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  Life   More Features  03 Jul 2018  Sharing spaces, building identities

Sharing spaces, building identities

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRIYANKA CHANDANI
Published : Jul 3, 2018, 12:26 am IST
Updated : Jul 3, 2018, 12:26 am IST

Co-working spaces provide entrepreneurs and freelancers with incomparable infrastructure and opportunities at a nominal cost.

With real estate being one of the most highly-priced commodities in the city, it’s foolish not factor in the need for an office space when starting your own business.
 With real estate being one of the most highly-priced commodities in the city, it’s foolish not factor in the need for an office space when starting your own business.

They say, if you trust your work, get a job; and if you trust yourself, do business. But in a city like Mumbai, self-belief will only get you so far, and the prohibitive cost of a working space can force you to give up on your dream.

With real estate being one of the most highly-priced commodities in the city, it’s foolish not factor in the need for an office space when starting your own business. Co-working space presents a viable alternative to a traditional office for start-ups and freelancers, making self-employment easier than ever before. It’s no coincidence that tier 1 cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad are seeing a rise in the number of freelancers.

Offices at MIDC in Andheri East are ideal for entrepreneurs. Architect Osama Khan, who shares a space with his partner at a cost of Rs 10,000 per month, says that co-working provides a platform for the free exchange of ideas, opportunities and resources. “There are a lot of networking opportunities. There are people from various business sectors working here, and we can build a rapport with them and look for opportunities,” he says.

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Most freelancers who work out of co-working spaces say that they are able to network, and thus able to earn more. “You interact with like-minded people and build contacts. I have got two projects from people working at my co-working space, and have been able to register my company. I also have access to a meeting room for when I see clients, and that makes a good impression on them,” says Yash Sharma, who pays Rs 8,000 per month for his space in Andheri.

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But that’s just one of the many advantages of not having to run your own office. “Cost-effectiveness, hassle-free accessibility and management of resources, great infrastructure, and a fun work environment full of opportunities are the biggest benefits of the co-working concept,” says Pranay Gupta, the co-founder of 91springboard office spaces in BKC. “Modern professionals desperately want to move out of their stuffy office spaces, cluttered not only because of a lack of space but also due to many insignificant protocols,” he adds.

But like any other business, running a co-working space has to generate revenue for it to be sustainable. “Co-working spaces work on the economies of scale principle, wherein the cost per unit goes down as more people sign up, and that helps us monetize better,” Pranay says.

As an added benefit, the owners of some co-working spaces also invite industry veterans and business leaders from across different verticals to conduct training, networking and mentoring sessions at no additional cost. “These talks are invaluable for budding entrepreneurs,” Yash says.

So if you’re considering starting off on your own, we’d suggest giving co-working a shot.

The Trend

Co-working spaces as a concept has been popular abroad for quite a while now. It was first introduced in India only half a decade ago, and it has been revolutionising the work culture ever since, stamping its identity as the way forward. The expansion and strengthening of digital infrastructure, the growth of online businesses and the emergence of a large number of start-ups have led to an increase in the demand for co-working spaces. The enriching work environment and the massive networking opportunities on offer have also contributed to their ever-growing popularity.

Tags: co-working space, self-employment, digital infrastructure