“We are currently working closely with our existing clients to offer good deals,” said Amit Ramani, founder & CEO of Awfis. “We have restructured deals and allowed delay in payments wherever it was required by the clients to sustain their business in the second wave of the pandemic.”
According to international property consultant CBRE, on the back of the hybrid space demand, expansion across cities and sustained funding, India’s flexible office stock is expected to grow by 10-15% (y-o-y) from the current 36 million sq ft in the next three years.
“For new customers, we are being extremely flexible in our partnerships with them. In our experience, that’s the ideal way to handle the current situation as there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to offering support to customers,” said Ramani.
According to Ankit Gupta, regional director at Realistic Realtors, the space that was earlier available for Rs 15,000 per seat, is now being offered at Rs 10,000 per seat.
“Furthermore, premium spaces on MG Road or Golf Course Road (in Gurgaon) that were previously priced at Rs 35,000-40,000 per seat, are now priced at Rs 24,000-25,000 per seat. Flexible office options with cost optimization are the way to go, and co-working companies are currently offering lucrative deals to entice clients,” Gupta said.
Co-working spaces are becoming the first choice for corporates and startups due to their low cost and no long-term commitment model.
The Office Pass (TOP), which offers spaces close to residential societies, is offering six months free pass to those starting business during the pandemic.
“Tenants need some hand holding and these are tough times and businesses are facing loss,” said Nikhil Madan, co-founder of The Office Pass. “We are offering a free pass for six months to support small and micro businesses. Up to three members can come and work at any of our centres.”
Some office players are coming up with innovative models and restructuring their existing and new deals to suit the client’s demands.
“At Skootr, we are encouraging our existing clients to discuss our innovative financial solutions to reduce their cash flows,” said Rahul Sarin, national business head at Skootr FinSave. “For new clients, under our ‘finsave model’, fitout as a service allows them between 15% and 20% savings over traditional capex.”
Before the second wave of Covid, the market witnessed an increase of 5% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the Q4 of 2020.
The requirement is now more driven in the form of flexible office spaces like managed, co-working or serviced office spaces primarily because companies don’t want to spend on the capex, and secondly, they would want to retain flexibility in these uncertain times.
“These are exceptionally difficult times and we are supporting all of our customers and employees during this unprecedented period,” said Harsh Lambah, country manager India and vice president sales-South Asia at International Workplace Group (IWG). “All of our centres across India remain open operating to the highest international hygiene and safety protocols in accordance with WHO guidelines.”