Virtual and serviced offices: A new offering for SMEs | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Virtual and serviced offices: A new offering for SMEs

The concept of serviced and virtual offices is new in India. Companies like Imperial Servcorp are among the very few companies in India which are operating in this space. In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Meenal Sinha, Business Head - India at Imperial Servcorp, explained the potential of this market for SMEs.

Meenal is a multi-faceted professional, with more than 17 years of experience in establishing the business.

Imperial Servcorp is a joint venture between K Raheja Corp and Servcorp Australia to provide premium serviced office solutions for Indian businesses, specially SMEs.

Edited excerpts from the interview:

How is the market for serviced and virtual offices in India?

The market is considered to be nascent. However, the industry is gradually getting familiar with this concept. Those who have utilized the services of virtual offices and serviced offices are becoming our ambassadors. Being a nascent market, it requires awareness penetration. In India, not only smaller companies, but also MNCs and large companies are expanding their footprint through this way. Considering the Indian entrepreneurship potential, serviced and virtual offices are a great opportunity area.

What are the key drivers for virtual and serviced offices?

The high cost of real estate and the need for scalable infrastructure are two major influencers for this market. Secondly, for smaller companies, getting a premier office location at affordable prices is another key attraction. The other key attraction that we offer to our clients is the quality of business support services. As a business policy, we focus on providing a customer-centric environment for our clients. We ensure quality and give priority to our customers in achieving this commitment. We have spent aggressively on technologies and infrastructure. We offer seamless communication systems to our clients, ensuring the best possible service experience.

How has your business journey been so far?

We started in 2008, with facilities in Mumbai and Hyderabad. The experience so far has been very motivating for us. We have seen start-ups and one-man-show companies growing into established organizations. As of now, we have served around 400 clients from the two aforementioned locations. Business growth has been very promising for us - in the last couple of years, we have registered 100% year-on-year growth. We have floors of 20,000 to 25,000 square feet in these two locations.

Moving forward, what are your plans and expectations for the next year?

We have established our credibility in the market. We are now looking at expanding our market footprint. By the middle of 2013, we are planning to enter into three to four new geographies. We are looking at entering into places like New Delhi, Bangalore, Pune etc.; however, the actual plan is yet to be finalized. In terms of clients, we will be adding another 200 clients in 2013.

What is the key priority for your business?

The main priority for us is to reach out to the market and spread awareness about the concept and utility of serviced offices. From the utility and value standpoint, this has great potential.

How is this offering appealing to the entrepreneurs and small companies?

The biggest priority for any small or growing business is to save money and optimize business efficiency. The concept of virtual offices is extremely appealing to those entrepreneurs who want to do business efficiently with a cost-effective approach. Our solutions start from Rs. 2500 per month. One can get a 3- to 4-people work space for around Rs. 40,000 a month in Hyderabad, and for about Rs. 90,000 in Mumbai.

As compared to our rental plans, expenses on conventional office rentals are far higher.