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Sep 19, 2017 07:43 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

WeWork to add co-working space equivalent to 100 football fields in India

WeWork, which is being operated in India by the real-estate major Embassy Group, has already scouted for two more locations in Bangalore, and another in Gurugram

US-based corporate giant in the co-working space, WeWork in India plans to have a total of 700,000 sq. ft. of collective space equivalent to 12 football fields, by the end of its first year of operation.

WeWork entered India in July, with a 1.4 lakh sq. ft. workspace in Bangalore.

WeWork, which is being operated in India by the real-estate major Embassy Group, has already scouted for two more locations in Bangalore, and another in Gurugram.

“We had targeted to have 1 million sq ft of space initially, but revised it to 700,000 sq ft, because it's our first year of operation. Going forward we will accelerate the pace. In 4 years time, we would like to have at least 6 million sq. ft. of space across India,” Jitendra Virwani, Chairman of Embassy Group said.

The company competes with the likes of Innov8, GoWork, 91Springboard and The Hive in Indian co-working market. Six million square feet office space roughly translates to 104 football fields.

Six million square feet office space roughly translates to 104 football fields.

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The US-based company caters to about 150,000 members in co-working spaces across 15 countries. WeWork’s model in India is a rare one for the company. The US-based entity will not directly run and operate the India

The US-based entity will not directly run and operate the India centres but will take care of branding, culture and office services, and earn a share for knowledge sharing. Embassy Group, on the other hand, will provide capital and will handle the real estate and construction here.

Embassy Group, on the other hand, will provide capital and will handle the real estate and construction here.

The company runs and operates the majority of the centres on its own, except in Asian markets, where it is now expanding. After putting the India partnership in gear, WeWork will look for similar alliances in other new markets.

“We would prefer a partnership because it is important to have someone who understands the local market. Our design and ethos remain constant almost throughout, but some kind of localisation is required in every market. Having a local partner definitely helps,” Miguel Mckelvey, Co- founder and Chief Cultural Officer of WeWork said today in a select press meet in Bangalore.

An architect by education, McKelvey is closely associated with the design and architecture of WeWork facilities across the globe.

WeWork, had initially planned to enter the India market on their own, but later decided to induct a local partner, given the unstructured real estate industry and unique cultural demands.

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The partnership, in fact, seems to be working in favour of the brand. Since its launch in India this year, the New York-headquartered WeWork claims to have reached 90 percent occupancy at its 2,200-seater property in Bangalore.

The company is targeting to have 10,000 members across Mumbai and Bangalore by December and open in six more locations by January. Post this expansion phase, WeWork will move to other metro cities including Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune.

“We will move to smaller towns and cities also, but in the next phase. For now, we want to concentrate on creating value in high-revenue cities,” Karan Virwani, heir to the Embassy Group, said.

The company will explore locations like Ahmedabad, Indore, and Bhopal for expansion beyond metros.
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