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Co-working Firm Awfis Plans To Double Office Centres To 200 This Year

Homegrown co-working space provider Awfis plans to double to 200 its office centres by adding another 60,000 seats by the end of 2022, founder and CEO Amit Ramani said on January 19.

The concept of a shared workplace is gaining traction as businesses look to cut expenses on office space. The coronavirus outbreak has forced many companies to look at co-working space as employees work from home and the hybrid model of working catches up.

“Several malls will be turned into co-working centres going forward. Currently, of the 100 co-working centres in our portfolio, almost 10 percent are in either malls or hotels. Repurposing of assets is the way forward,” he said.

The flexi-workspace provider has opened 100 office centres spread across 4 million sq ft in 14 cities that can seat more than 62,000 people, Ramani said.

These numbers are expected to grow to 8 mn sq ft and 1,20,000 seats in 18 cities by the end of 2022, he said.

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Of the 100 new centres, 80 percent would be under the profit-share revenue model, where the landlords would invest the capital towards fit-outs.

“We will be required to put in our own capital only for 20 percent of the centres,” he said.

The company’s 100th centre in Bengaluru is among the most sought-after Grade-A commercial real estate property, he said.

Branded ‘Awfis One’, the centre is located in Lido Mall, Bengaluru and is spread across 70,000 sq ft with 15,000 seats to cater to the increasing demand for flexible workspaces.

“We are looking at 10 alternative assets that will become part of our expansion plans from 100 to 200 centres,” Ramani said.

As for Awfis’ tenant mix, 40 percent were small and medium enterprises (SMEs), 50 percent corporates and enterprises and 10 percent startups and freelancers, he said.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, a combination of SMEs and startups accounted for 60 percent of the business and 30 percent came from corporate enterprises, he said.

From 5,800 desks across 20 centers in July 2017, the company had grown to over 62,000 desks across 100 centers in 14 cities.

After expanding to Ahmedabad, Indore and Bhubaneswar, the company would open centres in Lucknow, Kochi and Coimbatore in 2022.

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