Co-working spaces see 80% demand recovery – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: Co-working companies are seeing a revival in interest after a pandemic-hit year as some companies — mostly small and medium enterprises — slowly bring some employees back to office.

Occupancies in the first two months this year have been about 80% of the year-ago period, while average occupancy is about 50%. Companies say that while many large players have signed up for these spaces after giving up long-term leases at office parks, many have decided not to bring in their employees before June.

“On a month-on-month basis, we have been adding 4-5% in occupancies since September and currently we are at 67% compared to about 90% last year. During the peak of the pandemic, we were down to about 50% and we expect it to go up to 75% by April,” said Amit Ramani, founder and CEO of Awfis.

Buoyed by the demand from corporates, many of whom are not keen to enter traditional long-term leases of 3-5 years, co-working companies are also looking to increase the number of seats. For example, Awfis is looking to add 24,000 seats by the end of December.

Karan Virwani, CEO of WeWork India, says that in this volatile business environment, companies are looking at greater flexibility, which is a key driver on how they choose their workplace for the future. “This is not just commitment in terms of tenure but also access to offices and ability to get workspace on demand.”

WeWork started a new product to attract more enterprises — companies can pay up to Rs 10,000 per month to get an access card that can be distributed among employees who can use it to enter any WeWork office across the country and work seven days a week. Current occupancies are up to 38% from just 5% last year.

Virwani added that demand in the current quarter has been similar to the one last year and expects to end at higher numbers. “Demand has increased from large occupiers as well like Commonwealth Bank, OnePlus. Many companies, whose leases ended during lockdown, chose not to renew but come to us. Even Ola used us for interim office space,” he added.

Gurugram-based 91Springboard says it has seen small and medium companies, with less than 50 employees, making a faster return every week. While occupancies in January were 70-75% of pre-Covid levels, this month it is 85-90%.

“We have clients who started with just six people in October before ramping it up to 100 this month,” said 91 Springboard co-founder Anand Vemuri adding that while larger companies have signed agreements, they do not plan a return before mid-year.

“Companies do not want to make long-term commitments for 3-5 years but for about two years. They also do not want to pay for fit outs upfront but looking for integrated solutions,” explained Vemuri.

Harsh Lambah, country manager India at IWG said his company is seeing larger work space requirements from bigger companies who want to realign their real estate portfolio. “Large enquiries are across multiple centres across cities and we are aggressively looking to open new centres.”



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Prestige & Awfis to set up six co-working spaces with Rs 40 crore investment – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: Realty firm Prestige Group has tied up with co-working operator Awfis to set up six centres, comprising around 4,000 desks, in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai with an investment of about Rs 40 crore. Bengaluru-based Prestige Group and Awfis will jointly invest to set up these centres and also share revenues.

These six centres, spread over 2 lakh square feet area, will come up at Prestige Group’s commercial properties in the three cities.

“The total investment in setting up these six centre is around Rs 40 crore. Both the partners are investing,” Awfis founder and CEO Amit Ramani told .

He said all these centres will be operational between April and July this year.

Ramani said the company will target not just startups and SMEs but also mid- and large-sized corporations looking to decentralise their workplaces amidst the new normal.

“Our partnership with Prestige Group aligns us to provide world-class amenities and meet the ever-evolving demand of new-age workforce and organisations.

“Over the past few months, we are witnessing large corporates and MNCs turning towards a hybrid model and witnessing the merit in partnering with co-working spaces for the same,” Ramani said.

Awfis intends to deepen this partnership further and expand across other micro-markets and buildings, he said.

“This partnership will help us to accelerate our plans to strengthen our office portfolio and increasing our offering to our large clients, while leveraging the strength of Awfis’ proven credibility in the co-working space across India,” said Juggy Marwaha, CEO, Prestige Office Ventures.

He remained bullish about the growth prospects of the Indian office market.

Of the six centres, four are located in Bengaluru’s prime commercial locations, namely Koramangala, Outer Ring Road and two in Whitefield. The other two centres are at Guindy in Chennai and Begumpet in Hyderabad.

With a diverse portfolio across asset classes such as office, residential, retail and hospitality, Prestige Group is well established in Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mysore, Mangalore, Goa, Ahmedabad and has now forayed into Mumbai, NCR and Pune.

Prestige Group has completed 112 commercial projects spread across 36 million square feet and is developing 24 projects spread across 42 million square feet in some of the major cities of the country.

In November, Prestige Estates Projects announced sale of large portfolio of office, retail and hotel properties to global investment firm Blackstone for an enterprise value of Rs 9,160 crore.

Awfis currently has 75 centres and 40,000 seats across 11 cities. It is a fully tech-enabled workspace solutions platform.



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Awfis opens 65,000 sq ft flex-working centre in Chennai – ET RealEstate

NEW DELHI: Awfis, a flex workspace provider, has opened 65,000 sq ft flex-working centre at Gemini Circle, Nungambakkam, Chennai.

The new centre is spread across six floors with over 1,200 workstations and eight meeting rooms. This is its first centre in the city. The company hopes to grow to 5-6 centres in Chennai in the next 12 -18 months.

Amit Ramani, CEO and founder, Awfis, said, “Due to the pandemic induced restrictions, even the most traditional companies will see merit in setting up satellite offices outside metros, with offices spread across multiple locations to help people work near home or to enable distributed workspace model.”

Awfis currently has 67 operational co-working centres with 35,000+ seating capacity. It aims have over 2,00,000 seats in 15 cities in the next 36 months. These centres will cater to large corporates, SMEs as well as start-ups.



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