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IWG Experts Talk India: Benefits of the Flexible Working Boom

IWG's recent webinar highlighted the company's strategic vision for India, underscoring the growth potential in flexible workspaces and the significant opportunities for partnerships in this evolving landscape.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 11:11AM 12/20/23

In recent times, there has been a significant transformation in workplace dynamics, primarily driven by the growing demand for flexible office spaces. This evolution has reshaped the conventional norms of working, affecting not only specific areas but also the worldwide workforce. International Workplace Group (IWG), the world's leading workspace provider with a presence in over 4000 locations spanning 1200 cities globally, stands as a testament to this shift.

In a recent webinar hosted by 1851 Franchise, key figures from IWG discussed their ambitious expansion plans in India. The webinar, featuring insights from Harsh Lambah, Country Manager for India and South Asia, and Nishant Kumar, Director of Partnership Sales in India, shed light on the evolving landscape of flexible workspaces in the country.

State of the Business: Adapting to Post-COVID Changes

To start, Lambah highlighted the positive trajectory of IWG in India — the company has opened over 45 centers throughout the country in 2023 alone. "We're ending the year at a high, and we're in a good position compared to the rest of the world,” he said. “This is driving growth and demand across traditional and new sectors. After COVID, the world of work has changed, and it's an advantage for the flex industry.”

Rather than simply working from home or the office, more and more employees are expressing a desire for a third option — a hub-and-spoke model where they go to a flexible workspace every day in their local communities. With this evolution in work culture, the global flexible workspace industry is projected to nearly double in size, from $7.97 billion to $13.03 billion, by 2025. 

Lambah also reflected on his decade-long journey with IWG, observing a dynamic shift in workspace demand pre and post-COVID. "Pre-COVID, we were doing the fundamentals, focusing on the basics. But post-COVID, we consolidated and emerged strong. Hybrid work has become the go-to statement. We fit right in the middle, offering multiple opportunities for customers to find balance in the world of work."

Kumar, discussing the growth and partnership strategy, said, "Post-COVID, we've seen phenomenal growth. Our model offers a midway solution between working from home and the office, closer to residences. This convenience is crucial in places like Mumbai where commute is a big issue, as well as Tier 2 and 3 cities like Bhubaneswar and Guwahati, where flex work was once a myth. Now they are embracing it."

Building Owner Partnerships: A New Narrative

By taking a portion of their commercial real estate portfolio and transforming it into an IWG flexible workspace, building owners and business investors have an exciting opportunity to get ahead of this seismic shift in the commercial real estate industry, drive operating income from day one and turn empty building space into profitable revenue

"Our partnership model is becoming more comprehensible to building owners,” said Kumar. “They appreciate the convenience of signing a long-term lease with IWG, knowing that we manage everything end-to-end."

Instead of signing a conventional lease, IWG offers building owners and both institutional and individual investors a second option — fully absentee space management, a program in which IWG activates and manages all of the operations on behalf of the business investor, giving them the ability to generate revenue and operating income with no operational work.

IWG sits down with every prospective investor and lays out a financial model to showcase when they will recoup their investment, drive income and bring in a premium over market rent. From there, IWG will help building owners understand an indicative floor plan. IWG also has a team for design, construction, sales, marketing and everything needed to build, operate and launch a successful new flexible workspace.

"If you have a vacant place and are looking for a long-term, sustainable opportunity, our model is ideal,” Kumar said. “We offer a solution that's not only profitable but also eases the uncertainty of occupancy."

Vision for 2024: Doubling Network and Embracing New Markets

As the company gears up for expansive growth in 2024, IWG stands as a pioneer, leading the revolution in the workspace industry in India. Looking ahead to next year, IWG hopes to expand from 100+ to 200+ centers throughout the country, targeting both major cities and smaller markets. The long-term goal is even more ambitious.

"Our goal is to have a network far bigger than any other industry provider within India,” said Lambah. “We're talking about expanding into the thousands."

For those interested in taking advantage of the prime opportunity IWG presents in India, Lambah’s advice is simple: "Just walk into the closest IWG workspace, see our model and connect with us to become part of this wonderful journey."

Watch the full webinar, here

For more information on IWG's expansion plans and partnership opportunities, visit