WeWork India announces new leadership appointments

WeWork India announces new leadership appointments
(From left):- Head of sales Santosh Martin, CFO Clifford Lobo and general counsel Hiranmai Rallabandi  |  Photo Credit: Company photo
23 Oct, 2020

New York headquartered coworking space provider WeWork said on Friday that it has appointed a new chief financial officer, head of sales and general counsel for its India unit.

CFO Clifford Lobo will be responsible for working through partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions to drive business growth and profitability, a statement said. He has worked at ESPN India with roles in verticals such as operations, commercial and product innovation, as well as finance. His experience also ranges across fields such as IT/ITES, consulting and mentoring, digital media and publishing, digital video and content publishing, sports media, software development and telecom.    

The new general counsel, Hiranmai Rallabandi, has over 20 years of experience in areas such as corporate and real estate laws, cross-border M&A, labour relations, litigations, policy-making, and risk and compliance. Prior to WeWork, Rallabandi has worked with companies such as Cushman & Wakefield, BCCL, SN Gupta & Co, and Virmani & Virmani.

Additionally, the statement said that Santosh Martin has been elevated to the position of head of sales, without specifying his earlier role. With over two decades of experience, Martin has  previously worked with firms such as Jones Lang LaSalle and DivyaSree Developers. 

The pandemic has pushed businesses of all sizes to manage cash flows effectively by moving costs to a variable model, and space-as-a-service offers an opportunity for businesses to become more agile. As the country prepares for the future of work, WeWork India is bullish about its growth prospects -- it was set to raise $100 million from its global partner in June. 

The firm said in the statement that the new appointments will help the firm focus on long-term sustainable growth. It currently follows a traditional asset-heavy business model that has been criticized as being unsustainable.

“The flexible workspace industry in India has displayed resilience and growth even during challenging times. In this time, we have seen a new opportunity that suits our members’ evolving needs driven by an acceleration towards variable real estate costs, the confidence of safe and well-managed workspaces for their employees, and the growth opportunities that are intrinsic to the WeWork community,” Karan Virwani, CEO of WeWork India, said in the statement. The India operations of the company is run by real estate firm Embassy Group.

As of Q1 2020, WeWork said it has operations in 828 locations in over 149 cities and 38 countries, with 6,62,000 memberships.