Harsh Binani Co-founder Smartworks

From Start-ups to Corporates: Non-IT Industries Embrace Managed Office Spaces

According to Harsh Binani, Co-Founder of Smartworks, “The demand for managed office spaces in India remains strong. Smartworks have had a minimal impact from the apparent tech slowdown. Over the years, with regular efforts, they have onboarded different business sectors in their portfolio that are fairly recession-proof”. 

Smartworks, India’s largest platform for managed workspaces, is witnessing a notable shift in its occupiers’ portfolio. With a presence across 13 cities in India, Smartworks aim to deliver top-notch office solutions to established enterprises, MNCs, and other large corporates from different business domains. In recent times, different sectors including BFSI (Banking Financial Services, and Insurance), Manufacturing Industries, EdTech, Logistics, Media, and Healthcare are dominating the race of leasing managed and flexible workspaces.   

A research report by JLL states that by the end of 2023, the Indian flexible workspace market is anticipated to reach 50 million square feet. Other statistics claim that a fifth of all workplace leasing activity last year was related to flexible workspaces. Global tech players predominated this, followed by start-ups, new-age businesses, BFSI, production firms, and many other business domains. According to Harsh Binani, “The share of non-IT companies in overall leasing skyrocketed to a peak of nearly 60% as against 40% industry in Smartworks”. 

Smartworks as a leading managed office space operator i India is experiencing an upsurge from Global Capability Centre (GCCs) for its advanced and innovative workplace solutions. According to Harsh Binani, this change in the occupier mix will continue to strengthen Smartworks position. After the pandemic, businesses were looking for advanced workplace solutions so that they can keep their workforce safe from any sort of medical and mental threat. Smartworks grabbed this opportunity and introduced concepts like IoT-Enabled Offices, Visitor Management Systems, and Touchless Solutions with the motive of elevating the experience for different businesses and their dedicated workforce. 

While the IT industry has traditionally been a significant consumer of managed office spaces in India, there has been a growing trend of other industries, including non-IT sectors, adopting this flexible and managed workspace model. Harsh Binani also believes that the reason behind this increased demand for managed office spaces is because every business sees value in what Smartworks offer apart from flexibility and cost-saving opportunities. 

The flexible office space segment is witnessing its dream run in India with robust growth in demand from companies across different sectors and regions. The trend in managed space demand implies that businesses are turning to flexible workspace models to meet their changing needs. The reasons for this include cost-effectiveness, quicker scaling, increased flexibility, access to top-notch amenities, geographic growth, and standardised office environments.  

Being a prominent player in the commercial real estate segment, Smartworks has been actively expanding its presence in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. Over the last few years, the company has doubled its footprint, making it the largest B2B flex space operator in the country. Surprisingly, while traditional workspaces are witnessing a rise in vacancy levels, flexible workspaces are continuously experiencing high occupancies from different business domains.

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