Industry Stalwarts are Threatening this Indian Startup against an International Giant entering Indian Market

Everyone is aware of the Ola-Uber battle. We have also seen the silent Indian Ecommerce companies vs Amazon war. According to latest events, it looks like India’s Coworking domain is also attracting a global unicorn. Yes, Wework entering India very soon. Before we know, we will witness WeWork centres in our neighbourhoods. What will be the fate of Indian Coworking companies then? While Indian coworking companies are confident about their future, but some Startup community leaders are not that sure.

When and What exactly happened?

One such incident happened with BHIVE Coworking founder, Shesh Rao Paplikar. He was attending the Startup India event held by PM Narendra Modi in Delhi during the year 2015. He met the chairman of NASSCOM during the event who in turn had recently met Adam Neumann, the co-founder of WeWork. The gentleman started speaking about Wework’s plans of investing hundreds of millions of dollars in its India business. He also highlighted the fact that Wework will take up millions of square feet of space in India and that no other Indian Coworking player would be able to become as big as them. It was also clearly stated by him that WeWork will burn the business of every other Coworking startup in India.


He said that WeWork is going to fry you guys alive.


What does WeWork entering India really imply for existing Indian Coworking Companies?

With the startup industry showing signs of skepticism about the future, Coworking founders are still positive about the development. We got in touch with Shesh Rao Paplikar from BHIVE and here is his point of view on the subject:

Question: Do you think WeWork is going to be a strong competition when it enters the Indian market?

Shesh Rao Paplikar: We believe that more companies entering the Indian co-working domain is actually a great news for the industry. Co-working is disrupting the existing billion square feet of office space market. This will drive up the demand, which is a win-win for all players.

We believe that more companies entering the Indian co-working domain is actually a great news for the industry. This will drive up the demand, which is a win-win for all players.

– Shesh Rao Paplikar,

CEO – BHIVE Coworking


Question: How will the Indian Coworking market be affected with international players like We Work entering the country? 

Shesh Rao Paplikar: As mentioned earlier, this move will actually increase the demand for coworking. The end user will have multiple options, however each coworking with its own set of features will receive business. The total number of potential customers will increase.


Question: Do you see any scope for consolidation in the market in the future?

Shesh Rao Paplikar: Given the amount of office space (around 1 billion Sq. feet) waiting to be disrupted, there’s enough room for many players to flourish. But as with any business, the companies focused on customers and on unit economics are going to survive and emerge as leaders. At BHIVE, these areas are the core focus and our vision is to be leading player in the co-working market.

Question: What is the general reaction within your team about standing against heavily funded WeWork?

Shesh Rao Paplikar: We are obviously the current underdog, but given the relationships we’ve built and the value we’ve provided to the community, we have a lot of well wishers who wish to see us win. Our core value is to focus on customer experience, which can be delivered with the right intent, regardless of the level of funding.
About the funding part, BHIVE Workspace is the first Indian co-working space to be funded by institutional investors. We’ve used these funds to enhance our customer experience and to build technology. We have ensured that we remain profitable at unit level as we scale up.


Note: The incident stated above was adapted from Shesh Rao Paplikar, CEO of BHIVE’s Linkedin Post here. All the views and opinions written about in this post are Mr. Paplikar’s and do not belong to anyone working in Coworking India Magazine. 


Gaurav Bisht

Blogger by profession and a writer by heart. I work from a coworking space and love writing about Coworking Industry in Coworking India Magazine