After the fallout of WeWork’s failed initial public offering, India’s coworking market has fallen under a spotlight.
WeWork’s India operations, managed by Bengaluru-based company Embassy Group, have remained unaffected, but the fall of the coworking giant is likely to impact the overall view of the sector.
India currently has the second-largest market for flexible workspaces in Asia-Pacific, just after China, with over 1,000 coworking spaces.
“WeWork has 26 coworking spaces operating in India and if the global giant undergoes a hit, it will definitely impact the valuations and fundraising plans of coworking players,” said Sanjay Choudhary, CEO and founder of Gurugram-based coworking firm Incuspaze.
Some analysts also believe that investors will hit the brakes on funding the coworking sector, which could lead to consolidation. Additionally, experts believe that some firms need to reevaluate their business models in order to avoid getting WeWork’d, which means ensuring that fundraising goes towards growth, rather than serve as a safety net.
This also refers to the importance of focusing on your core business, rather than spreading the company thin as WeWork did with its various endeavors, such as WeGrow.
Despite WeWork’s setbacks, India’s coworking industry remains optimistic about its long-term growth as corporate firms continue to embrace flexible offices.
“The market is expanding because firms big or small are realising that coworking is in a way promoting sustainability, which is the need of the hour,” said Akshita Gupta, co-founder of ABL Workspaces. “Shared use of workplace, natural resources is the new future.”