Amid layoffs, flexible workspace players on expansion overdrive in Hyderabad
HYDERABAD: Amid the growing buzz about layoffs and looming global recession, flex players are on an expansion drive in Hyderabad. While Simpliwork is expanding from around 1 million sq ft (msft) to about 2.5 msft over the next 4-5 years, Smartworks and Skootr are looking to double their footprints to 2 msft (in 18 months) and 1 msft (in one year), respectively.
This even as WeWork is learnt close to finalising a third facility of around 1 lakh sq ft, The Executive Centre (TEC) is adding another 1 lakh sq ft in 2023 to its existing footprint of 65,000 sq ft and local player Dwaraka Office Spaces is eyeing another 2 lakh sq ft to add to its existing 3.2 lakh sq ft in 2023-24.
Then there is The Business Quarter, a 110-seater 14,000 sq ft boutique co-working facility that is set to come up next year in Hitech City as part of the upcoming The Quorum Hyderabad.
While flex operators say that Hyderabad has been one of their fastest growing markets, K Veerababu, managing director, Hyderabad & East India, Cushman & Wakefield, says Hyderabad’s flex market has zoomed to about 6 msft with about 85,000 seats since 2018 with most of it concentrated in HiTec City area.
Pointing out that Hyderabad’s fast-paced infrastructure development, quality of life, cost effective real estate and proactive government make it an ideal destination, Kunal Walia, CEO & founder, Simpliwork Offices, says: “We have invested 250 crore over last three years in Hyderabad and are looking to invest another 300 crore over next three years.”
Adds Skootr co-founder and director Puneet Chandra, “The EoDB in Hyderabad is phenomenal. It’s a very open market, the government is very conducive and the way the IT ecosystem is evolving is amazing. Hyderabad will be our largest market for the next 2-3 years.”
A key factor driving demand currently is the growing economic uncertainty, points out Pradeep Reddy, managing director, Dwaraka Office Spaces. “While all the talk about layoffs has made employees open returning to work from office, economic uncertainty is driving companies to take the flex route.”
However, Smartworks co-founder Harsh Binani feels while uncertainty is one of the drivers for surging demand, flex has become a new way of life in a post-Covid world. “In the last 6-7 months, we have done more business than we have in our entire existence. Workspace needs have evolved and hybrid is the future of work. Companies are questioning why they need their own office space when such a model exists.”
Agreeing, Manish Khedia, regional MD, South India & Sri Lanka, TEC, says, “2022 has been a year of accelerated demand with large corporates realigning workspace strategies by adopting hybrid work models. Hyderabad has always been quick on the uptake.”