The Executive Centre has 30 centres across India and plans to expand to a dozen more in 2020
When you have an office that has a grand reception with a piano thrown in, a dining hall with leather Chesterfield chairs, workstations with Herman Miller chairs and a conference room that overlooks either the Jantar Mantar or the Qutub Minar, it’s much more than an ordinary shared working space – it’s a bespoke facility offering both a corporate and a cultural experience.
Hong Kong-based The Executive Centre (TEC) is Asia’s premium flexible workspace provider with over 141 centres in 32 cities and 14 countries across Greater China, Southeast Asia, North Asia, India, Sri Lanka, Australia and the Middle East. Globally, it has 2.78 million square feet of collaborative workspace in its kitty. The company entered the Indian market in 2008 and has since expanded to over 30 centres in seven cities over the past 11 years.
In Asia, besides Colombo and Dubai, the company has a presence in India across Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai.
“In India, there are about 30 centres out of which eight are in Gurugram and NCR. It has already signed up for nine more multiple centres – four in Mumbai, five in Bengaluru and three more are in the offing,” says Rajat Kapur, senior director, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Dubai Region – South Asia and GCC, The Executive Centre.
In 2020, the company plans to expand across cities - Mumbai, Bengaluru, NCR, Pune, Hyderabad, Dubai and Colombo, he says.
The office suites specialist has a steady approach when it comes to expansion plans. “We cannot mushroom everywhere, we are organically bound to our clients. In today’s business environment, expansion is a client driven requirement. We have had had a steady approach to plans to get into Tier II cities. We are primarily focusing on expanding our footprint within category A cities. To cite an example, we have recently signed up with a client in Gurugram for a 23,000 sq ft space with bespoke fit-outs. In return we have asked for a longer lock-in,” he says.
By 2021-end, the company hopes to have at least 35 to 38 centres in South Asia spread across India, Sri Lanka and Dubai. “Of these, at least 60 percent would be in India. India is giving us the highest growth rate. The average number of centres a year is around seven to eight. These cities would typically include Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Cochin,” says Kapur.
The average size of these centres range from 25,000 sq ft to 30,000 sq ft. The largest that the co-working company has signed up for is about 60,000 sq ft centre. As for average rentals, the Gurugram market commands anything between 40,000 to 45,000 per workstation while the Connaught Place Centre overlooking the Jantar Mantar commands Rs 50,000 to Rs 55,000 per workstation.
“Since we work in the premium space, we cannot mushroom all over. Our prerequisite is a Grade A building since we attract Fortune 1,000 companies. In terms of the industry, we may be smaller on our footprint but are highest on profitability globally,” he says.
How is it different from dime a dozen co-working operators setting up shop across the country? “A usual co-working facility has everybody working out of a large living room. The Executive Centre offers office suites located in category A plus buildings catering to a particular company. The size of the workstation too is more than 20 percent than what is available in the market. It also focuses on wellness with its air quality control, shower rooms, massage chairs, Herman Miller chairs, soundproof meeting rooms and even phone booths to cut down on sound,” he explains.
Tenants differ across geographies. “Connaught Place caters to a certain type of clientele such as legal firms, companies dealing with the government or the media whereas Gurugram cater to the IT and the consulting set. Overall, we cater to all major industries from IT, consulting, media, telecom, recruitment, social media to the funded start-ups. Brands such as BCG, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, Gartner, Salesforce are all our clients,” he says.
Any specific plans for 2020? The flexi-workspaces companies plans to cater to a more holistic clientele going forward. “While flexi space is getting more popular across industries, the concept of a business centre is diminishing and serviced offices, enterprise solutions, collaborative and co-working spaces are becoming more vigilant. The focus for the next three years will be to make The Executive Centre more visible in the bespoke solution space rather than just opening and filling centres,” he says.The company recently opened a 35,000 sq ft R&D centre for a global tech giant in This, Kapur adds, will pave the path for other clients going forward.