Why Co-Working is the First Choice for Millennials – Interview with Sudeep Singh [GoWork]
Currently, around 50 percent of the total Indian workforce is millennials. Typical co-working spaces have a high concentration of start-ups, which barring a few exceptions are all-millennial enterprises.
Co-working spaces support the flexible lifestyle of millennials offering cost-effective and flexible membership terms.
As building diverse workforces and diverse workplaces become more important. With the number of risks involved in the initial journey, Startups need the flexibility to scale and downsize at any moment. Therefore, the long-term commitment does not match the needs of the millennials.
So, they embrace the shared economy which gives them the freedom to choose a service plan based on their actual needs in a user-friendly and comfortable environment.
Shared offices are like the best of Netflix and Uber experience.
Bizztor had the discussion with Sudeep Singh, Co-Founder & Chief Evangelist of the world’s largest co-working capacity, GoWork.
He is focused on building and leading key business areas of the company. He comes with an illustrious industry experience and has been an investment banker at Merrill Lynch in the US and a portfolio manager for several Fortune 500 companies.
GoWork’s campuses have been built with an investment of INR 800 Crores. Its current clientele includes companies like Zomato, Paytm, FlyingFur, Impactify, Lifelong, Fixoo, etc.
From dedicated 1000 seater collaborative work environs for quick and optimized teamwork to ‘meditation’ and’ frustration’ zones for those office blues, GoWork ensures that it gives significant focus to the individuals as well as the work.
Here is what Sudeep Singh shared about the future of Co-Working.
Bizztor: Why are millennials choosing co-working as their first choice? Key things driving this change?
Sudeep: There are many factors that have driven millennials to co-working. Today’s workforce is high on the concept of shared economy and opting for co-working spaces saves 15–30 percent of the costs that go into realty and technological backup.
Millennials have varied attitudes and ever-changing lifestyle needs. Beyond the regular, co-working caters to millennials’ need of a fitness-oriented lifestyle with innovative offerings like gyms, spas, fun zones, cafes, bars, vegan food, herbal waters, nutritionist support, sleeping pods, and crèche facility.
Another reason can be initiatives such as bring your pet to work, group vacations, comedy sessions and reading sessions add further color to the life of the employees, providing them with an ideal avenue to create engaging peer communities.
Do you believe that a good Co-working can help your startup grow faster & why?
A co-working is not just the office but a cocoon for start-ups to nurture. By moving into co-working, start-ups can save at least 15–30 percent of the costs that go into realty and technological backup.
Also, they do not even need to commit to realty and maintenance. Getting good quality infrastructure equipped with VC rooms and hyper-connectivity solutions without any baggage that too at a nominal cost in itself is a driving factor for any new-age start-up.
Another reason is endless opportunities to network on a global scale. These start-ups can make the most of a co-working space during their nascent stage. We organize special workshops, hackathons, and pitching sessions for our start-up clients. This has helped our clients in taking their business to the next level while feeling secure in terms of finance and scalability.
While making a decision to choose the right space for their startup, what other key factors founders must consider?
Apart from the infrastructural and locational advantages, entrepreneurs need to focus on a few other factors while choosing the right co-working space, most prominent of them being the quality of utilities.
Infrastructure such as uninterrupted, high-speed internet service is required today to meet almost every need of a business, irrespective of its nature or scale.
Secondly, start-ups opting for co-working spaces need to look at the various other services and amenities that provide ample convenience to employees and make the working experience fun while taking care of various social, emotional and physiological needs.
Another factor is the qualitative opportunities for global networking and learning. Co-working spaces offer many good opportunities to start-ups to make their concepts heard and raise funds. Events like hackathons, workshops, hiring and pitching session must not be overlooked.
What is the most common mistake Entrepreneur’s make while working from a co-working space?
One common mistake is that entrepreneur does not do a proper analysis to know the long-term as well as short-term requirements from the co-working space as well as the resources employed therein.
Some entrepreneurs jump on the co-working bandwagon without evaluating the cost and return analysis. Furthermore, lack of supervision might reduce the efficiency of employees as they start becoming irresponsible.
Entrepreneurs need to ensure continuous communication is maintained with the resources and employ a sizeable number of employees when opting for co-working spaces, with executives from various ranks included judiciously so that work gets done. They need to also do a cost analysis and optimize the seat occupancy strategy is to make any co-working venture a success.
Some Entrepreneur believe that working from a Co-working space tag them as Wannapreneur in front of potential corporate customers? What’s your view on this?
This is not a correct assumption. On the contrary, entrepreneurs opting for co-working are being viewed as smart strategists by investors and venture capital firms as they are looking to minimize costs while ensuring the existence of a happy, healthy workforce.
From bootstrapped start-ups to multinational corporates, everyone is going the co-working way as it is the most hassle-free, value for worth option perfectly suited for modern professionals.
Additionally, co-working also serves as the ideal way to expand into newer markets or take up project-based work that requires a higher number of resources to be employed during a short period of time.
How hard is it for you to run India’s Biggest Co-work? Will you briefly share the journey till date?
Running the largest co-working facility is a not just a task but a practice which demands a holistic approach. This requires keeping the deliverables dust-free, from infrastructure to community to F&B, everything adds up to the experience of our customers.
As challenging as it may sound, we try to redefine the workplace lifestyle of Indians by providing a place to them where they find an amalgamation of both offices as well as a home.
We did a dipstick and understood the challenges faced by HRs, CEOs and their employees. Coming up with focused solutions, we started in November last year with a diverse clientele.
We have come a long way since then, and our centers are currently running at a 45 percent occupancy rate which is expected to grow up to 80 percent by the end of this year. Throughout the journey, we have catered to the interests of both GenX as well as the millennial workforce that comprises of MNCs, SMBs, Start-ups, and freelancers.
What separates GoWork from other co-working spaces in India?
Hospitality is a major advantage that we have over any other co-working space provider. Our approach is very much inclusive of personalized offerings, depending upon the need of the customers.
We actually understand that customers never play the same instrument at the same beat, and we go way beyond the attributes of infrastructure and technology.
At GoWork, we believe that modern workforce is all about a dust-free experience and prefers to live, work and play at the same place. Apart from ensuring that every component of our offering shines, be it food, luxury desks, IT services, events, interiors or amenities, we lay all our emphasis on customer experience.
Being customer savvy, we provide “built to suit” offerings to cater to the specific interior requirements of Corporates We also provide personal butler service to C level employees and give 50 sq. ft. carpet area dedicated to one person. We are coming up with a premium island bar and a live kitchen for our premium clients.
With a new wave of co-working spaces in India, How GoWork differentiate itself from others?
Unlike many players in the industry, we actually own our campuses and don’t rent them. This gives us full control of the premises and we can update/enhance them regularly as per market trends and the requirements of the entrepreneurs of the day.
Our first facility is also incidentally the largest co-working space in the world with an area of 4.5 lakh square feet and a capacity to seat 7000 people. Located just a 100 meters away from it is our second unit with a seating capacity of 5000 people and an area of 3.5 lakh square feet, the campus is the second largest co-working space in the world.
We also provide some of the best and most unparalleled infrastructures to our SME and entrepreneur clients. We have become Asia’s first co-working campus to provide its clients with an internet speed of 2Mbps. (Dedicated/primary line of 1Mbps per person + 1Mbps backup).
Apart from this, our amenities differentiate us from our competitors. We offer an event area for more than 5000 people, VC / Investor zone, World Art Café, Gym, Spa, Food Court, Gaming Courts, Badminton zone, Crèche facility, Sleeping pods which are integrated with air conditioning, small television screen, locker and music system, shuttle service to last mile metro station, Car Parking for over 500 cars at each facility.
Our campus is a pet-friendly campus and in a LEED Certified Platinum rated Green Building.
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