Walmart-owned Flipkart is having talks with a number of coworking space providers to pick up over 3,000 desks in Bengaluru. This is the first time the e-commerce giant is thinking about flexible office space. The request for proposal has been floated by the company, and WeWorks and CoWrks are among the companies being considered.
The move marks a departure from Flipkart’s practice of operating from its own campus. The company’s custom-built corporate campus, spread over 800,000 sqft, is in Bengaluru’s Embassy Tech Village, which is owned by private equity giant Blackstone and realty developer Embassy Group.
According to a recent report by real estate consultants Knight Frank, flexible space will account for 30-40% of the office space occupied by large corporates globally in the next three years, up from 5% or less at present.
Sharing of working space has gained wider acceptance in India and big corporates now constitute about 50% of the overall client roster. This segment has seen up to 300% growth in the last three years and has helped some players in this segment to expand aggressively across the country.
In 2017-18, Flipkart India’s revenue saw a 40% on-year growth to Rs 21,438 cr. Currently, the company has 10,000 full-time employees across various locations and this does not include employees of Myntra and Jabong.
“Flipkart is invested in the country for longer term and the existing building is fully utilised. It is concentrating on growing business in India over the next five years,” said another person in the know.
In December, the government came out with a draft ecommerce policy, which wants online marketplaces to treat all vendors at par, barring them from offering huge discounts. The move is seen impact businesses and subsequently the requirement for work space.