With an aim to build the right environment and infrastructure for entrepreneurs from Tier II and III cities, entrepreneurs Vinayak Nath and Sudhanshu Rastogi launched an integrated coworking space in Lucknow.
Founded in 2019, Lucknow-based My Place Coworking offers well-equipped workspaces to businesses and individuals.
“The primary challenge that we identified is that although there is a support system for startups in Tier I cities, Tier II and Tier III town entrepreneurs have not had the same privilege. We are trying to provide the required infrastructure to entrepreneurs in the ignored regions,” Vinayak Nath, Founder and CEO, told YS.
After working with several top MNCs, Vinayak began his entrepreneurial journey with an HR outsourcing and training venture. Eventually, he stepped into the world of angel investments and joined Indian Angel Network as Advisor and Angel Investor in 2011. He also went on to be a part of the Government of Uttar Pradesh–Planning Commission as Member Expert in 2015. Vinayak met his co-founder Sudhanshu through angel investment networks.
Building the needed infrastructure
Vinayak reveals that the duo was inspired by Prime Minister’s ‘Startup India’ programme and wanted to contribute to the nation’s growth through entrepreneurship.
My Place Coworking leases industrial buildings and converts them into high-end coworking spaces. The coworking spaces include meeting rooms, conference rooms, presentation areas, cafeterias, and other ancillary services.
“The operations are all driven by an app and the entire internet services run on the highest security encryptions and time machine protocols,” the CEO says. The mobile app allows users to connect, chat, book meeting rooms, and share events, among others.
Currently, the startup owns two centres in Lucknow and Gurugram and has around 32 employees. Apart from this, its integrated coworking services also include the MyPlace Delivery service for helping certain startups with logistics and delivery, thereby pushing the employee count to 100.
“Our target audience is mainly entrepreneurs who are looking for economically viable workspaces,” he adds.
Business and more
While Vinayak did not disclose details about the pricing plans, the startup offers workspaces to businesses on a retainer, depending on the needs and the size of the team. Apart from this, it also offers flexible day passes that are the best fit for smaller teams and individuals.
The startup claims to have been recording 25 to 30 percent month-on-month growth.
“The centre in Lucknow is at 45 percent occupancy, and the second one in Gurugram is completely sold out. All in all, we have around 25 clients onboard, including some reputed names like the Cycling Federation of India,” Vinayak says.
India is the second-largest market for flexible workspaces in APAC, second only to China. A June 2020 report by ORF estimated the potential coworking market size to be Rs 15.5 million, comprising 1.54 million freelancers, 0.1 million startups, 1.54 million SMEs, and 10.3 million enterprises.
Several notable players such as YesssWorks, ABL Workspaces, Incuspaze, WeWork, and 91springboard, among others are working to take the leading position in the growing coworking market.
The founders have invested close to Rs 1.5 crore raised from family and friends in the bootstrapped startup. Speaking about future plans, the founder reveals that the startup is looking to open centres in Chandigarh, Noida, and Ahmedabad. “Our aim is to open 32 centres across India in the next 18-20 months,” he adds.