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Getting the RoI right while creating co-working spaces

July 2019
Today, there are close to 200 co-working operators running an estimated 400+ facilities across the country. Notably, the five major co-working players in India—Regus, WeWork, CoWrks, Awfis, Smartworks—have 0.79 million sq m (8.5 million sq ft) operational space, as per Knight Frank. But how do co-working players ensure the desired return on investment (RoI)?

Awfis specifically targets underutilised commercial assets located at strategic locations and turns them into Grade-A workspaces. As Amit Ramani, CEO & Founder, Awfis, shares, “Our primary business strategy revolves around transforming latent real-estate assets into co-working properties, which garners higher revenues for the developer, while we are able to attain real estate at a lower cost. This is a win-win situation for all parties concerned and fundamentally ensures that we meet our revenue targets. Also, most of our spaces see an occupancy level of 80-90 per cent within six months of starting operations. We also witness a lot of pre-bookings.”

CoWrks has determined four major factors to ensure and analyse return on investment (RoI), according to Sidharth Menda, Founder & Vice Chairman, CoWrks: “Meeting our desired occupancy target at the right time, with the right revenue per member; looking at reducing capital costs of the centre by standardisation and economies of scale; using smart systems to reduce operational costs by keeping up with the high level of service level agreements; and ensuring retention of members by providing them an incomparable experience in terms of events, amenities and offerings.”

The standout USP

As a large co-working group with multiple, easily accessible centres within and between cities, Workafella offers disaster management services at no extra cost. “In the case of any unforeseen natural calamity, our members have ready access to any of our spaces, ensuring their work is not interrupted,” says Shray Rattha, Co-Founder & Director, Workafella. “Perhaps our standout USP, one that has proven tremendously useful for clients, is our ancillary business services support. Our team of well-established charted accountants provides end-to-end finance services, ranging from registration and compliance to tax returns, acting as an on-demand virtual CFO. Similarly, our HR suite comprehensively supports major department functions such as recruitment, employee training, and upskilling.”

SERAPHINA D’SOUZA

City level co-working costs