The Working Space Crafter We have ambitious plans to transform into a full-fledged managed services company offering various flex office spaces, prop-tech, IT leasing, design services, facility management, etc., in India and APAC: Neetish Sarda

By Punita Sabharwal

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Neetish Sarda, founder, SmartWorks

After completing his higher studies in the US and Singapore Neetish Sarda launched his entrepreneurial venture, Smartworks.Upon his return to India, he noticed a significant difference in the energy levels of millennials working in firms like Google and Microsoft abroad versus offices in India. The lack of flexibility, innovation, tech-savvy office infrastructure, the high upfront investment in the fixed real estate assets, and the additional cost of managing offices were significant challenges clients faced with traditional office leases. As a millennial, he understood the current workforce's needs, demands, and aspirations. Even though the workforce requirements kept changing, conventional offices hadn't seen any innovation in decades. "I decided to transform not just the office spaces but their overall experience. With this vision, I launched Smartworks in 2016, then a coworking space. Today we are India's largest Workspace-as-a-service (WaaS) platform that offers Enterprises, SMEs and highgrowth startups tailor-made, fully managed, digitally-enabled office spaces at value pricing," shares Sarda.

When Smartworks started operations, they were one among the 350+ players in the coworking industry. Coworking spaces catered to individuals and small teams, but Sarda was thinking of a sustainable business and aiming big. He researched, pivoted during the initial journey and pioneered enterprise onboarding into flex spaces while everyone else was focused on startups and freelancers. It currently has a growing portfolio of over 5.3 Mn sq.ft. pan India with a presence in 9 key cities and 32+ locations serving over 420+ clients such as Microsoft, Samsung, Starbucks, Jaguar Land Rover, Byju's, Swiggy, Flipkart, Moglix, Digit. From leasing single floors in a building to leasing large independent campuses, Smartworks' average facility size is 2+ lac sq.ft. After clocking 100 crore revenue in just two years of starting operations, they have already crossed the 300 crore mark. This year they are on the way to tripling the revenues. They recently launched their technology services arm, "Smartworks Technology Services', to provide SaaS solutions to organizations and landlords globally to manage all of their real estate needs. Currently valued over 3000 Cr., they were recently featured in Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021. Post becoming profitable and demonstrating the viability of the business concept, they raised Series-A funding from one of Asia's largest real estate players Keppel Land of $25 Mn in the last quarter of 2019.

Sarda has embarked on a plan to scale Smartworks to 20 million in the next three years. "We have ambitious plans to transform into a full-fledged managed services company offering various flex office spaces, prop-tech, IT leasing, design services, facility management, etc., in India and APAC," concludes Sarda."

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Punita Sabharwal

Entrepreneur Staff

Deputy Editor, Entrepreneur India Magazine

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