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Vishal Koul

Big Idea

Find Your Happy Place
Reserve a work desk at your favourite café or pub on the go with myHQ

Shilpa Elizabeth Abraham

(L-R) Utkarsh Kawatra and Vinayak Agrawal

Are you an entrepreneur on a shoestring budget working out of home or on the lookout for an affordable workspace to rent? Delhi-based start-up myHQ will hook you up with the right spot that offers a lot more than just a reliable Wifi network. Launched in April 2016 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Utkarsh Kawatra and Vinayak Agrawal, this start-up offers a mobile app that lets you book a corner in a co-working space on the go.

The duo has identified cafes, restaurants, hotels with room to spare and have converted these spaces into work areas. “There is no need for a person to lease out office space or look for co-working spaces when there is enough unused real estate that can be converted into work-friendly zones,” reasons Kawatra. Currently operating in 20 odd locations across Delhi and Gurugram, myHQ ensures its co-working spaces meet a set of criteria required for an office – adequate lighting, stationery, comfortable seats, printers, etc.

Once you sign up via Facebook and create a profile, you can choose a subscription for either a day or five days or even a month ranging from 299 to 5,499. This grants you access to any of the 20 odd locations leased by myHQ whenever you want. In addition to this, you can avail discounts on food and beverages at the pub or café chosen. This is a slightly different concept compared to the usual shared-office space enterprises. And that number is rising in India as it attracts investor interest. In April this year, Sequoia India invested 130 crore in another co-working space start-up, Awfis. US-based shared office space pioneer, WeWork, also set foot in India last year and signed an agreement with the Embassy Group to develop such a space in Bengaluru at an estimated investment of $100 million.

Property consultancy, JLL India reported 0.73 million sq ft of co-working space absorbed last year mainly in cities such as Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata. And pegs the number of available seats in such facilities to be 9,600 currently. But Kawatra explains how myHQ provides a more pocket-friendly option than the rest and claims the offering to be 40% cheaper than the competition, “Since this is unused inventory for the property owner, any money is good for them. This allows us power of negotiation and thus we can offer the space at prices lower than what you would have paid at other places”.

Started with an initial investment of 10 lakh, and earning a margin of 15-25%, myHQ has clocked revenue of over 10 lakh so far. It raised $100,000 from Outbox Ventures in August last year and plans to grow its current subscriber base of 500 to 5,000 by the next year. The start-up also plans to tie up with more hotels and cafes to add 150 more locations to its listing, one such step in this direction is its recent arrangement with OYO Townhouse, the aggregator’s self-managed hotel brand.

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