Flexi workspace startup Simpliwork Offices Pvt Ltd, founded in Bengaluru, India, announced plans to expand its operations in overseas markets such as Singapore and Hong Kong, and ramp up its presence in other key cities across India. Their announcement came on the back of demand for flexible workspaces even as the second COVID wave has slowed down demand for some operators.
In India, the firm, which is backed by real estate developer Salarpuria Sattva, will continue to focus on the metros, from where around 80% of the demand is generated.
The scale of expansion footprint in overseas markets would be very different compared to India, Simpliwork Founder and CEO Kunal Walia said. The equivalent of a 200,000 sq ft space take-up in India is about 20,000 - 25,000 sq ft in Singapore or Hong Kong.
“We might cater to 6,000 seats as a norm in India. In Singapore, the equivalent would be a 100-seat set-up, in terms of the demand. Our preferred model would be to partner with someone to take the brand overseas. Whether we partner with a developer or a large financial institution, they should have a strong local presence. For our international expansion, we will be looking for a similar partner, who can come in with a significant amount of local expertise and local relationships," he added.
Simpliwork is currently present in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi-Gurugram. It is in advanced discussions to have centres in Noida and Chennai later this year.
For most flexible workspace firms, physically occupancy has been at 10-15% or below over the past year. With the vaccine rollout, it was expected that companies may slowly bring back employees by June-July.