The Executive Centre’s south Asia revenue up 18% in H1 2020 – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: Flexible workspace provider The Executive Centre said its revenue in south Asia rose 18% in the first half of the year to $21 million while occupancy was up to 89% from 87%. Globally revenue was up 5% to $120 million.

Total number of workstations occupied as of June 30 increased by 14% compared to last year and client renewals was up to 62%. The company also opened 6 new centres in the same time. Notable new signings were from financial services & banking, IT and consulting sectors.

“It cannot be denied that the Covid-19 pandemic has been the main external factor impacting the performance of companies. As a result, the world of work is changing dramatically as businesses focus on managing costs to survive and look for workspaces with greater flexibility to support in office and remote working.

We have seen stronger demand coming from MNCs and domestic corporates since April across the Greater Bay Area and South-East Asia which helped to drive sustainable revenue growth and profitability in the first half of the year,” said TEC Founder and CEO, Paul Salnikow.

The company has 135 centres in 32 cities which include 30 centres spread over 8 lakh sqft in Mumbai, Gurgaon, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune.



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Coronavirus-fueled uncertainty could accelerate consolidation of flexible office spaces – ET RealEstate

BENGALURU: The flexible office space is expected to undergo a major consolidation phase with uncertainty looming large on the segment due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a resultant demand slump.

While a large operator like RMZ is exiting the business, global major WeWork plans to expand as per client specifications only for some time. Awfis and Smartworks have also slowed down the pace of expansion as they continue to study the evolving market dynamics.

“We will grow as per our client requirement and focus on opportunistic expansion rather than speculative,” said Karan Virwani, CEO at WeWork.

Though consolidation within co-working space started in 2018 with major acquisitions like One Co.Work acquiring IShareSpace and AltF CoWorking acquiring Noida-based Daftar India, Covid-19 will accelerate the process as weak players will be weeded out, say experts.

The period of low occupancy with increased operational costs is making multiple small players unviable. “There will be huge consolidation in the co-working space as managing cash flows will become difficult. We are onboarding clients and offering rental waiver till they occupy the facility,” said Neetish Sarda, cofounder of Smartworks.

The pandemic has hurt small co-working space operators with around 3.2 million sq ft of flexible office space expected to be vacated this year, according to a study by Knight Frank India. “We expect larger players with a greater weightage of enterprise tenants to endure, while those with tenant profiles predominated by MSMEs and startups are expected to shut businesses,” said Shishir Baijal, chairman, Knight Frank India.



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Chennai: Tenants sore as landlords refuse to return deposits – ET RealEstate

CHENNAI: A couple of weeks ago, S Madhav received a ‘maintenance bill’ from the owner of his Chennai apartment, indicating the Rs 1.25 lakh deposit wouldn’t be returned.

With Madhav and his cotenants in their native places due to lockdown, the owner began ‘maintenance’ work. “We were maintaining the flat very well. There was a leakage on the wooden floor of the hall when we moved in. The wetness eventually spoiled the wood and now the owner says we are responsible,” said Madhav, a BTech student at a popular city college. “My certificates are there. I don’t know whether the workers doing the maintenance have misplaced them,” he said.

Several students in the city, particularly women, are facing such problems. S Beena Cherian (name changed) had no rental dues but her landlord wanted her to leave the flat in a month. “My two friends and I are in our native places in Kerala, having rushed home without taking our valuables. We can’t go to Guduvancherry where the flat is and vacate it because of Covid restrictions. We don’t know what to do,” she said.

Many students opt for private stay because they cannot afford high hostel fees in colleges.

S Navin Nair, who has just completed visual communication at SRM University, said the landlord didn’t return the ₹1lakh deposit when he and three others vacated the flat a week ago. “He said the amount would be adjusted for maintenance. We couldn’t say anything because we had to pick up our valuables, mainly certificates from the flat,” said Navin.

A P Paramesh, a final year student of mechanical engineering, was charged ₹18,000 for painting and other maintenance charges. “He [the owner] didn’t want to return the deposit. The details in the bill don’t make sense. He calculated it based on his whims and fancies. It’s unfair,” he said.

Many landlords say they are resorting to such steps as they haven’t been getting rents from tenants, mostly students. K Rajagopal, who has let out his Guduvancherry flat for rent, said he had told his tenant not to pay rent for two months. “But I can’t do more than this because I need to pay the bank the monthly loan. Even though most students stay together, they don’t take responsibility together,” he said.

Madhav said many like him would be in trouble if the situation continued. “I have vacated my apartment. I have to find one soon.”



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Now, Covid coordinators must for housing societies in Ahmedabad – ET RealEstate

AHMEDABAD: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has made it mandatory for all housing societies, apartment complexes and colonies to appoint Covid coordinators.

The decision was taken at a meeting held on Monday. Rajiv Gupta, additional chief secretary, forests and environment, who is in charge of Covid management in Ahmedabad said, “After getting positive results through the last intervention of Covid coordinators for offices, institutions, commercial and industrial units that have 30 or more workers, the AMC has decided to have coordinators for all residential societies.”

Under Rule 11 of the regulations for prevention and containment of Covid-19 framed by the Gujarat government under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the AMC has made it mandatory for the secretary, chairman, organizer, manager or owner of every residential society to appoint someone Covid coordinator and to inform the assistant municipal commissioner concerned.

The AMC stated that if visitors to the society have Covid symptoms it will be the responsibility of the Covid coordinator to inform the authorities or the nearest urban health centre for testing. They will also have to prepare a history of contacts in the last 14 days, and will have to send the report to the assistant municipal commissioner of their ward

Apart from ensuring that no home quarantined person comes out, the AMC states that in micro-containment zones, office-bearers of the society will be responsible to no one comes into contact with any person with Covid.
Now, Covid coordinators must for housing societies in AhmedabadThe office-bearers will have to ensure that antigen testing is done for all residents of a micro-containment zone. The AMC made it clear that for any negligence or non-compliance the chairman /secretary shall be held responsible and shall invite prosecution under Section 188 of the IPC, the Disaster Management Act 2005 and the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897.

AMC said that now, as the sero-positivity study has confirmed that immunity is not necessarily being developed in people in terms of antibodies, and as there is no vaccine available, prevention is the need of the hour. AMC has therefore decided to take these measures to enable community participation in Covid management.



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