Coworking in India Means Sharing More Than Just a Desk
Monday, March 21, 2016
From taxi drivers to tech innovators, the Indian freelance economy has exploded in recent years. An estimated 15 million freelancers currently operate in the country, making India second only to the United States in terms of independent workers. As Indians break out of traditional employment, they’re breaking out of traditional workplaces, too — and in their stead, creative coworking spaces are thriving.
Gone are the days when “coworking” meant simply sharing an office; now India’s work environments are being reinvented to suit a digital, globally minded age. A new wave of entrepreneurs and freelancers has created a market for places to work with each other, not just next to each other.
From eco-friendly and artist-led South Delhi spot The Studio to the homey feel of Bombay Connect on the Mumbai seaside, India’s coworking spaces today are as diverse as the characters that use them. Some spaces are filled with artists, writers and activists; others are home to social entrepreneurs, web developers and graphic designers.
They can choose between funky lampshades and graffiti-inspired wall art, or sprawl amid bean bags and beaded curtains. Membership fees typically vary from around 2,000 to 8,000 INR — roughly $30 to $120 — per month, which is much more affordable than renting traditional office space.