OfficeBanao and 91Squarefeet see boom in business from Tier-2 cities for office interiors

Small-town entrepreneurs are increasingly looking for modern office interiors, much like large corporates in metro cities, leading to a surge in demand for workspace interior companies, said industry executives.

From local builders to garment traders and exporters, small-town businesses are investing heavily in renovating their offices with collaboration areas, modern ceilings and open chambers, they said.

Lightspeed-backed workspace interiors platform OfficeBanao said 70% of its business comes from smaller cities as the next generation is investing in improving the office ambience.

“We have received orders from Jaipur, Panchkula, Sonipat, Jamnagar, Indore, Aurangabad, Indore, Kolkata, Bhuvneshwar, Patna and Moradabad, among others. It was an unorganised sector and the business owners had no choice but to go to a local vendor. Through our platform, we show them the design and get the work done as per the demand,” said Tushar Mittal, founder, OfficeBanao.

The startup is a platform for designers, architects, contractors, and office furniture and material suppliers, and provides services for commercial interiors, starting from small office projects to large office set-ups.

“There has been a huge gap in the office interior industry. There are companies who do interiors for large corporates but a businessman from a small town has the same ambition. We are providing them the same quality of service through our platform,” Mittal said. It comes at a time when global capability centres are expanding in India, tapping into talent pools in tier-2 cities such as Ahmedabad, Indore and Pune, considering the saturation and talent scarcity in metros and tier-1 cities.Amit Bansal, CEO of 91Squarefeet, said the company has seen a 50% jump in inquiries from tier-2 cities such as Jaipur, Lucknow and Pune in the past one year.

“Local businesses are increasingly recognising the significance of investing in office interiors to enhance productivity and competitiveness. We are observing a growing trend where these businesses prioritise practical and economically viable workspace solutions tailored to their specific needs,” said Bansal.

The entry of flexible workspace providers to tier 2 cities has also opened the door for interior companies.

According to an analysis by CBRE, flex office space operators took 1.6 million sq ft space in 2023 in 10 tier-2 cities.

The CBRE report said flexible workspace operators are recognising the potential of markets such as Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow, Coimbatore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Visakhapatnam, Ahmedabad, Indore and Bhubaneswar and are rapidly expanding their presence, providing options for startups and established firms.

OfficeBanao is present in more than 15 cities across the country and is focused on enabling small business owners and startups to develop aesthetic workspaces, according to the company. In metro cities, it is servicing established firms as well as startups and also helping small companies build their offices.

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