Office parks builder Embassy Group’s Chairman & MD Jitendra Virwani is confident that traditional as well as flexible office spaces will do well in the post-pandemic era as the group with interests in both sectors has been registering demand on the twin fronts due to wider acceptance for a hybrid work model.
“Commercial office space demand is good. There is some 20 million square foot of RFPs floating around. Each client requirement is in the range of 2-3 million square feet. There are even two who require 4 million sq feet of office space. These are the kinds of sizes people are looking at,” said the billionaire property at a virtual event on ‘Future Workplaces’ organised by CII Maharashtra and Anarock Property Consultants on Friday.
The company has residential, commercial and office spaces projects across major Indian cities. In fact, he said, it may be hard to find an inch of grade-A office space in December 2023 because many projects have not taken off due to various reasons such as lack of funds and approvals. As proof of his bullishness, he listed projects for Philips and Le Meridien as being underway.
The firm is one of the leading developers of IT/ITES spaces in India with clients including the likes of IBM, Microsoft, TCS and Yahoo. “Larger MNCs may have a small percentage of people working from home, but largely a lot of them want their employees to come back slowly. All Indian companies anyway have everybody back,” said Virwani.
But he also added that co-working space company WeWork India, which the Embassy Group launched as the Indian arm of the New York-based WeWork in 2017, has a customer pipeline of 1.8 million square feet for whom they have to provide office space. This includes both enterprise and individual requirements, he added.
The company, on whose board Virwani sits and is headed by his son Karan Virwani, has seen revenue from its pay per use model of ‘Day Passes’ spike from Rs 40 lakh a month to Rs 1 crore a month, he added. The firm is also working out newer models where for a fixed sum, people using the space on a regular basis can also get visiting cards issued and their mail delivered there, he said.
WeWork India has 51,000 seats across 4 million square feet of co-working space in seven India cities.