New York-headquartered collaborative workspace firm WeWork’s India arm plans to double the co-working space it offers in the country to 6 million square feet in 2019 and expand its presence to cities including Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad by the end of next year.
The company currently operates 3 million sq.ft. office space across Bengaluru, Mumbai and Gurgaon.
“In India, WeWork started the year with over 5,000 desks and is closing it with 35,000 desks across 21 locations. With a member base of 20,000 in India, we are selling 2,000 desks a month,” said Karan Virwani Karan, chief WeWork executive officer, WeWork India.
The company had entered India in late 2016 through a joint venture with Bengaluru-based real estate developer Embassy Group. It started operations in July 2017, with its first co-working office space at Embassy’s Residency Road building in Bengaluru spread over 400,000 sq.ft.
According to Virwani, WeWork India contributed 10% of the total members to its global business this year and is averaging occupancy of over 95% for buildings open longer than six months.
“We have grown exceptionally in the last one year and there is a lot more attention on the Indian market. Sales growth in India and China has been extremely well for WeWork,” said Virwani.
In 2018, the company has added 18 locations across the National Capital Region, Mumbai and Bengaluru. “Globally enterprise members are 30%, and in India, it is 52%,” said Virwani.
Separately, it plans to expand WeWork Labs in 10 locations across six cities in 2019. WeWork Labs offers dedicated space, services and community that supports more than 1,000 startups in 33 locations in 17 cities across 10 countries.
Globally, WeWork is the largest private occupier of office space in Manhattan, London and Washington, D.C. with 400,000 members in 26 countries across 400 locations. In 2018, WeWork expanded to eight new countries, 34 new cities and 200 new locations.
According to a recent study by real estate services firm JLL, apart from Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR saw a threefold growth in their share in demand for shared office space in the country. It said that the absorption of shared office space had more than tripled to 3.44 million sq.ft. at the end of September from 1.11 million sq ft a year ago.