Virtual solutions for India Inc.
The virtual can be fired up in minutes. That is what Servcorp India, an initiative between K Raheja Corp and Australian firm Servcorp, must have been thinking when they decided to enter the serviced office solutions space writes Rajesh Kulkarni
Formidable real estate prices and a continuous growing demand for affordable office spaces will soon compel companies to look for readily available fully-furnished offices. And a virtual office that is flexible, cost effective and allows the ventures to focus on their core business is the answer.
Little wonder why Mumbai-based real estate developer and retail major, K. Raheja Corp is betting big on India’s potential as a huge market for total serviced office solutions. Recently, the company entered into an exclusive franchise agreement with Servcorp, a global leader in the fully-functional serviced offices and virtual offices’ business, to establish its presence in this space in India.
Meenal Sinha, general manager, Servcorp India, says: “We see India emerging as one of the key markets for these services. The growing economy and favourable government policies have provided vast opportunities for foreign companies to include India on their expansion radar. It has also provided a congenial environment and opened up opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurs.”
High on her priority list are start-ups and new businesses looking for cost effective office management solutions. She says: “We offer everything that a new business would require, allowing them to focus instead on the day-to-day running of their business. All meeting rooms and administration services run on a “pay for what you use, only” basis. Elegant boardrooms, executive offices along with professional and technical support staff, customised to meet the needs of every business contribute to clients gaining a competitive advantage and developing a global corporate image.”
The company also offers ‘virtual office packages’ supporting businesses that do not have a requirement for physical office space. “Virtual office clients can take advantage of the prestigious addresses utilising it on business cards and letterheads, be assisted by a dedicated receptionist to answer calls in their company name or gain international access to boardrooms and meeting rooms, in short everything you’d expect from a professional office environment – without actually owning an office.”
Sinha assures that virtual offices offer an excellent option for entrepreneurs, small businesses, travelling executives, project-based clients or organisations seeking to start operations or gauging the market in a new location.
“The most significant benefits of a virtual office are flexibility and low cost. As you pay for only the services that you use, you don’t waste money on resources you don’t need. You don’t have to worry about maintaining the office, the house keeping, setting up the computers and servers or even the pantry,” she explains.
“You also don’t have to worry about hiring people to take care of things for you or maintain a payroll system. All the staff members at virtual offices are highly trained and can provide multi-lingual assistance.
To enjoy the benefits of a virtual office all you have to do is sign up, choose a package according to your needs, pay and then book and use the facilities. The highlight is that you can do all these things over the internet.”
Clients who prefer a more online presence also have the option of using ‘Hottdesk’, Servcorp’s state-of-the-art internet-based platform that allows delivery of services and products online and in real time.
“This platform can enable clients to check emails, make boardroom bookings, request translations, utilise a remote data storage system and print to any Servcorp office worldwide,” says Sinha. Servcorp clients can also access this platform over the internet irrespective of their location.
As part of its initial rollout, the company’s solutions are currently available to clients at Raheja Towers (BKC, Mumbai) and Mindspace (Hi-Tech city, Hyderabad). “We are looking at expanding to all major metros and mini metros. More details can’t be divulged as the deals are under process. We may also consider space outside K Raheja Corp property provided it meets the standards and benchmark in terms of quality and locality.”
For the K. Raheja Group, which has extensive interests across the residential, commercial and retail space in the country, it’s a business venture which fits in perfectly with their endeavour to provide end-to-end business logistics support to their slew of clients.
A thought echoed by Sunil Hingorani, vice president (finance), K. Raheja Corp. Says he, “The Indian economy is growing at very fast pace and there are enhanced opportunities available for the entrepreneur fraternity today. Backed by Servcorp’s global expertise, we are sure that this partnership will be a frontrunner in the serviced and virtual offices business space in the country.”
The company’s optimistic outlook is understandable given the growing need for professional office management services among domestic and foreign companies looking at scaling up and expanding their operations in the country.
One thing’s for sure: This easy-to-implement system that offers a slew of customised options coupled with the current global economic malaise may just speed up this trend as companies across the board strive to cut costs and increase efficiency to maximise productivity.