35Under35

Meet The New-Age Landlord Who Made it to The Entrepreneur India's 35under35 List

How this entrepreneur is providing startups and SMEs in India a place to flourish
Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India Magazine
3 min read
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Blenders Pride Reserve Collection presents Entrepreneur's 35U35 list included some path-breaking names from the field of entrepreneurship and We Work India's CWeO made it to the list by providing SMEs and startups in India a workspace to collaborate and flourish.Here's the amazing story of this new-age landlord.

Karan Virwani developed a flare toward entrepreneurship quite early in life. Having grown up seeing his father run a real estate business, the Embassy Group, Karan decided to follow his footsteps too. At the age of 19, he started a company called Lounge Hospitality, which runs a chain of restaurants in Bengaluru.

"While running my business, I began to understand the pain points of many small businesses and startups in the country. According to me, there was a glaring dearth of decent office work spaces for them," says the 27-year-old entrepreneur.

 Karan, therefore, while already running his venture, decided to join his father in running the real estate business. He says, "On sensing the gap in the commercial office space segment, I thought that it was opportune moment for me to understand the real estate market. And, who better than my father who to seek help."

After attaining training for around two-and-a-half years under his father, Karan says he better understood the market and decided to venture into the real estate segment on his own to cater to the needs of office spaces for startups and small businesses.

He says, "While we were contemplating to set up an office space independently, through a few connections, we got in touch with WeWork - an American company which provides workspaces for startups, small businesses, and freelancers."

After a series of discussions on both the sides, WeWork Global and the Embassy Group, decided to get into a joint venture and launched WeWork India in November 2016. Karan says, "Our partnership is based on mutual strengths. While WeWork brings the knowhow in actual design and technology for workspaces, as a local partner, Embassy Group brings its rich legacy and expertise in the real estate sector, enabling the former to launch its India operations seamlessly."

In it two years of journey, WeWork India, which started with an investment of $25 million dollars, has registered growth in leaps and bounds. It has leased three million sq feet of office space in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bengaluru, built 35,000 desks, caters to over 20,000 members, including Twitter India, GoDaddy, Discovery India and employs 350 people.

Karan says, "We want to provide an ecosystem where large and small businesses thrive together. At WeWork, businesses can really collaborate, and interact with each other, which results in creation of new ideas and innovations on a daily basis."

Karan believes that they have not even yet scratched the surface of commercial space segment in India. He says, "In future, we would love to take WeWork to as many places as possible. We look forward to opening WeWork office spaces in Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai by the end of this year," he says.

(This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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