My stint with coworking industry started a few months back when Honey Jain Kathuria – founder of Kowrk.com engaged me to write about this extremely interesting and fast emerging trend in India and around the world.
There has been no looking back ever since the coworking bug bit me and hence on 9th of September,2016, I found myself braving more than an hour in traffic to reach the prestigious American Centre to attend the first Coworking Conference in India. This conference proved to be one of the most enlightening experiences I have ever had.
It brought together more than 100 participants from more than 15 different states of India in different stages of evolution and with varied models of coworking spaces , tech hubs, incubators, business centres managers, accelerators, community builders, entrepreneurship activists, investors, real estate partners and, others interested in the social workspace.
The stories were amusing, inspiring and entertaining, the energy – infectious, the atmosphere – electric and the vibes – friendly. It was an amalgamation of professionals from different backgrounds, ethnicity, age groups, style and sensibilities diverging towards a common goal of creating innovative, fun and productive shared workspaces. It was liberating to experience the passion with which these wonderful people are working towards providing affordable and economically viable coworking spaces.
There were newbies, wannabes, industry stalwarts and all of them got an opportunity to share their stories. Founders of successful coworking spaces shared their stories and success mantras, inspiring the new entrants to overcome their inhibitions and adopt coworking. It was amusing to witness the progress of these wonderful people. Their decision to follow their heart is truly commendable. Here’s a peek into two such amazing journeys
A south Indian NRI with an engineering and MBA degree left his plush job at Bloomberg at a 2000sq.ft. premises which shared the same quarters as Beyonce and Jlo to facilitate a cost effective work option for his CEO and came to Bangalore. Unable to find a place which suited his bill, he leased out a villa at Koramangala, pitched in a few more players to accommodate the budget and thus by sheer serendipity, BHIVE was born.
A doctor from a family of no less than 37 doctors decided to follow his passion of creating shared workspaces to capitalise on the synergies of people from varied fields. He enamoured everyone with his amusing acronyms. Perhaps spending years taking lengthy notes of biology and medicine equips one in shorthand. This guy, who had been a target of bullies during his childhood owing to a speech disorder, overcame the typical Asian parent’s syndrome ( a term coined by him) and fought against all odds to finally open the doors of Innov8 . His “ALCHEMIST” formula for a coworking hub and scientific deduction that working at a coworking joint decreases the time period from MVP to PMP from 2.5 years to 10 months are clearly indicative for his stint with science.
Such stories encouraged everyone to create and stimulate vibrant communities of startups and digital freelancers. They provided an insight into the management and development of coworking spaces, the challenges, the opportunities, the benefits, the market, the locations and the growth curve.
Twitter intro experience provided all the participants an opportunity to introduce themselves and share their stories in less than half a minute. It was great to see people from other business sectors, such as local institutions, sponsors, investors, real estate partners, and other potential customers actively participate in this event.
Team Kowrk made its presence felt with our globetrotting founder Honey Jain Kathuria throwing light on ‘Coworking in Asia – Similarities and Difference’ and Shruti Kela moderating the discussion on – ‘Coworking Business Model in Small Cities’. Kowrk announced koolest kospace contest to the participants in its bid to encourage the coworking hubs of India to come forth with their rendition of this awesome trend.
The first Coworking India Conference embraced all with open arms in its effort to facilitate and build a network of trust and long-term collaborative relationships between various coworking communities.
The introvert me learnt how to start a conversation, connect, collaborate and of course cowork. Eagerly awaiting the second chapter of this interesting story which will continue to woo millions into its ambit in the times to come and emerge as a movement, as THE WAY TO WORK of the millennium.