This Entrepreneur is Ending Monday Blues, One Office at a Time He has cracked the secret code of co-working spaces in India

By Sanchita Dash

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The Design Republic

Funding, mentorship, networking... have long been the "it" words of entrepreneurship and the latest to join the bandwagon is co-working spaces. The concept of co-working spaces has opened up a whole new option for entrepreneurs to not just save money but also interact with peers from the start-up ecosystem. But that's not all, it has also posed a challenge in front of interior designers and architects who had to quickly adapt to the changing demands of office spaces.

An entrepreneur himself, Tarun Singh, founder and CEO of The Design Republic started the company in 2003 and has been working on designing for and serving top-notch names in the hospitality. It's only recently that co-working spaces came his way.

Entrepreneur India caught up with Singh as he spoke about the aesthetics of his entrepreneurial journey and shared the tips every entrepreneur should keep in mind while building an office.

The Evolution of the Indian Office Space

For the longest time, office spaces have been restricted to the same dull and boring colours, with cubicles lined up one after the other. This also created a stifling environment for the employees stuck in a 9-5 job and with most of them waiting for the clock to strike 5. But now, with the start-up culture sweeping in, it has brought with it a pop of colour into the dull spaces. "People today want to enjoy coming to offices. We are designing young and dynamic spaces where the employees feel comfortable. It's designed to end Monday blues," said Singh.

Bringing in Individuality in Co-working Spaces

The concept of co-working offices or serviced spaces has become a big hit in the country with even international players like WeWork or Regus making their presence strongly felt. Singh believes that these spaces are offices which offer hospitality. His studio has designed the 17 different properties of SmartWorks and has managed to make each property different from the other. From gaming centres to a swanky looking cafe to an AV lounge, these spaces are not a regular working place. "We like to create experience centres," he said.

They also offer the customers of their clients (in this case SmartWorks), bring in their own individuality into the space. When the customer buys or books seats in a co-working space, an area is allocated to them and Singh then brings in the company's individual taste into the area.

What To Keep in Mind While Building Your Office?

For every entrepreneur out there looking at building their own office, Singh has a few tips. "Space management is crucial. Make sure the place is not cramped. Moreover, as most offices are in concrete towers, we try to create a vertical garden in them," said Singh. For start-ups, Singh says having a quirky meeting room along with a semi-meeting room which can be a collaboration space adorning cushions or funky furniture is a good idea. Move on from having canteens to having cafes which are self-serviced, he believes.

Having been in the industry for over 15 years now, Singh understands the changing trends in the office segment today. He adds that every corporate too is looking at incorporating a similar quirky interior design into their office space.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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