Cospaze: A Co-working Revolutionary Structuring Startups' 'Salt Mine' Needs
Shooting the breeze: A buzz session with the founder, Aditya Belwal
Initiator and foreperson of Cospaze, Aditya Belwal, was recently in the hot seat at The CEO Magazine, conferring about the Cospaze group.
Aditya Belwal is a diligent entrepreneur, who currently chairs as the Co-founder of the co-working player, Cospaze- a roof covering India's futuristic bold minds, freelancers, start-ups and MNCs. This co-working space is creating landmarks within Managed and co-work office spaces with over 27,000 sq. ft. under its umbrella and is expanding at a good rate.
Taking notes from Aditya's journey, he earned his MBA degree in International business. He has worked with several companies including EPCON international, a Houston based company that creates process simulation software for oil and gas industries, as the Asia-Pacific Head of Marketing, Sales & Operations. He is also the founder of Hyhop Mobility, which is under diligence and an independent Tours & Travel Company has purchased it.
Aditya gave us an insight into how the idea of Cospaze came into mind, its establishment, key factors that make the brand exclusive, entire journey and how the company is addressing startups' space issues. In the interview, he presented the entire blueprint of the company's recent activities and forthcoming plans.
A Brief Overview of Cospaze
An exponential number of start-ups continuously ransack for an 'on the button' office space for their office affairs. We assist them to find a perfect working environment, which is both collaborative and easy on pockets. Setting up a business at Cospaze is as simple as giving you a Wi-Fi password! Shared offices also allow companies to avoid all the typical leasing costs associated with renting typical office space, like broker fees, architectural fees, building permits, security deposits, furniture, IT, cabling, and of course, the employee costs associated with coordinating all this work.
Our aim is to let entrepreneurs focus and what they do best without the worry of managing real estate/office space.
Cospaze as any other in this industry provides individual seats to companies. The companies get to decide if they want to seat amongst other budding entrepreneurs or they want an enclosed cabin space for their team. The price per seat is inclusive of Multiple Internet lines, Unlimited colour/mono printouts, 24/7 usage (No question asked), Fresh bean coffee/ fresh tea (No cap on it either). We also conduct Friday's high tea to enable members of that space to interact more with each other and share more. Also, on offering is to meet potential industry specific investors & mentors through our network. Cospaze also assists startups of their interests with seed funds to assist entrepreneurs cross at least a small hurdle.
We carry our services like a Hospitality rather than as a real estate product or service and this is the first aspect that makes our company extraordinary. India is a very cost-conscious market and we provide beautiful yet practical office spaces, which are worth the amount paid by members. For us, a customer comes first, and our focus is to make sure they are happy and vouch us worth every penny spent as long as they are members of Cospaze.
There is also a pick & drop facility in company-owned cars within 5 km of our spaces at a very economical cost. We venture to provide Smart Office Spaces including advance tech like Alexas for powering on/off our meeting room equipment, Sensors monitoring air quality and humidity to trigger air purifiers and humidifiers when the preset limit varies. Cospaze also relies on Bluetooth enabled access control systems where members' mobile phones get digital keys for unlocking main entrances and meeting rooms.
Here, one can utilize in-house tech digital mirrors fixed in restrooms and corridors, which provides various information lined up with meeting Room-booking status, Weather, News, New Member Announcements, and Advertisements as well. Unveiling soon is our online community platform- colative.com for connecting people working from any co-working space around the world. Colative.com aims to let owners of co-working spaces and their members form a bigger collaborative society. At Cospaze we have no discrimination against people of the LGBT community and we welcome them to work from our spaces. We have been quite successful in providing a safe, secure, and friendly environment without any prejudices. Cospaze office place is pet-friendly, wherein we allow our members to have their pets with them while at work.
Our revenue models range from leasing single seats to individuals and managed office spaces and build to suit offerings to bigger organizations. Leasing our IT equipment also forms a revenue stream. Other paid facilities in our spaces are Lockers, company name boards at reception, legal and accounts support.
We are somewhat competing with International Brands like WeWork, homegrown Bhive and Cowrk and a few smaller players. In this highly competitive industry and new space mushrooming everywhere, the result would not be benefiting all. As competition increases, all the players will offer discounts leading to short terms gain, but in long terms, the sustainability from the discounted rates will take a hit leading to shut-in down of many spaces.
Major Milestones for the company since founding
We broke even on the 8th month of starting our operations, thereby becoming a profitable company. Furthermore, we achieved an occupation rate of 100% on the 11th month and are currently running on 120% occupancy. We have brokered our first franchise model with a builder. Hence, we proudly boast that we have been sustainable in this completely without any external funding yet!
Awards & Recognitions
A leading business magazine listed Cospaze as 'Top 20 Office Space Provider of 2018'. Aditya adds proudly, "Our main recognition comes from our members, which is visible in their feedback about us."
Revolutionary Evolution Brought by Cospaze
Among the main reasons for the success of shared offices is the concept of 'right-sizing', a company's footprint. This is directly correlated to saving on overhead, as space rent is typically the largest expense. Ten years ago, the typical office space design was roughly 150 square feet/person.
Currently, that efficiency is closer to 100 square feet/person. By sharing resources like cafes, conference rooms, common areas, bathrooms, IT closets, etc., we have pushed space efficiency closer to 50 square feet/person while preserving privacy, security, and sound abatement through our glass wall designs along with phone booths.
Another market opportunity achieved through membership at Cospaze is the access to good sources of vendors for professional services like Legal, Marketing, Software, & App development, Mentorship, Accounting through other members via our in-house web-based network.
We are focusing to accomplish one lakh sq. ft of office space by the end of 2019 in Tier 1 and 2 cities. Tier 3 cities will also be in our focus, as we oversee many hidden opportunities in smaller towns. Our business model will also go through a transformation in terms of leasing from Landlords. We are scoping on work that will be best for us, proprietors, partners and we will make that as a model mainstream.
Anticipated Agenda towards Future Plans
Over time, we look ourselves venturing into Co-Living spaces and budget co-hotel space as well. We also see ourselves venturing into Co-storage facility of sharing warehouse spaces and coshops wherein budding entrepreneurs can display and sell their production from a shared shop space inside a mall which otherwise would be an expensive affair .