CoWrks to invest $25-30 million to expand its footprint

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on July 26, 2019 Published on July 26, 2019

Abhishek Goenka, CEO and CFO, CoWrks

Co-working solutions provider, CoWrks, is investing between $25 million and $30 million to more than double its footprint to 45,000 seats spanning over 3 million sq ft in the next 12 months.

Founded in 2016, CoWrks has been providing workspace solutions for businesses in Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Hyderabad. It has grown its presence from 2,800 seats across 1.6 lakh sq ft in 2016 to 20,000 seats across 1.5 million sq ft today and competes with WeWork, Awfis, IndiQube, Smartworks, Regus, Innov8, among others.

Robust demand

“The country sees 50-60 million sq ft of new absorption of commercial real estate space in a quarter; 10-15 per cent of this space is taken up by co-working solutions providers, which is projected to double as per industry reports” Abhishek Goenka, CEO and CFO, CoWrks, told BusinessLine.

“We will start operations in Pune soon and expand our presence in Mumbai and Bengaluru, which is our largest market,” he said.

CoWrks is looking to adopt the “operator model,” starting with Tier-2 and -3 cities such as Jaipur, Kozhikode, Mangaluru and Belagavi by tying up with local builders.

“In the operator model, someone else will own the real estate and capital expense of the fit-outs. The value that we will bring to the table is our own brand standards, design and operating experience, where we will work as a pure operator. This model is followed globally by big hotel chains like the Marriott and Hilton” said Goenka.

Co-working spaces initially came up to cater to the needs of a millennial workforce, start-ups, freelancers, small business owners and independent consultants. However, corporates have increasingly taken to co-working spaces over the last few years. For example, 90 per cent of CoWrks’ occupancy comprises corporates and well-funded start-ups while only 10 per cent are freelancers and small business owners.

Explaining why, Goenka said “Traditionally corporates worked out of a single office in a single location, today it is going in the reverse direction. Corporates are giving employees flexible work options by adopting the hub and spoke model, where the hub is their own office and the spokes are shared co-working spaces. This is because, corporates now understand that the work areas are all enclosed and private. It is not as if when you turn around, there is someone from another company prying into your work. They realise that only the meeting rooms and common areas are shared. More importantly, our offering is more sophisticated than our competitors – there is no loud music with beer being served, neither do we allow pets.”

Published on July 26, 2019
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