StartupTalky presents Recap'22. This is a series of interviews in which we conduct in-depth discussions with founders & industry leaders to understand their growth in 2022 and their predictions for the future.
Flexible workspaces are becoming a popular solution for businesses of all sizes, offering a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional office spaces. From coworking spaces to serviced offices, the market for flexible workspaces has grown tremendously in recent years, providing businesses with a range of options to meet their specific needs and requirements.
According to a report by Maximize Market Research, the global flexible workspace market is expected to reach a size of USD 82.71 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9% during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for flexible workspaces, driven by the changing nature of work and the need for more flexible and cost-effective solutions to accommodate the evolving needs of businesses.
For this Interview, we invited, Arjun Gulati, Co-founder of Easydesq, and we talked about the growth, challenges, insights, and future opportunities in the flexible workspace industry.
StartupTalky: Arjun, what service does your company provide? What was the motivation/vision with which you started?
Arjun: Easydesq is a SaaS-based product providing an option for employers offering to step out and work at a facility near their homes to overcome power and network issues. The company is working to reduce permanent office rentals, by making distributed work simple, seamless, and sustainable. I along with Dhruv Agarwal saw a massive opportunity in the shared workspace for corporate users. Limited supply options, and the inability of clients to verify the credibility of various operators/space providers, are some of the pain points that Easydesq is trying to solve. We are tapping into the white space of digital-first search to resolve the need for optimal office space.
StartupTalky: What new features have been added in the past year? What is/are the USP/s of your service?
Arjun: A digital-first approach toward turning around deals has been the USP for the brand, helping us scale at a faster rate. Easydesq has curated a cocktail of digital and offline mechanisms to reach relevant stakeholders which includes founders/ CXOs/ Senior management folks, through Digi-marketing ads on various platforms, while targeting them at special forums, industry events, etc. for the offline reach-out.
StartupTalky: How has the flexible workspace industry changed in recent years, and how has your company adapted to these changes?
Arjun: The co-working industry has been around for about 17 years, but it’s still relatively new. The recent boom in popularity is due to the broadening acceptance of remote working, a phenomenon that is only growing with the rise of technology. We see a massive opportunity in the shared workplace for corporate users who have to decide with only limited supply options. The co-working space has witnessed a drastic change post-Covid, in terms of choice of preferences in working spaces. Easydesq is trying to solve and tap into the white space of digital-first search to resolve the need for optimal office space.
StartupTalky: How do you stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in your industry?
Arjun: We keep ourselves informed on the latest trends and developments in our industry by allocating time for industry research, connecting with thought leaders, and leveraging social media for recent updates. Also, monthly reports are shared by Operators about their Anchor tenants, Occupancy, and new take-ups.
StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check the company's growth and performance?
Arjun: We track Company’s growth and performance by revenue and ARR. Easydesq did $100k+ revenue last financial year and is well on track to achieve $300k+ revenue in FY 23. The company is growing 200% this financial year with aggressive plans to increase the team size and grow to achieve at least an ARR of $2mn in FY23-24.
StartupTalky: What were the most significant challenges your company faced in the past year and how did you overcome them?
Arjun: Facing Challenges is something very common in the start-up world, as there are a lot of new things that need to be figured out. Adapting to change is essential to effectively deal with such problems. The most significant challenge our company faced in the past year was when everything came to a standstill when 2nd covid wave hit us. People were facing personal losses and we couldn’t ask our clients to come back to the office at that time.
How we overcome this was when we started with smaller transactions. We took a very different approach since people were scared to even leave their homes and convincing them to come back to the office was not easy. So we thought of a ‘Back to office strategy’ for all our clients which helped them call back all their employees gradually and now all our client’s offices are working on almost 90% + strength in current times.
StartupTalky: Trust among all the stakeholders is very important for a marketplace. How do you ensure it?
Arjun: The depth of supply options, coupled with our personal touch, for all the clients allows us to stitch customized deals for every customer. This ensures a very high repeat & referral business for us along with building trust for the company.
StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack which you pulled off.
Arjun: To build our presence in the industry, Easydesq actively leverages digital marketing platforms, strategic alliances and affiliate partners, direct sales channels, and events with government bodies and industry federations.
StartupTalky: What are the important tools and software you use to run your business smoothly?
Arjun: Easydesq is a premier destination that offers a tech-enabled platform for the workforce to search and book flexible workspaces. Offering an easy, effective, and brokerage-free solution, the company serves as a true marketplace to make an informed choice for workspace seekers. A digital-first approach toward turning around deals has been the USP for the brand, helping them scale at a faster rate. We curated a cocktail of digital and offline mechanisms to reach relevant stakeholders which includes founders/ CXOs/ Senior management folks, thru digital-marketing ads on various platforms, while targeting them at special forums, and industry events, for their offline reach-out.
StartupTalky: What opportunities do you see for future growth in your industry in India and the world? What kind of difference in market behavior have you seen between India and the world?
Arjun: Similar to other significant economies, Indian real estate is still in the early stages of technological adoption. The proptech market has had a significant rise over the last two years and will continue to do so going forward. The market already had a significant impact on all facets of real estate, from transactions, planning, and design, to building methods, rental, and property administration. The year 2022 was a good year for the entire real estate sector after a long gap, looking past the disruptions in the last 5-6 years caused by demonetization, the introduction of RERA & GST, the NBFC crisis, and of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly believe that the real estate sector will continue a growth trajectory in 2023 as well.
StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year and how will these inform your plans and strategies?
Arjun: One thing that we learned was, there’s very less margin of error here since we are growing at a rapid pace. If we want to make it big we all have to give in our all. A company’s success is defined by team effort. Our strategy is simple, to be honest with our customers.
StartupTalky: How do you plan to expand the Customers, service offering, and team base in the future?
Arjun: We have serviced 40+ corporate clients in their 18-month journey so far. We plan to attract our customers through various channels including digital marketing, offline outreach, and curating a cocktail to ensure a healthy growth rate for the business. Easydesq is present across Delhi NCR and Bangalore. However, we are planning to penetrate Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Pune, and Mumbai markets by end of 2023.
StartupTalky: One tip that you would like to share with another marketplace company founder.
Arjun: Being an entrepreneur is not as easy as it may sound. I would suggest my friends invest more time & money in technology. We are already competing with International Property consultants and in no time aggregator’s tech will help our industry reach small and medium businesses better and faster.
We thank Arjun for spending his valuable time and sharing his learnings with all of us.