Have your office and keep it too

Sep 09, 2012, 07:29 IST | Phorum Dalal

Sutra Services, which has been offering co-working spaces in the city to professionals, complete with a reception area, conference rooms, and tea and coffee, has also launched an HR management software

Is the availability of a workspace or the lack of money to buy an office stopping you from beginning your dream venture or startup? What if there was a company that offered a shared working environment featuring a reception area, conference rooms, as well as your supply of tea and coffee? You may pinch yourself, but it’s true.

Lounge area which is also used as a conference or meeting area by professionals. Pics/Sunil Tiwari

Waqar Azmi, 28 and Jay Thaker, 29, founded Sutra Services Pvt Ltd five years ago, and have been offering co-working spaces for the past two years. But the cherry on the cake came last January, when they launched sumHR, an HR management software aimed at startups and small businesses to centralise all employee data, streamline HR processes such as leave tracking, provide an employee engagement platform, and improve collaboration within teams.

Personal workstations at Sutra services

“Co-working is turning out to be quite popular in Mumbai, as it is enabling startups to save time and money. From the time we started letting out our premises for co-working, some 200 people have used our co-working spaces. At present, there are many tech startup teams, stockbrokers, designers and individuals, who are using our spaces — around 30 people,” says Thaker, adding that the workspaces cost Rs 5,000 each and are ideal for budding startups with two to 10 member teams, or big organisations looking for remote offices. “ Also called as plug-and-play offices, they provide an alternative to independent professionals who want to avoid coffee shops and cafes,” says Thaker.

All in a day
Twenty eight year-old Sameer Parwani, CEO and founder of CouponDunia, a coupon code website, rented out space for four employees and himself in May. “All it took was one single day to get started. We are a growing company, and till we get our own space, this has worked out really well. We get to meet different people, interact and run our office smoothly.”

Easy in, easy out
“We are a startup company ourselves, catering to small businesses, and since we had extra seats, we thought it would be great to share it with other entrepreneurs. What makes our co-working space special is the creative feel. For example, the walls are painted with vibrant colours and a huge terrace lounge doubles up as a conference room. There are bean bags and comfort chairs too,” says Azmi.

SumHR has three offices in the building, the total area is about 4,000 sq ft. To sign up, all you have to do is pay the rent for one quarter along with a deposit. “In case you want to discontinue, you can give a month’s notice, and get back the refund for the unused month,” says Thaker.

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