Step in and one of the first things that strikes you is the life-sized Tree of Life installation in the entry way. Welcome to HQ10, one of the city’s latest coworking spaces, launched last week. With brick walls, a break out area replete with a gaming zone and library and plenty of natural light streaming in, HQ10 is the result of over six months of research, says Varun Manian, head of Radiance Realty.
“I did my graduation in New York in 2004, and coworking spaces were an early stage concept there back then. People would take up these business centres which eventually evolved into coworking spaces. They were a lot more cost effective and people took them up for shorter stints. The idea to set up something similar had been at the back of my mind ever since but I never really took it up when I returned because I was fully into contracting here. We finally got into real estate and this seemed like a natural extension and the right time to launch one,” he says, adding, “We met several MNCs and IT companies to see what their requirements and what they looked for at a coworking space before we came up with HQ10.”
Competition no bar
Manian insists that what sets them apart is the customer policy and quality they offer. “That is what makes people come back to us. We really work hard at addressing every need of the customer,” he says, adding, “Also, if you look at it, Google was the 28th search engine to enter the fray, but they wiped out everyone else. So competition is never a problem; you’ve got to find a way to beat them and be better at the game.”
Located right behind Olympia Tech Park in Guindy, HQ10 offers office space solutions to everyone from IT companies, large corporations looking to set up offices in Chennai to private entrepreneurs. In fact, the 170-seater space already had 80 seats booked ahead of launch.
This is only the first of many such centres that Manian hopes to set up. Work on their second centre is already on, also at Guindy. “That will be a 120,000 sq ft property. Our plan is to scale up to 1 million sq ft in the next five years; 70% of which we hope to keep in Tamil Nadu and the remaining in Bengaluru. Depending on how that scales up we’ll look at other markets such as Hyderabad,” says Manian. “I was watching a movie the other day, The Founder , and Ray Kroc said that he made all his money by owning the McDonald’s restaurants. We’re following a similar model; buying the property and coming up with more coworking spaces.”
Manian says that the State is at the cusp of growth. “There was a brief evolving period after we lost a charismatic leader like Jayalalithaa. But now things are more stable. The Industries Minister is very keen on growing business here and the time is just right. A lot of major companies such as Daimler and Ceat are looking to set up offices here, but before they do, they might look at setting up satellite offices to test waters. We step right in with the perfect business solutions for such companies.”
Manian says it is their price that is a big draw, apart from the location, comfort, customer care, quality of product and technology, and concierge services. Apart from enabling fully customisable office spaces, HQ10 also offers clients the option of hiring a virtual office for as less as ₹2,000 per month, where they can have someone take their calls and mails while they operate out of a different location.
That apart, HQ10 will also host regular networking events to help their customers interact with industry insiders, look for mentorship and funding. In fact, Manian himself runs a fund called Radiance Capital along with his father, that can step in. “We enable any idea we feel has a chance.”