“The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.” – Rupert Murdoch, CEO of 21st century Fox
Advent of CoWorking spaces in the Silicon Valley of India
When we first started BHIVE Workspace two years ago, the concept of co-working was almost non-existent in India. Over the last two years, however, the concept has become quite popular and we’re seeing a lot of new co-workings spaces coming up. The acceptance has improved not only among start-ups, but also among corporates. Companies like NDTV, Neogrowth, Datalicious, NEC etc. are working out of BHIVE along with 200 other companies and start-ups.
Companies have realised that they should focus on what they do best i.e. run their business and not worry about the hassle of operating their own workspace, managing the logistics and getting locked-in into lengthy rental agreements. Hence, we’re seeing a huge demand from bigger companies for BHIVE Workspace.
The workforce today is much younger and more global compared to a couple of years ago. Thanks to professionals and investors from who have returned from Silicon Valley to be a part of Indian start-up ecosystem, we are getting a first hand account of the Silicon Valley culture from them. This has created an aspiration among employees to work in a Silicon Valley like set-up, which is open, vibrant and collaborative.
Changes that are driving demand for co-working spaces:
- Demand for better working environment: Employees’ demand for high standard of workspace has increased markedly in last couple of years.
- Talent retention: Start-up boom in India has led to a surge in opportunities for employees, making it harder to retain talent. And hence, working conditions and fringe benefits have become important.
- Operational efficiency: Start-ups and companies are trying to become more efficient to drive profitability and hence, are looking for flexible workspace models that can scale up or down depending on their space requirements.
- Diversity: The diversity at workspace is starting to play a role in employee satisfaction and co-working spaces like BHIVE are able to provide that by default.
- Networking opportunities: Professionals have realized the strength of networking in their professional advancements. A co-working space like BHIVE provides ample opportunities for professionals to grow their network. In the last 1.5 years alone, BHIVE has hosted over 400 events that have seen participation from investors, industry experts, founders, CEOs and individuals. More than 20,000 people have attended these events at BHIVE. Our Buzzfest (Marketing focused event) and BHIVE Bash (networking party) have drawn a lot of interest from the community.
- Reducing commute time: City traffic makes it difficult for people to travel to work every day. That’s when a nearby co-working space comes in and provides a productive environment for people. (It’s way better than working at home alone).
- New opportunity for landlords and HNIs: For landlords, it’s a great investment opportunity, not just to earn reliable, hassle free returns on their properties, but also because its an opportunity for them to contribute towards India’s start-up growth. As a result, we are seeing a surge in demand for BHIVE franchise model.
The BHIVE Journey
Our journey started in 2014, when Shesh Rao Paplikar, Co-Founder & CEO returned to India from US and decided to start his own venture. He intended to spearhead a startup which dealt with data-analytics in healthcare. He frequented couple of CoWorking spaces in Bengaluru but failed to single out one which suited to his comfort, purpose and needs. That was when he capitalized on the inaccessibility of platforms which championed the cause of community collaboration through vibrancy, optimism and state-of-the-art facilities. Hence, BHIVE was a happenstance event and Shesh opted-out of his original venture of healthcare analytics and concentrated on this one with productivity enhancement in mind. Shesh led the wing with Ravi as Co-Founder, Monappa as COO under the able and dynamic mentorship of V. Sridhar.
Raising funds from Investors and Venture Capitalists
A couple of months since its inception, BHIVE raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from a team consisting of Raghunandan G (Founder, TaxiForSure), Rajesh Rai (Venture Capitalist & Co-Founder, Venturesity), Arihant Patni (Managing Director, Hive Technologies), Sanjay Mirchandani (Owner, Mirchandani Group), and Arun Narayan (Director, UK India Business Council). The latest news related to fundraising came in May 2016, when BHIVE raised a fund once again, of about 1 million USD led by Blume ventures. This good news proved to be of considerable help in expanding in the city and also popularized the concept of CoWorking. Accomplishing the journey ahead and translating its vision into reality BHIVE, has excelled in fueling efficiency, catalyzing innovation, triggering collaborations and housing success stories of about 175 startups covering over 800 active members.
What sets BHIVE apart?
Today, BHIVE Workspace is the largest co-working space in Bangalore, designed to drive productivity, well-being, collaboration, knowledge sharing and creativity . We have been trusted by around 200 companies with over 1000 members, who are a part of the thriving BHIVE Community. In addition to best-in-class hospitality, productive work environment, and vibrant community, we have helped our members save over 30% in costs compared to traditional office solutions.
We help our members focus on what they do best by taking care of everything else. They no longer need to worry about facility management, housekeeping and other office logistics. According to various studies, this consumes 15%-20% of time in an owned space, not accounting for situations when there are water, power or facility staff disruptions. We were ranked #1 co-working space globally by Koworks, #1 by Next Big What and #2 by Entrepreneur India.
Some of our key differentiators include:
- BuzzNet: Fast and reliable workspace internet – 99.9% uptime; 4 mbps speed per user. This has been achieved with over a year of research and establishing state-of-the-art processes that are unique to BHIVE Workspace. We have a dedicated R&D team that strives to deliver a seamless internet experience without disruptions.
- Access anytime, anywhere: All BHIVE Workspaces are open 24X7. You have the flexibility of working from any BHIVE location. We currently have 7 locations operational in Central Bangalore (Residency Road), HSR Sector 6 and 4, Koramangala, Indirinagar, Domlur, Vasanth Nagar, and have plans to open new BHIVE Workspace locations in Whitefield and CBD area. In addition, we will be opening new BHIVE Workspace locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Chennai in the coming months.
In addition, we’ve launched a Franchise model to help landlords and high networth individuals tap into the co-working space revolution. This will help us scale faster and provide greater access to the community.
- Vibrant and green workspaces:Recreational area, Breakout zones and Zen Gardens. Unlimited tea and coffee. We are targeting to have over 2000 plants across our locations within next 3 months.
- Welcoming hospitality: Dedicated community managers, security and housekeeping staff. Our entire staff goes through extensive training to ensure they care deeply about our members’ experience and to help them achieve highest levels of productivity. We believe we are in hospitality industry rather than office space. Hence, we pay a lot of attention to the hospitality aspect of our business.
- Community access:Access to larger BHIVE community through mobile app, events and social areas. We are the only co-working space to connect our community through Workplace by Facebook.
- Thought leadership: Learn from top thought leaders from the industry. In the last 1.5 years, we’ve hosted over 500 events, that have been graced by top thought leaders from the industry, including Kris Gopalakrishnan (co-founder at Infosys), Alok Goel (MD at Saif Partners and former entrepreneurs), Karl Alomar (co-founder at DigitalOcean), Radha K (Director at Unitus Seed Fund), Archit Gupta (CEO of Cleartax), Anshuman Bapna (CPO at MakeMyTrip and former Entrepreneur)
- Value added services: We have partnered with over 50 companies to offer a combined value of over Rs. 2 Lakh per year to every member for free. BHIVE Workpace partners include incubators, angel investors, legal services, financial services, banks, digital marketing, advertising, HR services, Ride sharing, food delivery etc.
The ever-so spirited community at BHIVE
BHIVE is the congregation of professionals hailing from different backgrounds. One can easily learn the benefits of Coworking and incorporate the salient features into their respective enterprises. The social interaction paves the way for friendships which last for lifetime.
A good Cowork space allows one to concentrate more on work instead of getting perturbed with pending payments and other distractions.
Prajakta, the only employee working for Hunt and Badge Consultancy from Bangalore, lists BHIVE community as the motivational factor.
What keeps BHIVE buzzing?
Events are an inherent part of BHIVE. We have hosted more than 500 events which include popular events like BHIVE BuzzFest, F**kUp Nights Bangalore Chapter, Date with Investors, SheTalks and BHIVE Bash.
Community managers also have a pivotal role to play in BHIVE’s success setting a benchmark of exemplary hospitality and services through effective relationship management and community management. Thereby, ensuring businesses continuity and success.
Visionary leaders like Kris Gopalkrishnan find BHIVE outstanding among its counterparts. Abhay Tandon, Head of Events & Partnership at Tracxn, mentions “Two things, One — BHIVE connects the whole community together, Two — a few days back we had BHIVE Bash and that was brilliant, you know, so there’s entertainment value, their connections, there is a lot of scope of learning through BHIVE Sessions. So for us it’s a community puller.”
The two year journey of BHIVE validates the truth – the mission and values of BHIVE are not just words on paper but permeate in the air. In Shesh’s words, “Building an enterprise is about building strong relationships. I find BHIVE as a company which impacts other companies, helping them increase their productivity and contributing to the economy as well.”
Ravi sums up, “It feels good when people identify BHIVE. Past laurels do motivate but they increase the responsibility of doing well every moment.” In the process of continuously exploring avenues to grow bigger in term of building symbiotic community and expanding business, BHIVE is looking forward to being synonymous with success stories and has managed to put a smile on every customer’s face.