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Office space provider expands footprint

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Banks on companies who want to reduce capex expenses

Managed office space provider Smartworks plans to invest Rs 250 crore on 2.5 million sq ft of space in 2021 and ensure that its total footprint pan India touches 7 million sq ft. It intends expanding to cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR.

During the pandemic, it signed up close to 4 mn sq ft. The company is scouting for space in both Noida and Gurgaon and hopes to add 700,000-800,000 sq ft in Delhi NCR. Noida alone will account for almost 60 percent of the total 700,000 sq ft.

In both Hyderabad and Bengaluru, it is considering adding a million sq ft each. It will also be finalising co-working spaces in Tier 2 cities such as Jaipur and Coimbatore. These will be relatively smaller.

Of late, the company has witnessed a rise in demand for seat lock-ins rather than total space take up. As more employees return to work, companies are exploring co-working options rather than conventional office space to save on capex. Also, rather than locking into floors, they take up seats across multiple locations depending on the demand in that area.

As for future plans, the company is planning to eventually invest in other segments such as proptech, facility management, warehousing and other real estate verticals.

Founded in April 2016, Smartworks Coworking Spaces Pvt Ltd currently has 31 co-working centres, comprising about 60,000 seats and 40 lakh sq ft area, across nine cities.

Smartworks has operations in Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune. It mostly focuses on large corporates and its clients on an average take 250-300 seats.

Smartworks charges on an average Rs 10,000 per seat, with per-seat fee ranging from Rs 6,000 to Rs 30,000, depending on the location.

Flexible workspace operators are likely to lease about 3 million square feet of space across the top six Indian cities in 2021, as operators focus on signing large enterprise-level deals and cut down on speculative centres, Colliers has said.

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