The New York based startup eyes the Indian market to expand its facility
A New York based co-working space WeWork rents office spaces to diverse groups of workers. Flanked by restaurants, food outlets and retail stores, WeWork is a building draped in a colorful glass. Tapping a set of diverse consumers like entrepreneurs, small businesses, freelancers, artists and large companies, WeWork is a global company valued at about $20 billion. It provides services and workspace to more than 1.5 lakh members. WeWork has offices in 218 locations and covers 53 cities across the world. The company entered India in July with the Bengaluru facility.
Co-working spaces in India has shown a significant rise in the past two years. It is expected that it will grow by 50% and will touch more than one million square feet of leased workspaces by the end of the year. The co-working sector in India is expected to receive $400 million in investment by 2018. The potential market size of this segment ranges between 12-16 million which includes professional freelancers, startup employees, staff at small businesses and large corporate office employees.
WeWork was founded in 2010 and is akin to a luxury shopping mall where one can find swanky cafeterias, gym, swimming pool and functional workspaces with traditional Indian paintings on the walls. It has a capacity to cater to 2,200 members. Some other amenities at WeWork include a room for nursing mothers, freshly brewed coffee, social events and meditation. In August, WeWork disclosed receiving a massive investment of $4.4 billion from Japan’s Softbank and its $93 billion Vision Fund is expanding in the country through local partnerships.
WeWork has partnered with the billionaire property developer Jitu Virwani’s Embassy Group. Mr. Virwani mentioned that he had visited WeWork on a work trip to the US and he realized the potential of coworking spaces. He saw this as an opportunity to rent working spaces to freelancers, entrepreneurs and small enterprise owners. His son, Karan Virwani is a director at WeWork India and he is planning to expand to other cities like Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. They are also planning to expand in the smaller town and cities across the country. In September, WeWork unveiled the WeWork BKC in Mumbai. The biggest challenge for WeWork could be creating a sustainable business for the market in India. WeWork’s business model is quite strong and focuses on the small businesses, freelancers, artists and entrepreneurs in the country. Co working space segment has seen a boost in the recent times which is a good sign for WeWork. They have entered the country at the right time, when co working spaces are being created and expanded across different cities in the country.