Flipkart may pick up over 3,000 coworking desks, Technology News, ETtech

Flipkart may pick up over 3,000 coworking desks Walmart-owned Flipkart is in talks with multiple coworking space providers to pick up over 3,000 desks in Bengaluru, two people aware of the development said, in what will be the e-commerce giant’s first transaction in the flexible office space.

“The firm has floated the RFP (request for proposal) and is in talks with at least five operators to fill in the larger requirement,” the persons cited earlier told ET, adding that WeWorks and CoWrks are among the companies being considered.

This is a departure from Flipkart’s practice of operating from its own campus. The company’s custom-built corporate campus, spread over 8, 00,000 sq ft, is in Bengaluru’s Embassy Tech Village, which is owned by private equity giant Blackstone and realty developer Embassy Group.

“Walmart’s Flipkart is talking to coworking space providers as coworking gives them flexibility to either expand of shrink space at any moment,” said one of the persons cited earlier.

ET’s email query to Flipkart remained unanswered till press time on Monday.

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 past 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 crore. 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 e-commerce 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.

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