Coworking is being perceived as the hottest startup domain of the year 2017. As a business, Coworking was started around the year by 2013 by some brands including 91springboard, BHIVE and Bombay Connect. The space thus kept evolving with several variations happening in each city and then business centres like iKeva and Evoma also offering lower priced coworking seats within their premises. Now as the news of Unilever starting its own Coworking Space in Singapore crops up, the question is – Is Corporates entering Coworking domain a threat to startups in this space?
Coworking as a term was introduced around the year 2012 in India. Before that, many startups had been operating coworking spaces but it wasn’t seen a mainstream business. They have been running their Coworking Spaces in the bootstrap mode since as early as 2010. Back then, it was “Sharing offices” and not Coworking. Slowly, with time they evolved their spaces and became Coworking Spaces like it’s called today.
We spoke to some of the Coworking owners who have seen the evolution while running their Coworking spaces for many years.
According to Tejeshwi Bansal, Co-founder at Unboxed, a Coworking Space in Noida
“With giant corporates entering the coworking business concept, there are going to be two major impacts on the industry:
- Awareness and adaptability of users towards coworking offices will increase tremendously with the increase in availability of coworking spaces and business centers
- Corporates shall play a vital role in validating and overturning the general way of working. Startups are good at generating new concepts and ideas while the corporates are efficient in multiplying and setting up processes.
Corporates entering the coworking business hardly poses threat to the existing startups; they shall rather complement each other in forming and reinforcing this Age of Collaboration.”
– Tejeshwi Bansal, Unboxed Coworking
As it is evident from Ms. Tejeshwi’s views, Coworking startups do not feel threatened, in fact they feel that Corporates entering this space reinforces Coworking as a business model.
We also got in touch with Waqar Azmi, Founder of the very famous HR Company SutraHR and Mumbai Coworking. Here are Waqar’s views on the subject:
I don’t see it as a threat, but a huge validation of coworking as an idea.”– Waqar Azmi, Mumbai Coworking
Corporates Entering Coworking Domain Not a Threat?
According to the views of Coworking Space owners, corporates entering coworking domain is after all not a threat. They are taking it as a validation and reinforcement of the Coworking concept.