WHERE can you find a working space artistically designed to inspire creativity and innovation? Here comes Common Ground, the largest, fast-growing premier coworking space from Malaysia that fills in the gaps of the coworking lifestyle ecosystem with a passionate community.
Going beyond its vibrant décor and vast work areas, this is a space where innovators and disruptors can focus on doing what they love and loving what they do.
Common Ground officially launched its first-ever coworking space in the country on November 23. The event was a full day filled with intimate gatherings and carnival ensemble launch party in the evening. Positioned at the penthouse of Bonifacio Global City’s new ultra-modern business building, that has also acquired Green Building Status from the Philippine Green Building Council, the ArthaLand Century Pacific Tower, Common Ground takes business to the next level.
Ambition lives here
Eager to share about their story, they conducted an exclusive media roundtable and office warming in the morning. The roundtable was led by Erman Akinci and Juhn Teo who created Common Ground together in a shared dream to redefine workspaces.
“We believe that coworking space is a booming concept in the Philippines,” said Akinci. “We have a market who is willing to pay and companies, such as SMEs, consider workspaces a more viable option than traditional offices.”
Both Akinci and Teo have had their fair share of experience in handling business and real estate throughout their careers which they use to continuously develop the Common Ground ecosystem.
Taking to heart his learnings from his master’s in Business Administration from the Kellogg-Hkust Executive MBA Program, Akinci has been involved in several start-ups over the past decade. He drew the idea of creating a co-working space from his time with the Catcha Group when it opened its doors as a communal workspace. He noticed that people kept coming back to be a part of the environment that was being fostered in the office and decided to recreate the experience.
Teo, on the other hand, has an extensive background and expertise in real estate defined by the various positions he has held across Australia, the United Kingdom and Malaysia. As a former CEO of Guocoland Tower REIT Management Sdn. Bhd, he draws inspiration from his experiences in managing the growth of Common Ground and management of its strategic operations.
“The demand for flexible coworking spaces is rapidly growing by 30 percent yearly, and Common Ground is taking advantage of this opportunity,” stressed Teo. “[It’s because] this country is remarkably doing well in terms of economic growth with the rise in business and SME sectors.”
Akinci and Teo were joined by Ana Lucia Aguila, Common Ground community manager, who shared how Common Ground goes beyond the space by creating a one-of-a-kind experience for their members. After the discussion, Aguila rounded up their media guests and headed a tour of the ArthaLand Century Pacific Tower branch.
Friends from the media were awestruck by Common Ground’s high ceilings and wide space, aesthetically designed to accommodate different people of different lifestyle and interpretations. The tour was capped off with a treat from their in-house café: St. Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert.
The circus is in town
As the evening rolled in, Common Ground transformed their main area into a sea of bright lights and color as they brought in the most festive carnival in town. Exciting games and mouthwatering food and drinks awaited their guests to celebrate their grand launch.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony headed by Akinci and Teo kicked off the party and exotically skilled street performers wowed their friends and family as the sound of upbeat carnival music carried them into the night.
Among the partygoers where several VIPs who were essential in bringing Common Ground into the country like: Enrique Gonzales, Filipino partner at MVP Global; Leo Po, executive vice president and treasurer of ArthaLand, alongside his brother Ricardo Po Jr. of the Century Pacific Group Inc.; and Brett Bayley of St. Louis House of Fine Ice Cream & Dessert.
Industry shakers and disruptors were also present in welcoming the coworking space in the Philippines such as: Stephen Ku, one of the pioneers of the Philippine events industry; Tim Yap, a multi-hyphenate in events, social media and showbiz; and Ron Tucker, founder and president of the Australian Digital Commerce Association.
The party was the embodiment of the spirited culture that Common Ground aims to share with the Philippines. As Aguila have said, “at Common Ground, coworking means more than a desk and Internet connection in a communal workspace but building an engaged community and vibrant ecosystem to help ambitious, fast-growing companies take business to the next level.”
The journey doesn’t end here
Two new spaces are currently in the works at two of the biggest districts in Metro Manila, Makati and Ortigas, and are set to launch in the coming months. With more dreams and plans for the Philippines in the horizon, Akinci and Teo are both looking to further expand their community in Metro Manila before venturing to other parts of the country.