The largest co-working space player in the world, WeWork unveiled its first-ever property in the country in Bengaluru on July 5, at one of the city’s central and prime commercial areas, Residency Road. The company that operates in 15 countries across 45 cities aims to garner nearly 1,00,000 members in their India space in the next few years.
“We are hoping to make India not just one of the biggest, but the biggest market for WeWork, given the population along with the boom in enterprising and self-employed individuals rising by the day,” Karan Virwani Director, WeWork India and real estate biggie Embassy Group scion told Entrepreneur India.
Breaking into a Competitive Space
The co-working sector is rapidly catching up with cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai leading the brigade due to sky-high commercial office costs. Players like BHIVE, Commune Coworks and Numa have gained major traction in the past two years, posing a challenge for WeWorks, which Virwani said the company looks to overcome.
“Our USP is not just offering an office space but building a community buzzing with enterprises. We want our clients to interact with each other, thus providing them a great eco-system to work in,” said Virwani.
The company has its own social media where office leasers can sign up and interact with each other. The directory at each co-working space consists of categorised listings of which companies are present in the hub to seek any service from each other.
The company says it has enterprises and professionals from all quarters, starting from freelancers, NGO’s, startups, SMEs and more. It wants them to connect at professional levels to build a hub where accessibility should not be a barrier. Plus being the biggest player on a global platform it allows members to access its workspace anywhere around the world.
“The vast global network is a key advantage that no other player has right now in India. Today if I was to visit London or New York for work I could use the membership to access these locations and won’t have to look around for temporary short-term workspaces,” says Virwani.
Price Pinch for the Co-working Space
The company is offering prices that are currently slightly above market rates, which they say is due to the premium locales chosen for these spaces along with plush designs and creative offerings. For instance the space will offer tap beer to its clients working out of the space along with de-stressing options as foosball tables, private sound-proof telephone booths. It also aims to tackle one of the biggest menaces in the Indian commercial estate sector, car parking space. WeWork says it has capacity to accommodate as many vehicles as the number of seats it is offering.
Status or timeline of opening
1st September 2017
Embassy Golf Links
1st October 2017
Bandra Kurla Complex
1st September 2017
1st November 2017
The company plans to expand to major metros and will target Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai for their initial set ups. The table below shows the hubs that are slated to open by 2017 in Bengaluru, Mumbai and NCR.
WeWork founded by Adam Neumann and Miguel Mckelvey in 2010 has been estimated to be valued at close than $16bn making it the sixth most valuable private company in the world along with Snapchat. In March this year, global investor SoftBank alone invested $300mn in the entity. Apart from this some of the biggest investors in the entity include JP Morgan Chase & Co, T Rowe Price Associates, Wellington Management, Goldman Sachs Group, the Harvard Corp, Benchmark, and Mortimer Zuckerman, former CEO of Boston Properties.