If you want to go quickly, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.
Community living comes naturally to human beings and communities have shared assets for over a thousand years. Call it collaborative consumption, sharing economy, peer economy or a disruptive innovation the core of this concept is people renting things from each other. The occurrence of the term dates back in the early 2000’s, with the onset of recession and depleting resources sharepreneurship became the need of the hour. Innovations in technology very well supported this concept, by reducing the transaction cost . Later on in 2011, sharing economy was crowned as one of the 10 ideas that will change the world by TIMES Magazine.
A number of creative entrepreneurs came up with some disruptive innovations in the following space:
- Goods: Goods industry was one of the first ones to plunge into the collaborative economy. With the industry leaders like craigslist and ebay the pre-owned goods market entered the online space. Soon enough the disruptive entrepreneurs saw a potential market in leasing goods market with entrants like – Rentomojo, Furlenco, Pleygo, Rent The Runway and many more.
- Services: With the onset of technology and internet, the one sector that saw a major uprise is the service sector. While companies like Freelancer, Elance, CrowdSpring took lead in the professional service space. We had TaskRabbit, Angies List, Urban Clap, Runnr taking over the personal service sector.
- Transport: Even though the legalities of shared transport has been challenged right from the advent, it is by far one of the most talked about sector. Some that could not make the cut: Taxi for sure, Shuddle, Hey Taxi. Some that did great and are continuing to make a difference: Ola, Uber, Go Jek etc
- Space: This sector saw some sought after innovations with onset of collaborative economy. One of the most talked about trend was flagged by AirBnB – using AirBnB you can rent out places to stay anywhere in the world thereby monetizing on unused space. Other entrants in the same sector were: HomeAway, HomeExchange, SaffronStays, Tripvillas. Another category is the office space providers providing Co-working spaces. This sector is dominated by: WeWork, BHIVE Workspace, 91 Springboard, Innov8, Numa and is seen to be growing constantly.
- Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding dates back to 1850’s, this practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people gained popularity in 2003 with launch of ArtistShare, later on other platforms like Kickstarter, Wishberry, Ketto, Catapooolt Fuel A Dream and more. In 2015, it was estimated that worldwide over US$34 billion was raised this way.
- Computing: Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. This term was associated with IBM and DEC, later on, Amazon AWS, Rackspace hosting, Oracle and the like entered this domain.
Contrary to popular belief sharing economy does not mean the death of capitalism. The Gen Z has an appetite for experience, because of which piling up fixed assets with hefty payments of EMIs does not appeal to them. This shift from the willingness to own has given the boost to the shared economy worldwide. However, the futuristic view comes with a lot of criticism. It is important to stay adaptable and know that due to the phenomenon of shared economy capitalism is only just evolving.
The not so new entrant in this space is co-working spaces. Gone are the days of rigid work hours and the need of sitting glued to revolving chairs. The emerging intelligent species of entrepreneurs is looking out for economic options to aid their workspace needs. Co-working is distinct from a business accelerator, incubators and executive suites, they lack the informal culture. The first ever hub was founded in Berlin in 1995 as the years passed in 2012 there were over 2000 coworking spaces worldwide. Over the course of the year, Twitter users sent 93,000 tweets with the hashtag “coworking” (Source: Topsy). Just a year passed by and we saw 3000 coworking spaces open worldwide and the numbers are only positive. According to a study by Coworking Mag, 62% of the coworking space providers want to expand in the coming year. The profitability of the industry supports the plans. The Global Coworking Survey 2016, as conducted by deskmag reveals that out of the people working out of a co-working space 82% people feel less isolated, 77% people increased their business network and 63% people have improved skill set – benefits of coworking are many.
Being one of the first companies to start co-working spaces in India, we have seen the industry evolve. According to Monnappa Bayavanda, COO BHIVE Workspace “Co-working industry is the next big thing in the shared economy. From two years ago when no one knew about co-working to today, when companies like NEC, NDTV, Neogrowth etc. are working out of BHIVE, the industry has undergone a major transformation in terms of acceptability of shared office space.”
“Our community has evolved as one of the largest and the most vibrant with over 450 events and 7000+ members on Meetup. ” Adds Ravindra MK, CCO BHIVE Workspace. The market validation and support from the investors have also given the confidence to aspire and become the largest premium co-working spaces not just in India, but in Asia. Suryanarayana (ex IIMB Entrepreneurship cell) who recently joined BHIVE says as a startup evangelist he thinks coworking space to the startups is what discovery of printing press was to the writers. Shesh Paplikar, CEO BHIVE Workspace believes that the idea of owning an office space will fade away in future. It’s exactly what cloud computing did to server industry and Uber did to auto industry. We hope and believe that BHIVE will continue to hold its pole position in the premium co-working space segment.”