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Flexible Workplace Demand To Jump 5-Times To 130-140 Million Sq Ft By 2025: Report

The global real estate consultant released its report at 'Redefining future workplaces” at Workplace Trend Conclave organised by Studiokon Ventures (SKV) on November 15 at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi.

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Demand for flexible workspace in India is estimated to grow fivefold to 130-140 million sq ft by 2025 accounting for one-third of global co-working inventory, according to a report released by property consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). The global real estate consultant released its report at 'Redefining future workplaces” at Workplace Trend Conclave organised by Studiokon Ventures (SKV) on November 15 at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. The NYSE-based consultant has estimated the global flexible workspace inventory at about 125 million sq ft, of which nearly 27 million sq ft is located in India.

Anshul Jain, Country Head & Managing Director-India, C&W, “We did a survey and found out that 57 per cent of respondents had a positive view on co-working, and they said that their exposure to co-working spaces is going to increase, and that could be up to 25 per cent of the spaces that corporates occupy across the world could actually move into co-working or  flex spaces by the end of 2025. And at least one in three scenarios, corporate professionals said that they have been at a reduction in cost, as they moved into flex-basis. And that reduction is into 6 per cent. And most of the CRS said that they have moved into cost neutral position. The expected growth in the co-working space in India is expected to be five times in the next six years.” He was speaking at a session Co-working- ‘Crafting work and workplaces-Future of Work with Co-Working’

Harsh Lamba, Country Manager, India VP-Sales IWG, “We came into India in 2005. And this is our 15th year in India, and we've expanded to about 120 workspaces across 60 cities. So we were clear in this business. I am not sure when the new players came in whether they disrupted the market but they've challenged the status quo. And when space becomes more competitive, the people that benefit are our customers. So it's really good for the industry in them than what's happening. Given that we do our own global research,  across the world, we are adapting our format to meet the changing needs of new-age customers.”

Abhishek Goenka, CEO, CoWrks, “Firstly, co-working or flex or managed offices, is not about fully fitted out space because there's a very, very deep layer of operating expertise that is needed to run a successful, flexible or co-working business. And I think we've heard this narrative about developers saying, why should we give you the opportunity to take space from us and make better deals? Why can we start a co-working business? We've seen some developers attempted. But honestly, no one has really successfully done it because unless you go with the mindset that I'm going to run this as a business and not just create fitted out spaces in my buildings, it does not work. So we really don't see that as a threat. The other point is the space for Liberty.  We’ve been going very cautiously. We don't believe that it's a finite market that you have to go and grab and create seats. Even if five other developers in the market  want to start their own co-working business and create a sort of captive brands because more players only mean more competition and more operating excellence that come into the mix. So we certainly see that we have reached a position where developers now value and believe that having a flex or co-working space in that campus is an amenity without which it actually impacts the leasing of the larger space. Now, whether they do it themselves, whether they'll give it to a third party operator like us, it's really a call they have to take. And we don't believe that suppliers are finite. We believe there's enough supply in the market. Even if one or two developers do not want to give space to us, we are fine with that.”

Amy Chulamas Jitpatima  Director, MQDC India says, “We are from Thailand and have offices in Shanghai and most recently this end of last year in Delhi. There are a lot of start-ups and a lot of unicorns and there is a lot of excitement going on (here) and that's what brings us here. Increasingly, we are a house of brands, so we have many brands in our portfolio. So after some research and also consulting some of our partners, we feel that running wisdom club i.e. our co-working space into Delhi is the perfect match. And also, as a group, we have like a 40-year plan and India is one of the countries in the plan and we are here to fulfil our business and social ambitions for the future.  And just to tie back to our core values, we are heavily focused on wellbeing and sustainability in everything that we do. We have our own research Institute in Thailand where we also partner with MIT and Harvard and all the projects that we do.”

Kunal Mehra, Co-Founder, Table Space Technologies, “We always believe that our business works for enterprise occupiers because we didn't want any hidden mismatch in our business model at all. We took long term business from developers, landlords, and got long-term occupiers by bringing sustainable offices over the period of time. If you give the right service to the occupier, they will appreciate your value-added services. It's the one space as a service. So if you're able to maintain the service that it's adding value and creating a differentiation in the entire offering, it's a very sustainable model and a balance sheet happening at the investors’ end.

Bejul Somaia, MD, Lightspeed Partners, “I would argue that there is too much supply coming onto the market too fast. We're used to seeing a lot of rosy projections for the future that often fall short. But anytime you see the kind of supply admission that we're seeing here usually leads to problems. That's happening at a time that the economy is slowing. So there's a question around whether there's going to be the increase in demand that's forecast. I think it's really important that individual companies have clearly defined their target segments, the price points, the offering for that segment. And what we tend to find is there's a lot of confusion, with a lot of brands around exactly who they're serving, what that customer base wants, at what price point. And my sense is that's going to need to get ironed out in the next few years.”

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