New York based WeWork, is considered to be one of the most valued startups around the globe. The platform offers collaborative services to the small businesses and entrepreneurs. It is a global network where companies grow and learn together. Buildings are transformed into dynamic environments for the purpose of creativity, collaboration and focus. It is a new way to living, and not just the best place to work. At WeWork, the CEOs helps each other, Mondays can become interesting and offices feel like home. The workspace startup has entered India via an ‘operating agreement’, in a joint venture with the Bangalore-based real estate firm Embassy Group.
How Embassy Group won the WeWork deal?
In the mid 2015, Marc Schimmel came to Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai in search of various investment opportunities in the Indian market. He came along with a real estate consulting firm and representatives of an Indian law firm.
While his visit to the country, Marc really got impressed by the growing entrepreneurial network in India. He saw India as a platform which had immense opportunities for the small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop and gain success. Seeing all this, he came to the conclusion that WeWork could really turn out to be a huge success and build business in India if it could manage to get a strong local partner. Partnerships were proposed to all the major realty players. As soon as this news reached Jitendra Virwani, Embassy Group Chairman, he went to New York along with Karan to meet Blackstone, an investor in Embassy Group. He explored the business opportunity in WeWork. After thorough investigation and studying all the details, the deal was successfully finalized.
Wework’s Plans in India
WeWork aims to build a 6 million square feet network within the time period of next five years. It will begin the same with Bangalore, Mumbai and the capital city. In addition to this, it plans to build two more buildings in Bangalore itself. An approximate of 10,000 members in the next three years should be using the WeWork facilities as per the strategy. Also, it wants to raise an amount of $100 million to expand in India.
WeWork is entering India at that time when the startup culture is really trending. The community office spaces are becoming more and more popular with the passing days. The number of independent professionals is rising rapidly. The market space has been redefined by the people who are working with small or emerging businesses. Thus, the entry of WeWork in the country can bring about a huge change not only for the small scale businesses but for India as a whole.
More about WeWork
WeWork has more than 120000 members spread worldwide and is currently present in 15 countries. It is considered to be the fastest growing tenant in London and New York. In a short time period of six years, WeWork has really made a huge progress. Its list of investors includes JP Morgan, T Rowe Price and Fidelity Investments. Furthermore, WeWork recently forayed into some Asian markets. Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong are a few to begin with.
Softbank Group Corporation has made an investment of $300 million in WeWork; the value of the New York based co-working space is at $17 billion approximately.
Most important, the idea is to bring WeWork to cities such as Mumbai and Delhi. With the introduction of WeWork in Bangalore, it has brought in new designs, brand, technology and a sense of community building. 2017 is considered to be one of most crucial year for the WeWork and the main aim is to strengthen the community network. Also, many innovative ideas need to be extracted from these new communities being formed at the new places.
More about The Embassy Group
Karan Virwani, 24 year old Embassy scion will lead WeWork along with an experienced team of industry who will join him very soon.
The Embassy Group having its headquarters in Bangalore will make an investment of $150 million in WeWork India. Furthermore, it is likely to receive the investments from the private equity giant, Blackstone.
Most important, the main focus of WeWork lays on the top five-six cities of the country, in the beginning years. WeWork will be in 1-1.5 lakh square feet range approximately in the most central and easily accessible locations, so that an accelerated growth is possible. As per the agreement, WeWork will offer digital tools, design and the access to the global ecosystem, whereas, Embassy will contribute/bring in the capital required and the real estate. This was pre decided. As a condition, WeWork demanded processes which include brand management, design, property scouting and community programme management to be handled by the New York team.