May 18, 2021 11:50:16 am
Pune, where co-working spaces have mushroomed over the past few years, a major player is gearing up to redefine the business. “MyBranch” confirmed on Monday that it is opening a space in Camp and is in advanced talks to start another location in the city.
Unlike most co-working spaces, the company does not offer only space but also reach. It is present in 26 cities, including Pune, and takes long-term enterprises as customers, especially those who would like a presence, simultaneously, in multiple locations across India.
Its answer to Work From Home has been the Virtual Office, which is a desk on its premises that acts as the offline presence of a large corporation that has shut its office during the pandemic. “The Virtual Office provides the company with an address in a city without actually being physically present,” says Kushal Bhargava, co-founder of MyBranch. Additionally, the company allows its clients to put up branding in their allotted cabin space as well as have a board board outside.
MyBranch is among the few co-working spaces that has not only survived the pandemic but also grown in terms of revenue at 8 to10 per cent over the Rs 7.70 crore in 2019-2020 and size with new centres in Vellore, Vizag and Hyderabad. It has also added customers in 22 cities. “We mainly work out of Tier II and III cities. COVID did not have a major impact in these cities except in the last two months. Businesses, from micro finance to insurance, were expanding to reach out to Tier II and III cities so growth in these cities was robust,” says Bhargava. The company already has an order booked for opening another 10 locations and is in advanced talks with clients to add another 15 locations. Its older space in Pune caters to its sister concern Calibehr Business.
At centres across India, the effect of COVID-19 has created a new protocol — the open seatings have made way for private cabins; small rooms act as offices for corporates who come in alternate days, and fumigation takes place regularly. “COVID compliance, such as social distancing in terms of what is the space between two desks, will become the most important parameter going forward,” says Bhargava.
Reverse migration has added to the company’s demands as executives returning home to small towns still want an office space to work remotely from. “Our homes are not conducive for work from home, which is one of the reasons that the requirement for cabin spaces has improved substantially,” says Bhargava.
He anticipates a consolidation in the co-working sector, with a lot of spaces shutting down in metros. “Co-working now will start once a company gets a major client as an anchor customer. Previously, people were opening cowering space in expectation for demand but now it will be demand-based because there is over supply,” says Bhargava.
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