WeWork India 2021 revenue up 33%; plans to elevate over 20K desks next year
Coworking major WeWork India's revenue rose by 33 per cent to over Rs 800 crore this year and is likely to grow further in 2022 on enhanced demand for its flexible workspaces, a company official said.
In an interview, WeWork India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Karan Virwani outlined his vision to make the company a "one-stop shop" to meet all requirements related to workspace.
Looking at the growing demand for flexibility, he said the company would expand its portfolio by one million square feet area with capacity of about 20,000 desks.
At present, it operates 5 million square feet area at 36 locations comprising 64,000 seating capacity. It currently has a presence in six major cities including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Virwani highlighted that the recovery in the flexible workspace segment after the second wave of the COVID pandemic has been very strong.
The occupancy level at its various coworking centres has reached more than 75 per cent, enabling its entire portfolio to become profitable in November month.
"We were able to grow our business to over Rs 800 crore topline for this calendar year and as of last month we became profitable," he stated.
Virwani said the firm had clocked close to Rs 600 crore revenue in the last calendar year.
He highlighted that the demand has rebounded strongly to breach even the pre-COVID level.
"Today companies of all sizes, be it 100-year-old company or a startup, are looking at flexible space as the way to move forward."
Viwarni said the hiring activities in IT/ITeS sector and startups remained buoyant during the last 18 months.
"Corporates want to adopt a hybrid model in their real estate strategy as they come out of the pandemic. They (corporates) want multiple products and multiple solutions for how they want to operate."
WeWork India has launched many products to cater to this evolving demand such as day pass.
"WeWork is trying to build a platform that is a one-stop shop for all sort of needs related to workspace," he said.
Virwani said that WeWork as a company and as a platform could provide different products to corporates as per their requirements.
He said the company has been able to cater to the entire range of demand for workspaces and not focus only on enterprises.
For the new year, Virwani said the target is to expand the portfolio by one million square feet, increase occupancy level, grow revenue and remain profitable.
Asked about fundraising, he said the requirement of capital has been reduced with many landlords ready to invest in CAPEX. However, he said the company could raise funds if required.
Earlier this year, WeWork India had raised Rs 200 crore from investors as equity and debt to grow its business. In June last year, WeWork Global had invested USD 100 million (about Rs 750 crore) in WeWork India.
Lately, property consultant Colliers and Qdesq said that flexible workspace stock would cross 60 million square feet in metro and non-metro cities by 2023, as occupiers embrace agility and flexibility in their work models.
In 2017, WeWork Global had teamed up with Bengaluru-based Embassy Group to enter the Indian market.
Embassy Group, which is one of the leading real estate firms in the country, has also launched the country's first real estate investment trust (REIT).