Coworking in India: An interview with 91springboard

Cobot
Dec 04, 2015

Here at Cobot, we’re always amazed at all the spaces around the world using our software. The Cobot community has spread across all six populated continents (still no Antarctic coworking space yet!). Over the past year, we have seen an increasing number of coworking spaces popping up in Africa, Asia, and South America. This past July, Africa saw its first coworking unconference. The South American GCUC is in Sao Paulo in March. And Cobot will be at the second Asian coworking unconference this February.

Perhaps the best indication is to simply look at the map published by our friends at coworkingmap.org:

Registered coworking spaces worldwide

Today we wanted to look more closely at 91springboard and their growth across India. Their story helps illustrate how spaces opening in other countries around the world are mostly experiencing the same joys, hiccups, bumps, and successes that you are. This is why it’s important to treat coworking as a global movement — to grow coworking together!

91springboard

Cobot has been 91springboard’s space management system since they started in 2013. We continue to grow with them as they have expanded to six hubs throughout India.

How and why did you start?

91springboard was created on the principle that ideas multiply when they come in contact with other ideas. We developed a collaborative environment for members to connect with each other, mentors, investors and tap into the collective knowledge of the community.

We began in 2013 with a single location in Okhla, Delhi. In 2014, we added two new spaces. In 2015, we opened three additional locations in Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai, and Noida for a total of six 91springboard locations.

And what does the name 91springboard mean?

+91 is the country code for India. Our core ethos is to play a pivotal role in the growth of the members that join our community and help ‘springboard’ them to greater heights by taking advantage of the host of resources we provide.

What types of members are accessing your space?

We get a mix of people: 91springboard is used by startups, freelancers, small businesses, NGOs and sometimes even smaller teams of larger organizations.

Do each of your spaces follow the same model in terms of types of members and partnerships?

No, there are different models we follow. We work with a variety of different types of partners, which includes real estate owners, corporate entities and even government. We continue to look for mutually beneficial agreements with these and other stakeholders. Each of the models is specific to who comes on board locally, though.

Are you finding it easier to get these partnerships now that you are more established and as coworking becomes more globally recognized?

Yes! As coworking awareness grows globally and is also starting to become a buzz-word in India, we are getting approached at an incrementally increasing rate for partnerships in general.

What about support from local government?

There is some chatter regarding subsidies, but only in a very early stage of formulation. It seems like there’s activity here and things could emerge in the future, but not very much right now.

What types of resources do you offer?

Our resources fall the following categories.

  1. Infrastructure: All the infrastructure facilities that an organization or an individual may require at a plug and play office space.
  2. Knowledge: The spaces are designed to enable knowledge sharing via coworking and events.
  3. Network: Events & Coworking also help people build their network.
  4. And finally a sense of Community is what evolves from these cores components.

These resources are the springboard that leads to growth of the individual and organization

We know from the coworking survey that one third of spaces are expecting to expand to an additional location this year. How has expansion been for your team?

Actually, surprisingly easy. We have been working to bring a level of tech standardization across all of our spaces. As that falls into place, it has made training and standardization of our tasks easier.

Cobot plays a key part in that because almost all of our daily tasks — invoicing, collecting payment, meeting room bookings, communication with members, both broadcast messages and trouble ticket items. These are all being handled centrally. When we bring a new space online, we’re able to migrate that logic directly into the new space, with the administrators already trained to use it in real time at one of our other locations. Additionally, if a member wants to use a different 91springboard location, we have a script that will automatically provide that access through Cobot.

Why Cobot?

Primarily because of the easy and intuitive UI. Once we found the website, it seemed like it was built by people who understood the coworking ecosystem well. The software is well-designed and easy to use. We also appreciate how quickly your team responds to our support inquiries!

To wrap up, please tell us why coworking is so important to you personally.

In simple words, coworking creates value for everyone involved. When an environment is created where information travels quicker and learning is maximized, the amount of symbiotic relationships that emerge are extraordinary. Coworking is a whole new way of looking at work and always leads to growth.

Thank you, and good luck with your next steps!

Cobot

The leading management software for coworking spaces worldwide, trusted by coworking spaces, office hubs, and flexible workspaces of all sizes to grow and manage their communities.