WeWork: Where Businesses Thrive

Karan Virwani, Director, WeWorkNew York-based WeWork is one of the world leading providers of shared-workspace. In May 2008, Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey established GreenDesk, an eco-friendly co-working space in Brooklyn. In 2010, the duo sold the business and started WeWork with its first location in New York’s SOHO district. This altered the history of co-working space. Today, WeWork is the fifth largest start-up in the world! It is a platform for creators, entrepreneurs, and businesses of all sizes to collaborate, innovate and follow their passions.

Roughly valued at US$20 billion, the company manages approximately 10 million sq. ft. office space across the globe. Including Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, and United Kingdom.

Prior expanding to India, the company had spent quintessential-amount of time reaching out to the key communities long before they opened doors to new locations. WeWork started its operation preparation in early 2017 whereby they listened and learned about local business culture, across the globe. In fact, the company had hired a local team, who knew the nuance of the market and helped them in the opening and localizing of space appropriately.

WeWork’s Route to India
Karan Virwani the oldest kin of Jitu Virwani, Chairman & Managing Director Embassy Group was instrumental in bringing WeWork to India. As a millennial entrepreneur, Karan understood the core essence of the business and was able to align it with WeWork’s vision. “With the macro societal shift of people seeking more personal fulfillment by working on projects they are passionate about, we see a huge opportunity to help more people find that meaning on a daily basis at WeWork. Our vibrant communities help accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs, startups and established enterprise companies in India.

Today, WeWork is a brand that provides multinational companies seeking to expand to India, and as a repercussion, this inevitably attracts talent and navigate the local landscape, collaborate with other creative thinkers and business leaders in the region, and grow as one. With 200+ locations around the world, WeWork is a perfect place to start for Indian companies looking to grow their business abroad. Their platform opens a whole new dimension for businesses to explore the realm of endless possibilities. “India being the hub for innovation, entrepreneurism, and business – we look forward to rapidly grow our community across India in the near term,” asserts Christian Lee, Managing Director, WeWork Asia.

Breaking the Age-old Barriers – Redefining Co-working Space
One of the challenges the industry faces at the moment is to perceive business as co-working. The day, when the shift happens to map this to communities, the sector will witness a rapid growth. Also, a lot of brands in the country are focussing on major key cities, which are bound to showcase growth. However, in a country like India with diverse cultures and communities, it also does make sense to expand to tier II cities. This applies to ASIAN countries like India that is on the cusp of growth.

Lining the void in the sector, WeWork hopes to bring in a new way of working that meets the needs of creators in this market, while helping their member businesses grow and succeed, and supporting the creator here to explore global resources and partners. More than anything, the company wants to break away the myth of how traditional workplaces are occupied in India, which is full of tech start-ups. Quaintly changing the mindset of people in the industry, WeWork offers the
space, services, and community (both offline and online) for all of their members to collaborate and grow their business to the maximum potential. Additionally, the company takes care of all the basics – beautiful, functional space, WiFi, office management thereby emancipating the members to do what they love.

Karan adding to this says, “We are also connecting people with similar interests and businesses, from cities all over the globe, and are provide a community no matter where they go or grow.”

Building a Wave of Collaborative Community
At WeWork, we provide small businesses, start-ups, and freelancers with the workplace, community, and services they need to make a life, not just living. Karan, the man with an aim to transform the Indian businesses to a whole new level, enthusiastically speaks, “When Indian entrepreneurs are placed in the same space, get to know one another, and realize that their start-ups complement one another. They will be able to build a mutually beneficial partnership that contributes to India’s economic dynamism.”

WeWork looks at a building and space from inside out - and focus on how they can design to foster community and collaboration

He further states, “Today, companies need to understand merely providing tables and chairs in a systematic way is not the key. Companies should go that extra mile to spot the right location/venue that has the potential to be turned into beautiful, collaborative spaces. You should be a brand with a conductive work environment providing astatically well designed, inspirational and functional spaces that encourage collaboration.”
Most important of all, WeWork looks at a building and space from inside out – and focus on how they can design to foster community and collaboration. Their belief is that through the physical and digital platform they want to help members to do what they ardour the most. Also, the company believes in creating a space where people can connect and create meaning together – all the while using space more effectively and efficiently. Karan explicating the responses from their clients says, “Members are responding very positively as they have a great work environment across centres. Being a WeWork member also gives them the opportunity to do business with other member companies. Hence, they can get a chance to network in an environment where business ideas can be exchanged and creativity can thrive.”

WeWork India - Gearing-up for the Future
WeWork synonymous to co-working space at the moment has offices in 274 locations and 59 cities. In India, they have offices in Bangalore, Delhi NCR, and Mumbai. The office speaks for itself. In the coming years, the company envisions to reach out to other regions once the collaboration is established successfully. Karan narrating the future roadmap, concludes, “We hope to bring in a new way of working that meets the needs of creators in this market while helping our members' businesses grow and succeed, and supporting the creators here to explore global resources and partners. Right now, we are focused on launching successfully and making sure that the initial round of members has been experiencing possible. If we get that right, the rest will follow.”

WeWork's Co-working Office Space for Today & Tomorrow
• Design - The Catalyst
A rarity in the building and design industry, WeWork has a global interdisciplinary team of 400+ specialists that work across functionally to take workplace and living design to a new level. At the same time, they are advancing innovating and improving the execution of the design and building process. It means they do it faster and more efficiently than anyone out there.

• Technology - A Hidden Gem
Every facet of WeWork’s operations can be enhanced by smart technology. Powered by We and the WeOS will optimize space usage and empower members to manage their own space. Member facing apps empower collaboration and functionality.

• Hospitality - A Stock in Trade
WeWork goes to a great extent to create communities – at the building, city, and country level. The company has made a major investment in the last year to ensure that it will scale in line with the business while providing consistent member experience (Org design, roles & responsibilities, training & development, the path to growth etc...) The community team is the most time thinking about... the community team sets the tone for their members and the culture for the majority of WeWork employees.

• Culture - A Core Differentiator
WeWork has a unique culture, which is strong and something that the team is incredibly proud of. Moreover, the company believes the world they have created informs that. The team ensures that their culture is recognized and nurtured so that they can capture the core element and look to commercialize it without losing credibility. Miguel, Co-Founder & a Chief Culture Officer, underscores how seriously the team takes it.

Karan Virwani, Director, WeWork
Following his father’s footsteps, Karan, a young and dynamic entrepreneur is said to revolutionize the way businesses run their day-to-day operations. With a niche business mind and millennial attitude, he believes that the effective way for any business to thrive and grow lies in a shared and collaborative work environment. His determination and passion to redefine the co-working space in India has paved a way for WeWork India.

WeWork’s Clients:

Microsoft, Monkey Box, Shopify, ZenDesk, Megshala.