“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
Many startups due to low budgets have no other option but to either work from home or spend time in the neighbourhood cafe where all the brainstorming sessions and strategies can be discussed. But to their dismay, they discover that external distractions sometimes lead to a brain lull and have a deteriorating effect on the quality of work produced. There are times when you have to move your business out of your house to fire up the remote employees and create an organizational culture that encourages sharing of ideas and values for better productivity. Not every company can afford to purchase/rent office space and that’s where many find themselves in a fix.
Coworkable is a platform that has managed to crack this conundrum as it helps to find, rent or list shared office spaces, co-working spaces or skills. It is India’s first platform that can be used by Startups, Entrepreneurs, Individuals, Freelancers, Home Offices, Small & Medium Businesses to increase their work efficiency.
In an exclusive interview, Balakumar Muthu (Founder and CEO of Coworkable) outlined some profoundly interesting points about Coworkable, here it is for you:
What motivated this startup?
While working in my previous venture, I faced the most frustrating experience in finding suitable and reasonable cost office space and skilled professionals. Even most of my friends who are into startups are working at their Home and Coffee shops because of the high office rental costs. They used to tell me big bunch of annoyed stories about the kind of disturbances and distractions they faced at such places.
Also being frequent to most startups, Tech Meetups and events, I found that this is one of the common problems most startup founders and entrepreneurs face because of their limited fund reserve.
So finally without much hesitation, I started working on Coworkable.com.
Who do you see as your target audience?
Coworkable.com’s target audiences are Startups, Individuals, Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, Home Offices, Small & Medium Businesses and Big Businesses.
What are the key features of Coworkable?
- Coworkable.com helps Startups, Entrepreneurs, Small & Medium businesses to monetize and earn extra income by renting or sharing their spare or less-used office infrastructures such as desks, skills, conference room, Office supplies which includes projector, printer, coffee machine, etc. with other startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers to save money. By using Coworkable, your idle office resources or infrastructures could be shared with others to earn extra revenue.
- With Coworkable.com, you can share or rent your Office spaces or Skills based on an hour or day to weeks or months as you want. You could also decide on which kind of specific skilled professionals you want to share your office space with. The place and timing are more flexible at such places.
- Working at home or coffee shop seems to be a usual option but they are bit lonely and prone to have more distractions and disturbances, leading to less productivity. While working in shared office space you will be more focused with your work and it also provides the opportunity to meet and interact with professionals of various fields, gaining knowledge from their experiences is useful in expanding your business networks and skills.
- Overall working in a shared office space is less expensive than running your own office space where you have to pay a high rental, advances and other infrastructure costs. While in shared office spaces we only have the reasonable rental cost, which includes all infrastructure costs such as Internet, electricity and conference room, Office supplies like projector, printer, coffee machine, etc. for a shoe-string budget. So sharing or renting shared office space is a huge money saver for entrepreneurs.
- The core attraction for startups or entrepreneurs using Coworkable is that it gets easier for them to access shared office spaces and skills they required through collaboration.
- Coworkable is all about working in your desired place, at your desired time.
Has Coworkable got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
Even in our current beta release, we got an amazing response and have listings from all major Asia-Pacific countries. We have lists from 17 Countries and 54 Cities including India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia and many more.
How involved are you with fundraising?
We have bootstrapped the venture and currently growing aggressively and looking out of first round of funding to scale up our product and business development.
How do you plan to monetize Coworkable?
Coworkable.com is always going to be free for Startups, Freelancers, Home Offices and Small / Medium Businesses. Our current main focus is on providing great value and a better experience to our customers.
Regarding the business model, we are currently pivoting on an interesting revenue model with different levels of business users.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire the most?
I got a big bunch of entrepreneurs whom I highly admire, just to name a few: Richard Branson – Virgin, Konosuke Matsushita – Panasonic, Dietrich Mateschitz – Red Bull.
What’s your vision for Coworkable?
Our vision is to make the world a happier place to work, by helping people to easily access reasonable cost office spaces and skills.
What one piece of advice would you give to soon to be startup founders?
When you want to start your venture, always start with a real problem, not with an idea. This kind of strategy increases the success rate of your startup. Next, you should be focused on what you have started as many tend to lose their interest just in the mid of their venture. We should always stay alert and focused. While you start, try to bootstrap your venture with your own money and keep it lean.
With a clutter free design, the website looks quite user friendly and easy to use. A shared company environment is any day more preferable than working in isolation as it encourages a co-operative and a friendly atmosphere.
Have a look at Coworkable.