Regus Global Research findings suggest there is a massive shift towards flexible working hours. Around 80 percent of companies worldwide polled stated that flexible working policies have attracted employees and is a good tool to prevent high attrition.
The Indian commercial real estate market hit rock-bottom in 2013, on the back of economic slowdown and corporates downsizing operations. But, it would be unfair not to blame developers’ business models.
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High rentals, inappropriate design layout and an immense oversupply all added to the pain. It became pretty clear that developers and brokers would have to innovate to survive. International property consultancy firm Regus went a step further to convert the crisis into an opportunity. The firm fought the downturn by signing on 250 of the 500 top Fortune companies in India. Besides MNCs, Regus is targeting start-ups and SMEs.
“We provide offices around the world that are a plug-and-play model. So our clients use our offices as they want. Some of them are resident clients, some of them are clients who only use our lounge facilities to come and be in an office environment for an hour or two hours,” said Sahil Verma, COO, Regus.
Regus has plenty to boast about. Half of Fortune 500 companies, the likes of Google, Apple, American Express, BMW, Toshiba, Nokia, have all gone with Regus in India. The latest to join the bandwagon is Twitter.
“We have just signed a global contract with Twitter, which is rapidly expanding in all countries. The company has discovered that it does not want to invest in creating infrastructure in each country when it doesn’t really know how well or how quickly it will grow,” Verma said.
Twitter has taken three offices in Lower Parel, Thane and Vashi each. Twitter’s main Mumbai office is located at Regus Office Complex in upmarket Peninsula Business Park, Lower Parel.
Regus Global Research findings suggest there is a massive shift towards flexible working hours. Around 80 percent of companies worldwide polled stated that flexible working policies have attracted employees and is a good tool to prevent high attrition. 81 percent of all the MNCs have adopted the policy of flexi hours.
“You would imagine a higher percentage, but only 60 percent of employees said flexible working offers better work-life balance,” Verma said.
Apart from Regus, local developers like Apeejay Business Centre and DBS Office Business Centre have also shown new ideas that paid off. Both firms recorded a substantial increase in their clientele over the last year and that’s by offering companies and professionals an innovative cost-saving opportunity. These offices offered leases for work stations, thus breaking away from the traditional business model of letting out office space at a pre-decided rent on a per square foot basis.
“We are 30-40 percent cheaper than the rentals in the neighbourhood in per square feet. The product pricing range varies from product starting at Rs 900 a month that allows you the usage of this network going up to anywhere close to Rs 30,000-40,000 a month, depending on what is the kind of office you have taken, what is the size, which part of the country and so on and so forth,” Verma added.
Corporates remain cautious on real estate and in a consolidation mode. It is clear that consultancy firms and developers will have to innovate and come up with out-of-the-box ideas to beat the downturn.
Real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield feels this is the best time to go and buy a commercial property.
“I believe for 2014 and 2015, you will see capital appreciation in office if you were to invest today in office spaces. So, certainly if you have the appetite of picking bare shell or indeed leased properties, this is the best time whether you are a retail investor, whether you are an institutional investor,” said Sanjay Dutt of Cushman & Wakefield.
“If you don’t buy you will see lot of foreign capital coming and picking up real estate asset in India and should the government open the door for ready leased assets where the foreign investors can invest money, you will see all of the space available in the market will get quickly grabbed,” he added.The Great Diwali Discount!
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