Here's Why This Thai Real Estate Giant is Betting on India
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Even though co-working is still nascent in India, India has been embracing the shared space culture fast. According to a June 2019 report by JLL and FICCI, the co-working market share in office leasing space in the top seven cities of India increased from 8 per cent in FY2018 to 12 per cent in Q1 2019. Co-working spaces have changed the dynamics of working for Indian millennials. Traditional offices are no more a norm. The vibe of co-working spaces which promotes flexible working at affordable prices has gelled with today’s generation of workers.
Apart from WeWork, which came to India a little over two years ago, another real estate giant, Thailand-based Magnolia Quality Development Corporation (MQDC), launched co-working brand Whizdom Club in India in August. Entrepreneur India caught up with Chulamas (Amy) Jitpatima, director of MQDC India, at ‘Workplace Trends Conclave’ held recently at Hyatt Regency in Delhi.
Why MQDC Chose India to Start Global Endeavors?
MQDC is the 32nd Thai company to come to India. India is also the first country MQDC chose to start its global endeavors with. So what made the real giant choose India? “India, as a country, is very huge,” she says, adding, “It has a very young and dynamic population. We're entering the market because we see opportunity in terms of helping startups grow and being the gateway for them to the rest of southeast Asia.” Amy says India has a lot of unicorns and this move would help them support the startup journey of the nation.
What is Whizdom Club?
With big guns of the business ecosystem such as Paytm, Zomato and Twitter, among others, adopting co-working spaces, the market is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive. So what sets Whizdom Club apart from other players? She says, “All other players are doing a lot of great stuff in the market.” However, MQDC has a specific vision, she says, adding, “We have a brand vision and we hope to bring something new to the Indian market.” Amy says Whizdom club is an inspiration and ideation hub with co-working space as the business model.
She also added that apart from providing all amenities under one roof, Whizdom club also has several spaces including Whiz Live (an events area within the co-working place to hold social and business events), Whiz Around (an ideation space where startups can discuss and brainstorm ideas) and Whiz Den (literally, is the ‘grill zone’ where startups face criticism and are also provided mentorship), among others.
Deepening Indo-Thai Relations
According to Amy, the fundamentals of co-working spaces are same in India as well as in Thailand. The key difference between them lies in India being more focused on larger enterprises whereas Thailand is more focused on startups. She says, “India mainly targets managed spaces including larger floor plates, larger seats, larger take ups at once and less on individual seats and open spaces.”
Amy shares that MQDC is focused on stabilizing Whizdom Club in the coming months and opening more centers across Delhi-NCR and other metro cities. She also said the team is doing in-depth market analysis to recognize market opportunities that can be tapped into.