The Office Pass to add 1,300 seats in NCR
Coworking operator The Office Pass (TOP) will add about 1300 seats across four centres in NCR.
The company which currently runs 10 Coworking offices in Delhi NCR, plans to open 4 new offices in the next six months. This expansion is a result of strong demand for flexible workspace post covid.
Out of the 4 new offices, 2 will come up in Gurgaon (one each in Golf Course Road and near HUDA City Center metro station). They will have a combined capacity of over 650 seats. The first office will become operational in March 2022 and the second in May 2022.
“Pre-COVID it used to take us 7-8 months to achieve breakeven in an office. With companies moving away from traditional leases and people preferring to work from an office close to their place of residence, we have seen a much faster adoption of the neighbourhood model. Our last office (with 600 seats), that opened in November 2021 has achieved break-even in under 4 months,” said Aditya Verma, Founder & CEO, The Office Pass (TOP).
“This has encouraged us to scale faster. If there are no covid related disruptions, we hope to open one new office every 45 days starting the coming financial year,” said Verma said.
Companies and employees want to work in an office space close to their residence / business and that is creating a tailwind for Neighborhood small office format.
TOP plans to add capacity at its existing office in Mohan Cooperative Area in South Delhi. The occupancy at the current office crossed 90% in February 2022 and South Delhi area continues to see high demand for Coworking. The company has already taken additional area in the region and will make the new office operational in April 2022. This will add another 170 seats to its South Delhi inventory.
The 4th office is planned in Noida or in an unrepresented location in Gurgaon. This will be a 450 seats facility and will be operational by June-July 2022. These new office spaces will see the firm adding around 1250-1300 seats. TOP also plans to enter the Mumbai market in coming financial year.
“Managing the working capital efficiently along with being diligent in identifying new office spaces has been its USP. Increasing its geographical reach outside of NCR is the next big step for TOP and 2022 should see this in action,” said Brijesh Damodaran, Partner, Auxano Capital one of the early investors in The Office Pass (TOP).
127 small to mid-sized companies are currently using TOP Coworking and Managed offices. TOP plans to expand aggressively and increase this to 1000 companies over the next 2 years.
“The commercial real estate space in India is largely un-organised with multiple individual owners. An office space of 10,000 SqFt typically have 3-5 owners. With no formal training in digital marketing and office management, the land-lords find it extremely difficult and cost prohibitive to find a tenant. Post covid, the demand has shifted from traditional leasing to flexible workspaces and we see huge upside for companies like ours to organise this market,” said Verma.
The Indian flex space market has seen huge growth over the last few years. It is still very early days for Coworking players. It is pertinent to note is that the current flex market penetration in total office stock stands at approximately 3.5%. According to JLL’s office market report, India’s average penetration rate for the top seven cities could reach around the 4.0-4.5% mark over the next two years.
The demand for flexible workspace was largely driven by freelancers and start-ups in 2015-2019. However, post COVID, organisations of all sizes have developed a fancy for this format. Going forward the demand will be largely driven by small to mid-sized companies and large companies and MNCs using Coworking for their distributed / hybrid office formats.