Coworking as a business was introduced back in 2013 by some Mafias who dared to take the step and introduce this concept in India. Under this series, we talk to the guys who introduced Coworking in India and know first-hand their experiences, challenges and what drives them. You can read the first story of this series here. BHIVE Coworking is the largest Coworking chain in Bangalore today. They had a very humble start in 2014 and haven’t looked back since then. We spoke to the BHIVE Cofounders and understood from them how they think the industry has changed from then to now and their thoughts about the future.
BHIVE Cofounders speak about their Startup Journey
Shesh Paplikar, Ravindra MK and Monnappa Bayvanda cofounded BHIVE in Bangalore back in 2014. They were the first ones to come up with the concept. The space was started with basic amenities and features in place. But as they started gaining popularity, they scaled it efficiently to become the biggest coworking space in Bangalore.
Changes in the coworking industry from then to now
We asked Shesh Paplikar, Ravindra MK and Monnappa Bayvanda about what they think on changes in the coworking industry. This is how they answered.
When I started BHIVE back in 2014, the concept of co-working in India was almost non-existent. Over last 2 years, we’ve successfully scaled this model of office space, becoming the largest co-working space in Bangalore. This has helped prove the market for co-working space in India and the concept has gone mainstream. This has led to quite a few companies launching co-working spaces in the last few months.
Being one of the first companies to start co-working spaces in India, we have seen the industry evolve and have a good understanding of changing customer expectations. While scaling up BHIVE Workspace, we have been able to create a lot of tangible and intangible differentiators that are not easy to replicate. Keeping this in mind, we embrace competition as it’s only going to help increase the acceptability of co-working space as an alternative to traditional office space, which is a huge market.
In the last 2 years, we have seen an increasing demand for co-working space. In fact, most of our co-working offices continue to have a waiting list, despite numerous other co-working spaces that have emerged recently.
The marked validation and support from the investors have given us the confidence to aspire to become the the largest premium co-working spaces not just in India, but in Asia.
Since we want to provide the best experience to our members, we focus more on listening to them rather than watching competition. Most co-working spaces are focusing on the lower end of the market, while BHIVE is focused on people who care about quality, community and hospitality. So, we are not too worried about the competition at this point.
Co-working industry is clearly emerging as the next big thing in sharing economy after Uber, Amazon Web Services, Furlenco etc. From 2 years ago when no one knew about co-working to today, when companies like NEC, NDTV, Neo Growth etc. are working out of BHIVE, the industry has gone a major transformation in terms of acceptability of shared office space.
Our community has evolved as one of the largest and the most vibrant with over 450 events and 7000+ members on Meetup. Building such a community was the biggest challenge that we wanted to focus on when we first started. Having come so far is definitely satisfying, but we are just getting started 🙂
BHIVE Cofounders views on the coworking industry’s future
We asked the cofounders about their views on the coworking industry’s future and their views are really interesting. Read on to know.
In future, more companies are going to give up their existing offices to move into co-working spaces. The concept of owning an office will fade away. It’s exactly what cloud computing did to server industry and Uber did to auto industry. Sharing economy is the future!
In a couple of years, some level of consolidation is going to take place in the industry, with one or two players focused on different customer segments.
There is still a lot of scope to make office spaces more efficient and productive through the use of technology. We are going to see Internet of Things (IoT) playing a major role in the evolution of co-working spaces in the future.
The cofounders of BHIVE are predicting a lot of great things for the coworking industry. They are positive about the industry growing and flourishing. What do you guys think? Do comment your views.