When business turns social
Twenty-seven-year-old Abhishek Barari was in the middle of finding office space for a new venture of his last year, when he stumbled upon the idea for his latest venture, My Cute Office. “My team Rahul Shelke (CTO), Neelay Jain (COO) and I had started looking for an office space for our venture and found that you need to spend a huge sum of money on the deposit broker’s commission, furniture and so on, while we would have preferred to spend that kind of money on other things, like marketing our business and building staff. Plus, we were not sure for how long were we going to use the space and most space owners had a six month lock in period which didn’t make sense for us,” explains Barari
Abhishek Barari (extreme left) with his team
Barari decided to share some desks within a friend’s office in Ghatkopar for his tech team to work from. At the same time, he tried the same experiment in his office as well. “I had a small office in Kandivli, where I had four workstations. I leased out three of them and I realised I was earning more rent than I was paying for my office space,” elaborates Barari.
He calls My Cute Office (www.mycuteoffice.com) a portal which helps find co-occupants for spare seats within offices and reduces rental costs for both the space provider and the space seeker. The aim of the platform is to help entrepreneurs zero in on office spaces whose rentals are reasonably priced, and help like-minded people connect with each other. “Every time a person uploads his details, we verify them by checking the company profile and their business. We try and match people’s requirements — for instance, if someone tells us that they have a creative team and prefer to share the space with other creative teams, we facilitate that. That degree of comfort at work comes from sharing space with others who have a like-minded approach,” explains Barari, adding that this arrangement not only saves money but is also great for building business contacts and the perfect social environment for businesses.
While the platform does not charge space seekers for the service, space providers (who Barari says benefit the most as they make money out if it) pay a commission based on the duration of the space seekers’ booking period. The website charges 10 per cent for daily rentals and 15 days’ rentals in the case of monthly rentals of three months
Mycuteoffice.com, which went live on January 1 this year, got a major boost in terms of funding in the same month, when Mumbai-based Lead Angel Group decided to invest in the venture. There was no looking back post that. The team, says Barari, is now in the middle of working on a mobile app, which will launch by the end of June.
“The app will be robust enough to provide all details on the go to help people locate the offices without our intervention and book it directly,” concludes Barari.