New Delhi: The Covid pandemic has changed the way we live and work, towards a new normal lifestyle, which has created vast opportunities for shared spaces in terms of co-working and co-living as an emerging asset class for futuristic growth in the Real Estate sector.
During a webinar organised by NAREDCO along with its knowledge partner Cushman & Wakefield, titled ‘Co-Working and Co-Living, Reimagined for growth in the post pandemic world’ on Tuesday, the need for property owners, co-working and co-living service providers and tenants coming together along with the need to be agile and required government support with the recent Model Tenancy Act, was highlighted.
Addressing the webinar Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President of National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) noted Covid has disturbed the momentum in the co-working space as businesses are going through a phase of uncertainty and are trying to figure out how things would evolve and it would be the responsibility of the co-working companies to design customized space in sync with evolving needs of industry players inclusive of scale, modularity and sustainability.
Exuding confidence over the outlook for the sector, Dr. Hiranandani felt extremely bullish on this segment and indicated that if the IT industry takes a turn towards co-working spaces, then there would be major growth for this realty asset class. Dr. Hiranandani also mentioned that there will be rise in hub and spoke model in commercial real estate on back of dispersed portfolio towards suburban business districts in wake of decongestion and avoid long haul commute to promote employee wellness and productivity.
Mr. Anshul Jain, Managing Director, India & South East Asia Cushman & Wakefield felt that while the Co-working spaces are currently more attractive than ever before,Co-living, has been temporarily impacted by the pandemic largely due to work from home policies. He was optimistic that Co-working spaces are the need of the hour for corporate occupiers in these uncertain times as they offer smart business solutions to enterprises in the form of flexibility, CAPEX savings, and new-age design that seeks to promote the organizational culture and a collaborative work environment.
In regard to the Co-Living space he felt that co-living and other associated asset classes such as student housing and industrial living a boost, as travelling becomes safe, vaccinations gain momentum, and India’s large young and migrant population returns to work.
Among others who spoke at the webinar included Mr. Shriram Chitturi, CEO, Guesture; Mr. Pradeep Srinivas, Director- Private Equity, Investcorp; Dr. Nikhil Sikri, Co- Founder & CEO, Zolostays; Mr. Krishnaswamy Nagarajan, Chief Operating Officer, Table Space Technologies; Mr. Arvindh Prakash Ayyaswamy, Sr. Real Estate & Facilities Portfolio Manager, Microsoft; Mr. Rajesh Arora, Member Finance, NAREDCO; Mr. Saurabh Shatdal, Managing Director, Capital Markets, Cushman & Wakefield; & Mr. Rajesh Goel, Director General, NAREDCO.
The webinar deliberated on various issues on the Co-Working and Co-Living space. In regard to the investment in the sector, it was brought out that the investors in this space are quite bullish and do operate on a ‘vision business’ approach, wherein they value players that are credible and offer services that aid in expanding and scaling up their client’s businesses, with an aim to seek operators that provide functionality and security in a capital efficient and functional manner.
It was also highlighted that both co-living and co-working must operate from an agility perspective; one wherein growth cannot be forecast. The use of technology in improving user and operational experience such as affordable and reliable data connectivity as well as cloud services was also emphasized. It was felt that productivity in these spaces could be improved through enabling technology that is scalable, sustainable and repeatable.