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Co-working spaces to partner with banks to reduce cost per seat

According to Meenal Sinha, founder of Meetingsandoffice, an aggregator of co-working space, said there are already 500 such facilities with over 1,50,000 seats.

business Updated: Oct 25, 2016 12:24 IST
Sunny Sen
As gig economy grpws
According to Meenal Sinha, founder of Meetingsandoffice, an aggregator of co-working space, said there are already 500 such facilities with over 1,50,000 seats.

As the gig economy grows in India, co-working spaces are looking to partner with banks, insurance companies, restaurants, and consumer goods brands to reduce cost per seat. In a gig economy, temporary positions are common and firms tie up with independent workers on short-term basis.

The number of seats in shared offices are estimated to grow over five times, creating a large pool of customers who can be accessed easily.

According to Meenal Sinha, founder of Meetingsandoffice, an aggregator of co-working space, said there are already 500 such facilities with over 1,50,000 seats.

For instance, Awfis, one of the largest co-working spaces with 2,500 seats has partnered with 50 brands that include Snapdeal, Dunkin Donut, MakeMyTrip, BNP Paribas and OLX.

It gives its members an electronic card that can be used to get discounts from the partners. Awfis gets a marketing commission for driving footfall.

“The seat will be free … in the next one year, you will see substantial discounts in the cost per seat,” said Amit Ramani, founder and CEO of Awfis, as it looks to partner with 250 brands.

A seat at a co-working space can cost between Rs 3,000 and Rs 13,000 for a month, depending on the location and facilities.

For example, Awfis has partnered with Beer Café. “We started with offering deals and discounts to its members... When the members buy some of our merchandise we also give them commission,” said Priyanka Singh, deputy manager, corporate relations at the Beer Café.

For others like Varun Chawla, founder of 91Springboard, too, co-working spaces are a good distribution channel. “We are the value partners as we help them sell products to startups …. We negotiate the deals and pass on the benefits to our members,” he said.

Shesh Paplikar, co-founder of BHIVE, said subsidising seats was an “evolving trend”. “We have partnerships, but we do not consider them a revenue generating source. We see them as value addition,” he said.

BHIVE also provides outdoor concierge service. “The revenue from affiliate marketing is so insignificant that I can’t make a meaningful subsidy,” said Paplikar.

Things will change once the companies add more seats. Awfis is aiming to get 30,000 seats in two years, BHIVE 50,000 members in three years, and 91Springboard is looking to make 10,000 companies as its members in three years.