Before the pandemic came and played havoc with almost every aspect of our personal and professional lives, coworking space in India had a bright future. By 2025, 42% of the Indian population is predicted to work in urban areas, which will give a massive push to make the demand for office spaces rise.
As several new businesses consider the financial implications of accommodating their workforces, they’ll increasingly opt for shared offices, which will fuel the growth of the coworking industry in the next decade. But none of these predictions took the COVID pandemic into account. Does it mean the scenario has changed? Luckily, it hasn’t much.
Due to the pandemic, several traditional offices have decentralized and the WFH (work from home) employees are already feeling uninspired and fatigued. As the demand for safe shared offices increase, coworking spaces are trying to fill it up by positioning themselves as cost-effective ad-hoc solutions.
Coworking space leases in India rose to about 10 million square feet in 2020, which was a significant jump from almost 1.5 million square feet in 2017. Just a glance at the list of coworking spaces in India for tier-1, 2, and 3 cities will give you a fair idea of how the sector is poised for tremendous growth.
Indian economy and coworking spaces
To understand the scale of India’s coworking industry that has cradled the nation’s startup boom, let’s consider some facts:
- The world’s third-largest startup ecosystem is in India that consists of 50,000+ businesses.
- In 2019, 1300 startups were established, which is equivalent to two to three startups being born each day.
- India is among the world’s top three leading hubs of unicorns (which are startups valued above $1 billion).
By opening up newer frontiers of growth and supporting the nation’s entrepreneurs and start-up ecosystem, India’s coworking industry has fueled the nation’s economic growth.
When it comes to employment as well as optimal use of human resources and technology, all of which are key contributors to economic growth, you just can’t ignore what India’s coworking spaces have done and are still doing.
Second-largest flexible workspace market in Asia
In the Asia Pacific region, India has emerged as the second-largest market for flexible workspaces, after China. As a result, the nation’s coworking industry has helped create and sustain large scale direct and indirect employment. With flexible spaces to accommodate individuals to large teams and providing them with fully-equipped offices having robust IT support, India’s coworking spaces ensure optimal use of human resources and technology as well.
The impact of India’s shared office spaces isn’t limited to just entrepreneurs, startups, or MNCs. The concept has changed the real estate scenario too for the better. When rigid leases and rent terms along with escalating real estate prices in CBDs (central business districts) were making it difficult to find suitable workspaces, the flexibility of coworking spaces made many landlords and property owners convert their rooms or even entire buildings into shared offices.
Today, such spaces can be found in almost any type of real estate – from independent villas and residential apartments to neighborhood coffee shops and even hotels.
Cultural and social factors too drive economic growth. You’ll find that value-oriented cultures focused on achieving and celebrating achievements, and communities with robust social support are capable of making prudent choices and grow rapidly. With their periodic events, workshops, mentoring, and startup incubation/acceleration programs along with their vibrant communities that foster innovation, collaboration, networking, ideation, and brainstorming, coworking spaces in India play a significant role in the nation’s cultural and social fabric too, which have a far-reaching impact on the economy.
India’s coworking spaces have contributed to and fueled the country’s economy significantly. It’s time the government gives them the much-needed support to help them tide over the tough times brought upon by the global pandemic.
Interesting related article: “What is Teleworking?“