“Smartworks”, India’s largest provider of serviced office spaces has revealed its aggressive growth plans to expand to 3 million square feet across twenty cities pan-India, by the year 2020. The company’s leadership team has been recently augmented with Co-Founder Harsh Binani, coming on board with Founder Neetish Sarda, to strive ahead towards its ambitious expansion goals. Neetish has a strong base in Real Estate as well as the required skill in identifying the right premises that would make for successful serviced office spaces to suit small and large corporates. Harsh comes to “Smartworks” with a strong background in strategy and operations from having spent over five years at McKinsey & Co’s Chicago office. He holds an MBA degree from Kellogg School of Management, USA and a graduate degree in Economics from Shri Ram College of Commerce. Neetish and Harsh are determined to make “Smartworks” the largest network of new age, serviced offices in India indexing on customer experience, technology and community.
Currently, the company offers state-of-the-art, fully serviced, technology-rich, serviced office spaces, ranging from private offices (for individuals and teams) to shared and virtual offices. It currently caters to over 5,000 members and operates with the premises of 4,50,000 sq. ft., which has a capacity for more than 6,000 people, and has marked its pan-India footprint with its presence through multiple facilities in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune. Majority of these offices are working at 85% occupancy on an average.
In April 2016, “Smartworks” made its foray into the Indian market with its differentiated offering of ‘serviced office spaces’, by evolving the traditional concept of workspaces through its mantra of enabling individuals and businesses to be driven by their own rules and motivation, in a modern-day location. Since then, it has grown exponentially to 10 centres across 7 cities within just three quarters of a year.
Speaking about his company’s niche offering, Neetish Sarda, Founder “Smartworks”, said, “At present, employees want more freedom, agility and a sense of community in the workspace, which has a significant impact on the overall productivity of the organization.Obviously, facilities and infrastructure must become astute to support such a working structure. Facility management is glittering up the corporate real estate by transforming common real estate into a saleable product as employees demand better services. Be it a technology-rich environment, excellent internet speed, breakout areas, a strong corporate identity or fully-equipped meeting rooms, we understand the need of today’s modern workplace, operating styles of entrepreneurs, start-ups and blue-chip organisations alike”.
Explaining the thinking behind the company’s offering Harsh Binani, Co – Founder “Smartworks” said, “The core concept is to build an offering that is easy to set up, fully customizable and future ready. A critical aspect considered was to move beyond the mundane offerings of conventional business centres and co-working spaces, which tend to be a company’s choice only until it stands on its feet. The aim has always been to build completely serviced and customizable offices wherein a company could thrive on qualitative networking opportunities and expand itself while shaping the office as per its own culture and ecosystem in ‘Smartworks’ universe”.
To top it all up, “Smartworks” believes that the future workspaces would require to be a lot more collaborative and community-driven in nature. The young entrepreneurs believe, based on their personal experience, that the importance of a community environment cannot be undermined. Hence, special importance is being accorded to common areas such as gaming zones, learning centres, collaboration labs, state-of-the-art cafeterias and breakout areas within the office premises, where employees can connect and engage with each other. At the same time, the hassle and associated establishment and running costs for these areas have been taken away from the customer by “Smartworks”, and is the unique and runaway aspect of the offering that they believe will help garner a larger, more discerning market share for the company.
Shared serviced workspaces continue to ride a crest in the commercial real estate market and could spread beyond the scale of what merely is referred to as co-working space. Total leasing volume of co-working spaces in India was 1.2 million square feet in 2016 and is estimated to be around 10 million square feet by 2020. The Founders estimate that there are close to 5,000 start-ups in the country at present, eyeing flexible serviced office spaces for the convenience that they offer. And this number is estimated to be around 12,000 by the year 2020. The duo at “Smartworks” believes that, against this landscape, the company is well on track with over 33% of the market share, to be key player in the field.