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91springboard’s Pranay Gupta on ‘cosupporting’ Indian Startups

91springboard’s Pranay Gupta on ‘cosupporting’ Indian Startups

“We like to call ourselves a community-led incubator, said Pranay Gupta, cofounder of 91Springboard.

We don’t want to be those guys that open in 100 cities and then realise that quality is very low,” said Gupta.

Leasing in India is expected to touch 10 Mn sq ft by 2020 which is equivalent to over 173 football fields - report

Inc42 is hosting The Ecosystem Summit — an invite-only summit curated to bring together an unparalleled group of CEOs, founders, investors, and industry experts — on November 16.

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If one were to walk through the streets of Bengaluru, the landscape is dottedwith hoardings advertising coworking spaces, some known names and some new, it’s a tough job to keep track of what goes on in this industry.

This is fast turning out to be the case across many prominent cities across India, in-part as a response to increasing number of startups that need affordable office spaces that are not located in the outer edges of these buzzing metropolises.

According to CBRE, an New York Stock Exchange-listed company that claims to be the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, the concept of shared office space is fast catching up in India. Leasing is expected to touch 10 Mn sq ft by 2020, which is equal to over 173 football fields!

According to the report, there are more than 350 shared office operators present in India, spread across 800 locations in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. About 85% of shared office space in India is in Tier 1 cities, while the remaining 15% is in Tier 2 cities.

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Inc42 caught up with Pranay Gupta, cofounder of 9springboard, a coworking space provider, and asked him about how this support system has evolved over the years along with the startups.

Gupta founded 91springboard in January 2013 out of a small space located in Mohan Estate in New Delhi. From here the company has now expanded its presence to nine Indian cities and has a total of 22 offices listed on its website.

One of the things Gupta has noticed in all these years is that many people like to look at a startup through the same lens and this is one thing that he feels passionately about. Irrespective of whether it is an incubator or a coworking space or an accelerator, each one has its own uniqueness and each one is very important for the ecosystem

Gupta is slated to speak at Inc42’s The Ecosystem Summit to be held this week.

“One of the biggest changes we have seen is that even established companies are acceptable to be working from a coworking space… we have companies like Paytm and Zomato working out of our offices.,” Gupta said.

91springboard which claims to be India’s first coworking space, is getting more holistic in their approach when it comes to their positioning, which also means being more invested in the fortunes of startups operating out of their offices.

The company not only provides coworking spaces but also invests in startups and facilitates interaction between entrepreneurs and investors along with conducting workshops and talks, free of cost across their locations.

“We want to strike a balance between our expansion plans and the quality of service, we are after all also a very young company. We don’t want to be those guys that open in 100 cities and then realise that quality is very low. While we are indeed expanding very rapidly, I want to do it step by step, “ Gupta said.

 “The need of the market right now is to increase the current coworking space capacity by 30%-40%.

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Gupta said he is excited about Tier 2 but wants to take his time with it and one of the reasons why there is no timeline on that call is because the approach will need modification as the capacity to pay and demand are very different so one would ideally like to run a few models before venturing further.

“ We like to call ourselves community led incubators and I think the Indian ecosystem has just started,” said Gupta.

Note: 91springboard is an investor in Inc42.

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