Spotlight On: India

Our leadership team from India share their thoughts on market evolutions and plans for the future.

Date posted: 29 May, 2019
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India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and current demand would indicate that the flexible workspace industry has found its stride. It is second only to China in terms of market size for the flexible workspace market in APAC. We spoke to key members of our regional team who are responsible for leading both our daily operations and expansion in India about growth, challenges and what we can expect in the future.

 

By The Numbers 

  • 13 million people predicted to be working from a coworking space by 2020 
  • 50% of respondents to CBRE India’s flexible space survey reported an increase in productivity and collaboration upon switching to flexible space 
  • $3 billion has been invested into coworking spaces in the region in the past four years 
  • 6-10 million square feet could be represented by flexible space India’s tier I and tier II cities 
  • 2.7% of all office stock in India is flex, compared to just 1.1 percent in cities such as New York 
  • 60% of respondents from a CBRE India survey cited a preference for tailored offerings like private workspaces

 

 

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The lounge spaces in our Centres give Members an opportunity to relax and network in a less formal space. 

 

Rajat Kapur – Senior Director Gurgaon, New Delhi and Dubai 

Sharing success with the teams, not only on paper but actually seeing them grow in other ways is important. We know everybody in the TEC family has a substantial IQ but developing and retaining EQ within the teams becomes the base to our India team’s ‘secret sauce’. 

 

How does the flexible workspace industry fit into India’s commercial real estate landscape? 

Not only was it rarely seen in corporate real estate, but it was basically an unheard of option. Now flexible workspace has become the preferred option, most RE Heads would like to see it presented as a part of their overall solution. There has been an evolution toward a definite ‘yes’ mindset regarding our industry. 

 

What makes New Delhi and Gurgaon different from other cities in India and other cities that you oversee in terms of the flex market 

Both New Delhi and Gurgaon are very relationship driven and there is less of an emphasis on transactional only deals. It comes down to ingrained cultural behaviours. Quality, along with our specific differentiators, remain very high in the decision making process. There is also a slightly more conservative attitude versus other parts of India. For example, most corporates and MNC’s shy away from coworking space in New Delhi which helps us tremendously as we have the capabilities to provide alternative, flexible solutions.

For Gurgaon, the development type and location take precedence. Logistics plays a vital part in operations for many of the businesses in the city which dictates that their professional presence is maintained in Grade A + buildings, something TEC distinguishes itself by globally. It complements our Members businesses, their talent and their product. In this micro-market, TEC are often a solution to a business’s second life cycle phase as we accommodate the need to efficiently scale or upgrade.  

 

What are some of the specific challenges related to the regions you over see and how do you address these?  

Currently our biggest competition are the global coworking and flexi-space giants. While these global players are no doubt dominant globally, there is a real lack of nuanced understanding. The phrase “patience is a virtue” comes to mind when tackling this specific challenge, as we wait out for the metaphorical bubble to burst. Our team are confident in our product. Our Members come to TEC with a genuine need for the best workspace, an understanding that we have an unrivalled product and experience that they are not afforded the opportunity with at other flexible office suppliers.  

 

What is next for TEC India?  

We expect more Enterprise Solutions and more bespoke design solutions that will cater to client budgets, specifications and challenges.  

 

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Service standards have been an  important touchpoint for our team in India in developing longstanding relationships with Members. 

 

Naveen Kumar- Regional Director, Chennai and Colombo

It’s been a fabulous 5 and half years with the company. I have transformed personally and professionally with TEC and being offered ownership of an integral part of a premium brand in the market with premium space solutions is really exciting. We have evolved as a team with 100% client satisfaction, one of the best business structures and are equipped with a solid team that enables me to focus on the core areas of the business and achieve over 90% occupancy year-on-year.  

   

How does the flexible workspace industry fit into India’s commercial real estate landscape? 

Undeniably the biggest trend in commercial real estate over the past couple of years, has been the rise of flexible and coworking spaces. It’s the future of work. Factors like saving on upfront and operational costs as well as the flexibility of scaling a business efficiently, contributes to making flexible workspaces an even more attractive option. This especially true for those wanting to start a new venture or even for large corporates looking to take advantage of these benefits and making the move from a conventional space to flexible workspace. 

In Sri Lanka, flexible workspace has become a game changing solution, tenancies lasting two to three years dominate the industry and have become a significant threat to traditional space providers. Restrictions on lending the huge amount of capital it takes to set up an office, the more attractive flexible workspace becomes. Perhaps more importantly, it has triggered a change the mindset of our Members and potential clients.  

 

What would you say differentiates both Chennai and Colombo from other cities in India in terms of the flex market? 

We are seeing a huge potential for flexible workspace in these markets and demand continues growing year on year. We cater to this demand with a further supply of grade A buildings available from 2020. The Colombo market is relatively small and the business is heavily based on relationships and reputation. The market is very price sensitive and customers are demanding. This poses a challenge to most supplies, however TEC’s product surpasses all others on offer in the market. 

  

What is next for TEC India and Sri Lanka?  

The Next big thing is an upwards tick in more bespoke space solutions. We expect to be creating more tailor-made offices that enable us to work specifically with our Member to develop a space that fits their needs exactly.   

 

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The different dynamic of various cities through India informs our operations across the country.   

 

Zishan Khan- City Head, Mumbai and Pune 

TEC has been an institution for me in the sense that it has helped me evolve not only professionally, but personally as well. It has offered me the opportunity to learn from new experiences, explore new facets of corporate culture, build new relationships with my colleagues and with our Members and partners. Another thing that I have learnt in my journey with TEC was how a group of passionate people can drive a company to succeed. I am so proud of the efficient, stable and consistent team that we have built in the TEC India. Leading two extremely different markets within three years, the power and freedom that is entrusted to me to convert prospects to Members has been the biggest highpoint of my career.    

 

How does the flexible workspace industry fit into India’s commercial real estate landscape? 

India is turning into a hub for entrepreneurs. Over two-thirds of our population makes up the young and exciting workforce we are seeing today. These ‘young guns’ need the right support to realise their vision and that is where flexible workspace comes into picture. From a global perspective, India presents a challenge for most MNC’s. It is often considered disorganised or disruptive to the standard operations they are accustomed to. TEC offers corporations stability and a standardised global business practice. We are able to address all of their needs  – from the availability of good infrastructure, to the process of government approvals required to begin operations. India is already witnessing unprecedented growth in the flexible workspace industry, and TEC are established players in the game.  

 

What makes Mumbai and Pune different from other cities in India and other cities that you oversee in terms of the flex market? 

Mumbai and Pune are two extreme markets. Mumbai gives me great exposure to the expectations of top tier management while also presenting us with quick turnarounds and strict time-dependent delivery. Pune on the other hand, is far more relaxed, comprised of young ambitious talent, they are more inclined to be working according to their own independent schedules. Culturally and professionally, Mumbai is formal yet distinctively warm, whereas Pune is vibrant and dynamic. In Mumbai we are used to seeing smaller teams occupying flex workspaces due to the higher real estate costs. Pune typically sees us signing bulk deals over a longer period of time. Both have their own challenges, but these markets summarise two very different positions of the country’s business spectrum. 

 

What are some of the specific challenges related to the regions you over see and how do you address these? 

There is a lack of quality Grade A buildings and this is one of the biggest challenges we face in both Mumbai and Pune. Due to this shortage, the available inventory is highly inflated resulting in clients opting for alternative cities like Bangalore or Hyderabad. We position ourselves in such a way that any client looking at value for their money comes to us. We provide the best addresses with the most exceptional design the market has to offer. We are not only the most premium player in this category but are also effectively solving the problems of each one of our Members, through our product.  
 

What is next for TEC India?  

Our biggest asset is demand driven growth alongside our long-term Members. In the last 4 and a half years of my career with TEC, we have grown exponentially. We have not only expanded three-fold, but have ventured into new cities and countries over a very short span of time. Under robust leadership, we are very confident moving forward, evolving strategic concepts for our Members across the region. There is a collective passion and a shared focus that highlights our growth and continuing to move forward together.  

 

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The future of flex in India looks bright and TEC look forward to supporting our network as we continue to grow.

 

New Opportunities on the Horizon

MNC’s and large enterprises in India are choosing flex spaces not just as a cost cutting solution, but as a tool to capitalise on the in-built infrastructure like the compelling network of professionalsIt is a unique culture among the TEC India team that differentiates their success from other regions. A warm, personable approach to business impacts the character of our network in India. Thank you to our entire India team for their dedication in supporting our Members and special thanks to the leadership team for helping lay the groundwork for the workspace of the future.

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