Shared Spaces emerging Real Asset class: NAREDCO

New Delhi, July 27: Indian Economy throttles against unprecedented covid19 pandemic and has shown resilience in business continuity plans for across real estate industry. The new normal lifestyle driven by social distancing to fare optimal opportunities for shared spaces in terms of co-working and co-living as an emerging asset class for futuristic growth.

Addressing a webinar organised by NAREDCO along with its knowledge partner Cushman & Wakefield on Co-Working and Co-Living, titled ‘Reimagined for growth in the post pandemic world’, Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President of National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) noted Covid has disturbed the momentum in the co-working space as businesses are going through a phase of uncertainty and are trying to figure out how things would evolve.

“A large number of companies working at co-working spaces are wondering to what extent changes are going to take place. So, it is the responsibility of the co-working companies to design customized space in sync with evolving needs of industry players inclusive of scale, modularity and sustainability ,” he said

However, exuding confidence over the outlook for the sector, Dr. Hiranandani opined that,” the future appears to be extremely bullish as Industry witness emerging professional players to focus on end to end space management aiding developer to deliver customer delight.”

Further, the real estate veteran was of the view that if the IT industry takes a turn towards co-working spaces, then there would be major growth for this realty asset class. “If the IT industry scales up in this direction, then you will see a new paradigm shift,” he added.

Dr. Hiranandani also mentioned that there will be rise inhub and spoke model in commercial real estate on back of dispersed portfolio towards suburban business districts in wake of decongestion and avoid long haul commute to promote employee wellness and productivity.

Mr. Anshul Jain, Managing Director, India & South East Asia Cushman & Wakefield was of the view that co-working spaces are more attractive than ever before.

“They offer smart business solutions to enterprises in the form of flexibility, CAPEX savings, and new-age design that seeks to promote the organizational culture and a collaborative work environment. These are the need of the hour for corporate occupiers in these uncertain times. Our research forecasts higher requirements for flex space from corporates that would push enterprise demand growth up by 40% YoY in 2021,” Mr. Jain said.

On the other hand, co-living, he noted, has been temporarily impacted by the pandemic largely due to work-from-home policies.

However, as travelling becomes safe, vaccinations gain momentum and India’s large young and migrant population returns to work, the workforce will demand better quality accommodation with more amenities and greater safety measures, Jain said.

“This will give co-living and other associated asset classes such as student housing and industrial living a boost,” he said.

Dr Hiranandani observed that although co-living also has grown, it has not grown as co-working as the structure still is not clear.

Regarding the growth in organised co-living spaces, Dr. Nikhil Sikri, Co- Founder & CEO, Zolostays, mentioned that out of the overall co-living sector in India, only 2% market share is taken up by the major organised players, while the rest still is in the unorganised space.

The sector players were of the view that the Model Tenancy Act will play a major role for the co-living sector’s growth in the country. Other anticipated policy actions including the National Rental Housing Policy, if implemented would support all the stakeholders, the participants in the webinar noted.

Among others who were present at the webinar were Mr. Shriram Chitturi, CEO, Guesture; Mr. Pradeep Srinivas, Director- Private Equity, Investcorp; Mr. Krishnaswamy Nagarajan, Chief Operating Officer, Table Space Technologies; Mr. Arvindh Prakash Ayyaswamy, Sr. Real Estate & Facilities Portfolio Manager, Microsoft; Mr. Saurabh Shatdal, Managing Director, Capital Markets, Cushman & Wakefield; Mr. Rajesh Arora, Member Finance, NAREDCO; & Mr. Rajesh Goel, Director General, NAREDCO.

Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani, National President, NAREDCO said that, “Covid has disrupted the commercial real estate space due to uncertainities looming in Covid times. Predictive leasing and absorption is being calculated based on different work models that each sectoral companies would adopt. The leading sectors like IT, BFSI, engineering and manufacturing will led the trend with reverse migration. Customer demands have evolved, and industry players needs to offer customized designed spaces inclusive of scalability, modularity, and sustainability.” He further adds, “the future of shared spaces like co-living and co-working to grow as property management players leverages end- end solutions. With decentralization and decongestion, companies will also adopt hub and spoke model to bring work near home for employee wellness that improves productivity, increase retention, and works towards achieving carbon neutrality.”

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