Co-working cos form lobby group to address Covid-19 crisis

Co-working cos form lobby group to address Covid-19 crisis
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24 Apr, 2020

A group of 40 companies in the Indian shared workspace business has formed Indian Workspace Association (IWA), an industry body with an immediate goal to define protocols and practices to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, according to a statement on Friday.

The group is led by a core team of six members who have been nominated. IWA will advocate the industry's concerns and put forth demands to key stakeholders, the statement added.

Some of the key demands, outlined in the statement, are government support, a landlord rent waiver and service provider discounts. 

“We are liaising with the relevant ministries and authorities to get support and relief for the industry, which could eventually be passed on to our clients,” Pranay Gupta, co-founder at 91 Springboard and an IWA member said.

Read: Coronavirus India LIVE Updates

The core team includes founders and leadership executives from players such as Vorqspace, WeWork India, 91 Springboard, BHIVE Workspace, Hub and Oak, InstaOffice and CoworkIn.

The coworking industry, like many other industries, has been considerably impacted by the Covid-19 directed nationwide lockdown, Gupta added.

In March, TechCircle had exclusively reported that two major players in the shared workspace sector WeWork and 91Springboard having tweaked their customer agreements to offer extra free days, a move majorly seen to retain customers who are restricted to remote work.

Separately, rival Awfis was also looking to pass on concessions to customers subject to any relief it may get on its fixed and variable costs.

“We do not anticipate any reduction in rates because reduced rates cannot overcome the main hurdle – that of containment measures. In short, until it is considered safe to visit offices again, discounted rates will not induce companies to populate their offices again,” Anuj Puri, chairman at ANAROCK property consultants had then told TechCircle on the customer offers.

WeWork, 91springboard and Awfis are among the top seven players in the co-working spaces business, in terms of the number of facilities in India. The other five include Cowrks, Regus, Smartworks and OYO’s Workspaces.