New York-based coworking startup WeWork has launched its India hub in Bengaluru. The coworking space is called WeWork Galaxy. The hub can hold up to 2,200 members.
The community space is targeted at startups, freelancers, and large corporates across different sectors that want to make use of the flexible offerings. WeWork India also supports an NGO Meghshala, a cloud-based platform for teachers. WeWork India opened its doors in June 2017 but has launched the hub today.
Commenting on the launch, Karan Virwani, Director – WeWork (India) said, “We are excited to officially kick start our operations in India with the launch of ‘WeWork Galaxy’ in Bengaluru. WeWork is a global company with a local playbook and the reason we chose Bengaluru as our first location is because it’s demographically the most diverse city with the second fastest-growing major metropolis in India having a very robust startup ecosystem.”
WeWork Galaxy: Feature Breakdown
According to the official website, WeWork Galaxy offers high-speed Internet, secure WiFi, conference rooms and cubicle spaces that suit group and individual business needs. There are other amenities too, such as a rooftop balcony with jacuzzi and swimming pool, a cafeteria, and individual office infrastructure facilities.
There are also separate lounges for members to unwind and hold meetings in a less formal atmosphere. It also boasts of private offices as well as shared desk facilities in the six-floor hub. WeWork also offers weekly happy hours and events aimed for prime networking opportunities between all the stakeholders of the local startup ecosystem.
The hub is located at Residency Road in Bengaluru. The Indian arm of WeWork has plans to open two more Bengaluru centres in Whitefield and Koramangala, respectively. It also plans on expanding to Mumbai and Delhi.
WeWork: An Overview
Founded in 2010, WeWork today has offices in around 190 locations globally. According to an official statement, the company aims to create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living. There has been a macro shift toward a new way of work—one focussed on a movement towards meaning—and the company looks to accelerate this movement via coworking.
The statement also claims that WeWork is adding approximately 10 to 15 locations per month, the world over. It counts Microsoft, Bacardi, Samsung, and about 450 enterprises as client members. The coworking space claims to have doubled the member base with 80K members utilising the coworking facilities being offered in 149 physical locations, offices in 188 locations, covering 45 cities across the world.
WeWork India, on the other hand is a fairly new venture for the startup. Talking about the company’s overall vision for India, Ole Ruch, Managing Director, WeWork Asia-Pacific said, “For WeWork, 2017 is a year of great expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, and we want to strengthen our communities here as we enter new markets. We’ll soon bring WeWork to Mumbai and Delhi as well, and are looking forward to seeing what innovative new ideas will come from these communities.”
Coworking In India: A Snapshot
India is fast catching up, and even overtaking more established and dominant players of the global startup ecosystem. It is home to thousands of startups and millions of small businesses. Coworking spaces in metro cities, especially, provide a sense of support, infrastructure, networking opportunities as well as outsource office facilities for entrepreneurs who are just starting out.
Perhaps, this is the reason for a concentrated mushrooming of coworking spaces all over India. In fact, the government is also promoting coworking spaces. Minister of Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman recently pledged $183K from her MPLAD fund to build an incubator and coworking space in Mangaluru.
91springboard, a contender in the coworking space, recently opened its eleventh hub Pan-India in Noida. BHIVE Workspace in Bengaluru, and Delhi-based Awfis raised millions in funding in the last few months. Other entities that compete with new entrant WeWork in the coworking space are Instaoffice, Bengaluru Alpha Lab, Innov8, NUMA Bengaluru among many others.