- As competition increases among local coworking operators in India, operators are finding unique ways to differentiate their product offering.
- Coworking Mumbai created a space where members and non-members can “unwind while at work”.
- Inspired by Chefchaouen in Morocco, the Coworking Mumbai’s lounge is full of vibrant colors and antique artifacts.
Allwork.Space recently reported that India is one of the hottest coworking growth markets in the world. Specifically in Mumbai, we learned that demand has outpaced supply and, consequently, prices in the city have increased about 35% since 2016.
Ramesh Nair, COO of JLL India, told Kowrkr that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is a vibrant mix of financial and tech talent that has powered a startup and entrepreneurship boom over the past 5 years. The demand for flexible workspace from startups and freelancers, combined with the presence of larger coworking players in the area that have attracted the attention of enterprises has led Mumbai to become the most expensive city for coworking in India.
Still, Mumbai is a big city, with various different areas. According to Kowrkr’s research, in areas where real estate is less expensive than in the Metropolitan Region, “there is a great deal of price competition (among local operators) due to limited product differentiation.”
Waqar Azmi, founder of Mumbai Coworking, was all too familiar with this issue and realized that he needed a unique product offering in order to attract more members and to find creative ways to generate revenue through his coworking space.
The Perfect Way To Unwind While At Work
“We had a terrace in the building that we were unable to use due to rain. During a recent trip to Morocco, I went through Chefchaouen and I was struck by its beauty. As I roamed around the city I had this idea to turn the terrace into a lounge,” Azmi commented.
Impressed by the city’s feel, colors, and cultural artifacts, Azmi set out to create a Moroccan-style experience inside his coworking space.
Chefchaouen is known as “The Blue Pearl” of Morocco because of the blue-washed buildings in old town. The lounge on the terrace of Mumbai Coworking makes a tribute to this characteristic of Chefchaouen.
The beautifully lit and cozy lounge was officially opened on November 10th, and it’s decorated with a combination of artifacts bought in Morocco and antique shops in India. The tiles, Azmi tells us, “were directly sourced from Jodhpur.”
The lounge can be used by workspace members and it includes a complementary “sheesha” (hookah) experience. However, the space can also be rented out by non-members, and Azmi tells us that he is specifically targeting the production houses located in the Lokhandwala area so that they use the lounge to shoot different types of videos, as well as photography. The lounge can also be used as meeting or regular work space.
Competition is set to increase in India, especially as experts predict that the South Asian country is expected to receive US$400 million in coworking investment by the end of 2018.
In order to remain competitive in a growing market, workspace operators in India will need to find ways to differentiate their offering, just like Mumbai Coworking has done.
How do you differentiate your workspace offering from other local operators? Let us know and share your photos on Facebook or Twitter.