New York-based shared workspace company, WeWork — which started India operations in July 2017 — expects to double its locations to 20 from present nine across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru by the end of 2018. WeWork India also plans to expand its base to Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad by next year, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
In late 2016, WeWork announced its foray into India, through a joint venture with Bengaluru-based real estate developer Embassy Group. However, it started operations in July last year, with its first shared office space at Embassy’s Residency Road building in Bengaluru.
In the last one year, the shared workspace company has built a network of nine co-working spaces in key cities such as Bengaluru, Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), and Mumbai. It has grown from 2,200 members in its first location in Bengaluru to over 10,000 members and 12,000 desks across its nine locations in India currently. By the end of 2018, WeWork India aims to open in four more locations in Delhi, four in Bengaluru and six in Mumbai.
“India is home to 65% of the population being under the age of 35 years who are seeking greater social engagement and looking to be a part of a large community of like-minded people. Our aim is to double our locations by the end of 2018 and to grow our community while providing them access to our global community and comforts of beautifully designed spaces. This is only just the beginning of our path towards the future of work,” said Karan Virwani, chief WeWork executive officer of WeWork India.
WeWork India said that by next year it plans to hire 150 people across verticals: sales, community and design and development.
Ryan Bennett, also chief WeWork executive officer, WeWork India pointed out that India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is home to one of the largest number of startups, coupled with large enterprises and SMEs, that are experiencing rapid growth.
“What’s remarkable about WeWork’s growth story in India is that unlike the rest of the world where we see a member mix of 25% large enterprises and 75% small and medium companies, India has a healthy mix of 50% each. This means that even large enterprises are looking to build their offices in such collaborative spaces to help them drive their community, spur interactions as well as retain and attract talent. As cities become more crowded and real estate more expensive, we see the demand getting even bigger,” said Bennett.
(For more on WeWork’s strategy in India: refer story on WeWork India in Fortune India’s August 2018 issue).