“There was a need in the market for work-near-home and cost-effective work solutions that move away from big spends on a completely new office setup. That’s how Awfis Space Solutions came into being in April 2015,” says Amit Ramani, Awfis’ founder and CEO. He adds, “Its vision is to of revolutionise the office space delivery ecosystem in India through technology-backed solutions. The advent of ‘Make in India’ and the rise of start-ups in the country fuelled the need to collaborate and network. Also, the corporate sector slowly started realising the economic value of shared workspaces rather than a full-fledged conventional workplace.”
Ramani’s foresight is paying off. Today, the office workplace is witnessing a change with more companies focusing on collaboration and teamwork, thereby requiring collaborative hubs such as these. With Internet of Things (IoT) in the picture, the connection of a work surface and individual is likely to be enhanced. This means that such co-working solutions not only allow individual tasks but also help in both, human-to-human and human-to-machine interactions.
In the case of Awfis, its country-wide community consists of 30-35% large corporates and 65-70% entrepreneurs, start-ups or SMEs. Its working plans range from one hour to 11 months, with ‘just-in-time’ bookings, serving companies with diverse needs. Ramani says, “One of the most significant benefits of shared offices is cost-saving, which is a key aspect.”
The idea behind Awfis is to provide a young and energetic environment that fosters inspiration and productivity. The floor layout is divided into quiet work zones like cocoons as well as interactive/open collaborative zones, lounges and meetings rooms. These co-working setups also come with basic amenities – high speed Internet, abundant parking space, pantry and canteens. This means the space, although vibrant, is minimal and offers a range of furniture choices, including flexible settings for networking events or seminars. All enclosed spaces are fitted with good acoustical treatments for privacy. Meanwhile, meeting areas can be reconfigured as per conferencing requirements, while lounges are well-equipped for informal yet momentous discussions.
Another design feature is its futuristic edge with bold, industrial and graffiti styles, state-of-the-art materials, technology and a de-cluttered finish. The space allows natural light to filter in, while also using appropriate lighting, ergonomic furniture and sustainable materials to provide an environment that focuses on user health and well-being. Interestingly, each of Awfis’ 21 centres – and they have multiple centres in each city – located in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune are designed with local adaptations and present a local flavour aesthetically.
Yet another feather in Awfis’ cap is its user-friendly mobile app and website, which help users find, review and book workstations and meeting rooms on a flexible basis. It also provides users the ability to capture community member data (age, demographics, timings, etc). The application ensures guarantee of instant rental, even though 20% of spaces are reserved for walk-ins. Awfis centres are equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) access control and wireless services that enhance a tech-enabled user experience.
Sharing the number of seats on offer, Ramani concludes, “Awfis is the largest player in co-working spaces in South Asia and the second largest player in India when compared specifically with business centres. Awfis has created proprietary Grade-A, highly energetic and inspirational community workspaces (7,500+ desks, across 21 centers, centres, operational across eight metros) and is working towards ramping this up to 35,000+ seats across 100+ ‘Pro-working Centres’ by November 2018.”
Flooring: Greenhart, Stilex, Greenply
Seating solutions: Amardeep, Albans, Misuraa
Lighting: Philips, Emanate
Washroom fixtures and fittings: Roca, Jaquar
Plywood, laminate/veneer: Greenply, Merinolam
HVAC: Bluestar, Daikin