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Considering renting an office space? Here's how to reduce real estate cost by 75% India is rapidly growing as a top business destination. In recent years, the country has become the second largest serviced office market in Asia.

By Swadha Mishra

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Operational efficiencies and flexibility are keys for any companies to sustain its competitive advantage. However, for start-ups and entrepreneurs in particular, in today's economic climate, forecasting their expansion pace over the next twelve months, let alone three to five years, can be extremely challenging. Serviced offices can provide the agility they need to adapt to any market situation.

India is rapidly growing as a top business destination. In recent years, the country has become the second largest serviced office market in Asia. Propelled by continued investment from global investors, growing domestic companies, increasing R&D investment and IT industries, all stimulated by favourable government policies, the demand for premium serviced office space in the key cities is expected to remain robust in 2015.

Founded in 1994, The Executive Centre is Asia Pacific's leading premium serviced office provider operating a total of 7 centres in the Indian cities of Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Pune and Chennai. The expansive network of The Executive Centre comprises over 68 centres across 21 countries. Its centres are home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Apple, Cisco Siemens, HSBC, Lenovo and Microsoft amongst others.

In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Nidhi Marwah, Regional Director for India, The Executive Centre, shares her thoughts about the rising demand for serviced offices in India, how sharing workspace is a cost effective solution for start-ups looking to grow and avoid extra liabilities initially, facilities and services offered, future expansion and collaboration opportunities, and much more...

On Serviced Office Market in India

In recent years, the India serviced office market has matured as a multitude of businesses from many different industries realise the advantages of deploying flexible workplace solutions.

Serviced offices are now perceived as a mainstream occupancy option by companies of all sizes. They allow companies looking for space to expand without the demand and burdensome costs of setting up and managing their own offices as well as without getting locked into long-term leases.

Moreover, companies or start-ups can minimise their upfront capital investment by paying only for the space, administration, conference and IT facilities that they actually use.

On Sharing Office Space vs. Renting or Leasing

Given the legal and regulatory complexities in Indian real estate market, there are a number of legal hurdles and complicated documentation issues that businesses need to overcome as well as exacting efforts required with their project teams in order to make an office space.

Thus, rather than going through all the hurdles and investing long term in expensive office space, with all the set-up costs and overheads, companies are turning to serviced offices like The Executive Centre, for a cost-effective, efficient and flexible solution.

On Leveraging India's Growing Start-up Base

The Executive Centre has been capitalising on the robust demand for office space from start-ups and entrepreneurs of different sectors ranging from banking and finance, consultancy, IT/ITeS to BFSI.

With the increasing need for ever-greater flexibility and speed to market, start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to have an immediate presence in India can benefit from The Executive Centre's fully furnished, prestigiously located and well-equipped serviced offices in a professional business environment.

On Cost-Effective Solutions for Start-ups

At The Executive Office, companies share common facilities like conference rooms, cafes, breakout areas, professional reception and support staff, and office services like photocopying and video conferencing while enjoying state-of-the-art communications, services and equipment in their own private, fully-serviced, corporate-standard office suites. This model offers massive start-up cost savings for businesses, cuts day-to-day running costs and removes the burden of long-term rental commitments and other overheads.

Other valued-added services such as secretarial support and meeting facilities will be charged on a pay-as-you-go basis, reducing clients' exposure to additional costs or resource requirements, when they do not need them. So overall, compared with leasing a conventional office space, taking a serviced office can help businesses/start-ups save up to 75 per cent of monthly costs.

On Capacity Size

In India, each centre has 200-300 workstations and can accommodate around 50 companies, subject to their operation size.

Other Facilities for Start-ups

Each centre has numerous contemporary offices varying in size from 1-60 workstations, with ergonomic Herman Miller modular furniture, highly secure IT infrastructure, comprehensive meeting and conference facilities, stylish breakout areas and professional office support services. Office space and layout can be customised to suit the customer's specific needs, and lease terms can be as short as one month.

On Future Expansion Plans

The serviced office take-up in India will continue to grow in future as well. In response to the rising demand for premium serviced office space, The Executive Centre has recently opened new premier office facilities in Chennai and Pune, and within next two months, we will open another new centre in Bangalore at Mfar Greenheart, and also further expand our centre network in Gurgaon and Chennai. Overall, we anticipate a strong performance in our India business in 2015 with a growth rate of 10-15 per cent.

On Investments Involved

There are no capital or investment costs required in the lease of a serviced office from The Executive Centre, unlike the lease of a conventional office which involves furnishing, designs and decoration.

On Future Collaboration Opportunity

We always welcome any partnership opportunities with existing accelerators and incubators in India. We are actually considering running a pilot project offering incubation benefits to some promising entrepreneurs, including office space, business addresses, office resources, and networking opportunities across Asia Pacific region.

Swadha Mishra

Former Staff, Entrepreneur.com

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