CEO Insights team
Intensive urbanization and growing population density in a few areas have made the CBDs of metropolitan India practically inaccessible over the past two decades, especially in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. NITI Aayog foresees the growth of the Indian real estate sector to jump over fivefold to $650 billion by 2040. As commercial real estate become more expensive, flexible workspaces are democratizing access by reducing the prohibitive barrier of price. This is re-injecting vibrancy to these locations and enabling businesses and individuals to benefit from proximity to business areas. In fact, the report found that 76 percent of WeWork members in Mumbai, 74 percent in Bangalore, and 67 percent in Delhi and did not work in the neighborhood prior to joining WeWork.
This has also had an impact on associated activities in these areas; 9-15 percent of WeWork members have moved closer to the WeWork location since joining, especially in Bangalore where 1 in 4 (37 percent) members visit neighbourhood restaurants, cafes and businesses daily. In Bangalore, the WeWork economy directly contributed Rs. 1,957 crore and in total supports Rs. 2,002 crore (Rs. 44 crore indirectly) of GDP in the city.
Mumbai comes next in terms of impact, where the WeWork economy directly contributed Rs. 1,692 crore of GDP and in total supports Rs. 1,737 crore (Rs. 45 crore indirectly) of GDP in the city. Economic contribution of WeWork in Delhi is the highest, where the WeWork economy directly contributed Rs. 2,986 crore of GDP and Rs. 62.7 crore indirectly, resulting in a whopping Rs. 3,049 crore GDP impact.
Growing automation is driving a shift towards knowledge work, and these contributors are the biggest beneficiaries of the growth of collaborative workspaces. Flexibility and low capital commitment helps encourage entrepreneurship, with 17 percent of Mumbai WeWork entrepreneur-members, for instance, pursuing their first start-up project at WeWork.
Likewise, over 77 percent of WeWork members in Bangalore are in the innovation economy, and a fifth of WeWork member-entrepreneurs are taking the plunge to self-employment for the first time.
WeWork as a community enables its members to collaborate with each other, which has led to the creation of efficiencies in terms of increased creativity, productivity at the workplace and innovation
In Delhi, 53 percent of members are in the innovation economy while 11 percent of entrepreneur-members are first-timers.
The flexibility, access and convenience that collaborative workspaces offer have an impact on women rising to leadership positions, and India’s WeWork members are ahead of the curve.
Led by Mumbai, where a significant 41 percent of senior roles (executives, senior managers, managers and sole proprietors) are held by women, followed by Delhi (29 percent) and Bangalore (26 percent), India is far ahead of the rest of Asia, where the percentage is at 23 percent.
Across cities, collaborative working has had a direct impact on company growth, with 65 percent members in Bangalore and 58 percent in Delhi stating that WeWork has helped accelerate growth. This is especially true among small and medium companies, who benefit from the national and international network of member companies, ease of collaboration and world-class infrastructure access. In fact, the average growth rate across SMB WeWork members in Bangalore is 25 percent compared to 4 percent for all companies in the city. The difference is even starker in Mumbai, where SMB WeWork members have grown at 37 percent on average compared to 2 percent for all companies in the financial capital.
Easier access to flexible workspace has also increased the viability of sustainable forms of commute, including walking, biking or public transport. In Bangalore and Mumbai, over half of WeWork members use sustainable public transit modes. Members also tend to switch from self-driving to sustainable public transit, with 15 percent in Bangalore and 25 percent in Mumbai reporting that they’ve done so since joining WeWork. In Delhi, over 60 percent of members use sustainable transit options and about 29 percent have given up polluting cars since joining WeWork.
“WeWork as a community enables its members to collaborate with each other, which has led to the creation of efficiencies in terms of increased creativity, productivity at the workplace and innovation. This process has effects that go far beyond individual considerations as it also sparks the development and support of local communities, neighbourhoods and businesses, a culture that we as an organisation look to actively imbibe, encourage and promote. This is true for WeWork across countries around the world and in India,” says Karan Virwani, CWeO, WeWork India.