Gig Economy, a labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs, is the name of the game. This was something which was deliberated upon at a session on ‘The Growth of Co-Living and Co-Working Spaces in India’ delivered at the third edition of 'BW Disrupt 40 Under 40' organized by BW Businessworld held in New Delhi on October 23, 2019. The session was moderated by Ruhail Amin, Senior Editor, BW Businessworld.
Mishu Ahluwalia, CEO and Co-Founder Mishu Ahluwalia, “Rise of co-working or flexible space is gaining a lot of traction. When we started our journey about two years ago, that is the kind of customer base that we were catering to. However, just to say that it is an indication of a gig economy, Co-working is solving much bigger problems today. We don’t talk about just the start-ups or people who are not able to afford the workspace. It is also taking the hassle away from larger enterprises as well. Most of the larger companies today look at flexible office spaces or solutions across cities. If you look at statistics today, probably about 8 or 9% of the total office space is consumed by flexible office spaces today and this will go up to 25% over the next two years. And the reason being is many larger companies have started looking at it as a solution. We believe that apart from probably the HQs, companies would eventually resort to non-committable flexible office spaces.”
Sudeep Singh, Chief Evangelist at GoWork, “Co-working has evolved today in India and has moved into a gig economy which is managed service offices, which we are offering for corporates on larger team service. What we are trying to solve a problem is give a flexible space to larger companies on a long-term basis and help them solve their problems on employee retention, employee benefits, employee satisfaction so it is easier for them to engage and retain employees.”
Bharat Khetan Promoter Workonomics, “The office space needs to become more sustainable and also economic in terms of services. Most of the freelancers who are coming in now have flexible workspaces they can utilise. It also acts as a marketing tool for them to solicit their customers. And the other fact is corporates also looking for such spaces. So the idea is to bring the efficiency of spaces and it is the mixture of both which play that role. That is where I think is the gig economy plays its role.”
Annu Talreja, - Founder & CEO – OxfordCaps, “Co-living is like a hotel business of shared offices. If you see the trend in the sharing economy, we are moving to the asset-light model. So is the living experience. If you see globally homeownership is coming down in double digits last year. As homeownership is coming down, they are looking for more feasible alternate rental accommodations. Everybody is focussing on their niches. That is why we are focussing on students’ accommodation.”
Nidhi Kumra, Co-Founder and CEO, YourSpace, “Migration is a growing trend in India and therefore need for housing will always continue. We are also betting big on the student housing sector."