For a long time in my life I had used a Big International Brand for expanding our offices to the world. I found them to be affordable (well not all the time), to help us be where we wanted to be, and offer a solution that we needed, but each time I spent time working from any of these locations, whether it was in Taipei, Singapore, New York or Mumbai – I ended up missing any kind of human interface. Yes I had a fancy little seat, in a corner office, I had a list of people who worked in these centres, and I had a centre manager, but I never met someone, so I could expand my business, expand my professional network, or even have an interesting dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, I did meet a few people over coffee, but they were too eager to leave, than to meet this fat guy who would arrive now and then, and then was not seen for a few days.
When in 2015, I Got a chance to Invest in SproutBox, I was not sure if this was our Business, I knew for sure the Big Brand I was using was growing into many more cities, many more locations, and they even had a location at a stones throw away from the First SproutBox in Gurgaon.
We started with 30 Seats, and soon we were 100 Seats. All of us knew each other, if not by first names, we knew what they did, what team they worked in, and how we could connect to each other to help each other grow. Over the first 2 Years of Business at SproutBox, we generated nearly 2 Crores Rupees of Business in Referrals.
But SproutBox Needed to grow, from being amongst the first few people in the CoWorking Industry, we suddenly heard about International giants coming in, and we ended up growing from the 100 seats we operated in Gurgaon to the 700 Seats that we operate now between Delhi, and Mysore. But with this we lost focus on the community, we now come to a building where we know people by faces, we don’t know their names, but we know what teams they belong to, we don’t know what are they passionate about, but our community managers try to know.
The Other day, in a Strategy meeting, I said – we set out to build communities, and we ended up making offices. Yes we cater to the business need for anyone who needs an office on demand, an office that is flexible, an office that let’s them Scale up and Scale down, but did we build communities? I can still remember the names of our first few coworkers, their habits, their passions, and our connections over movie nights, samosa nights, and sometimes calling the Old Monk over for a Drink. We still do this, but the community is not as tightly knit. Its’ business as usual.
At this time, while SproutBox is building it’s next 300 seats in Delhi, and it’s next 300 Seats in Gurgaon and Chandigarh, we are also thinking of building our 100 Next Seats in a Holiday destination, a Destination we all would love as an office – where we will be a community, that helps each other grow, creates dialogues that are powerful for all of us, cheers us when it’s time to scale up, and creates a nest when it’s time to scale down.
CoWorking was all about Community, CoWorking is now about Flexible Spaces. Can we keep CoWorking about a Community? I would love to hear what your thoughts on this are?
Do you look at a Workspace (not necessarily just a CoWorking Space), that will give you peace of mind, and let you do what you want? Or, do you look at a Workspace, that gives you an additional benefit of communities meeting together, people with interests forming groups, and the space encouraging these communities?
Did you know right now SproutBox Operates two coworking Spaces in India, one in the beautiful city of Mysore, and one in the Industrial Hub of South Delhi at Okhla Industrial Area in Phase 1. If you want to meet an amazing community and find the office for your needs, feel free to drop us a line