has been founded by Neetish Sarda and Harsh Binani, currently has 31 centres, comprising more than 65,000 seats, across nine cities — Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
The company focuses on large corporates and its clients take on an average 250-300 seats. It charges on an average Rs 10,000 per seat, although the per-seat fee ranges from Rs 6,000 to Rs 30,000 depending on the location.
According to sources, Smartworks has leased more than 1,300 seats spread over 80,000 sq ft to a software company in its facility – Smart Work Corporate Park, sector 125 Noida.
Smartworks and Knight Frank India spokespersons declined to comment on this deal.
Last year, Smartworks had raised USD 25 million (about Rs 175 crore) from Singapore”s Keppel Land Ltd to fund its expansion plan.
Founded in April 2016, Smartworks Coworking Spaces Pvt Ltd has invested more than USD 20 million in the past three years to set up this business. It is profitable at an entity level.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the co-working segment in India was growing at a rapid pace, but the office space demand was impacted significantly. Corporates deferred their expansion plan and also adopted work for home policy for their employees.
As a result, the Knight Frank recent report suggested that the gross office space absorption declined 35 per cent to 39.4 million sq ft across eight major cities in 2020 from 60.6 million sq ft in the previous year.
However, industry experts feel that the co-working segment will bounce back faster, with more and more corporates opting for flexible workspace solutions.