With commercial property rates going up and rentals in prime locations hitting sky, virtual offices seem to be the answer. Vandana Joshil spoke to Meenal Sinha, Country Head-India of Imperial Servcorp, an Australian company recognized globally for providing the finest serviced offices and Virtual offices.
What are serviced and virtual offices?
In virtual offices, a provider company like Imperial Servcorp makes available its address to a client who might be placed out of a different location in the country or elsewhere. The client then uses this address in all its official correspondences – be it letterheads, business cards or websites. This ensures that the client is able to show its presence in a prime commercial location without actually having to pay the high rentals at such locations. Client opting for the virtual office package can also avail of the communications package offered by the company which effectively means that the client gets a local business telephone number with a dedicated multi-lingual receptionist at the client’s chosen location. All incoming calls are answered in the company’s name and then transferred to the client anywhere in the world. Clients have the flexibility of accessing to voicemail delivery via email or mobile. A virtual office gives the client a professional presence in an Indian CBD along with the mobility and flexibility to get more done at a profitable outflow of a low monthly fee.
In the serviced office package, clients can avail of the office space for a particular period of time. The client can use the conference room, board rooms or meeting rooms or a space in the office for a particular period of time. Since branding is not allowed, visitors of the client get a feeling of having entered a fully functional corporate office irrespective of the fact that there might be multiple clients functioning in the same space at any given point in time. This is a real time basis system where clients have the flexibility of booking an office space 24X7, 365 days a year without having to worry about working hours or holidays or weekends.
On Imperial Servcorp India operations
In India, Servcorp has a joint venture with real estate and retail company K. Raheja Corp to provide state-of-the-art virtual offices and serviced offices in prime business districts of Mumbai and Hyderabad. SMEs find the serviced virtual offices hassle free as they are not only saved from having to pay high rents but also do not have to worry about small technicalities like maintenance, cleanliness, network connectivity or the upkeep of the infrastructure. All the maintenance activities and miscellaneous staff management is managed and handled by Imperial Servcorp.
In India, it has been observed that flexibility and cost-saving up to 60% have been the biggest driving factors for a growing number of SMEs, entrepreneurs and MNCs to opt for serviced office space. Having a prestigious office address with five star facilities has helped Servcorp clients to create an ideal image of its business in their customers mind.
A company opting for Servcorp’s serviced office space can use the facility for durations ranging from as long as two years to as short as just a month depending upon the need and requirement. A serviced office becomes a cost effective option for the company as it frees up a lot of capital for them to invest back into their business and also focus on their core business and not worrying about managing and maintaining their office spaces on a daily basis.
On teaming up with K. Raheja Corp
Servcorp has many offices worldwide, however India is still a new market. The consumer in India is very different from consumers from other countries and has a certain way of doing business and negotiating. We were therefore looking for a partner who understood the Indian market and business mentality. K Reheja Corp is a major name in real estate as well as in the hospitality sector which effectively gave us the right mix.
With many multinational companies setting up offices in India, the market for serviced and virtual offices is growing manifold. We selected to set up offices in Mumbai firstly because the city is the business capital of the country and sees a lot of multinational set up business here. We picked Hyderabad as our second location because firstly the Raheja already had a presence there and secondly, it is the IT hub of the nation. With technology MNCs setting up business there, the demand from such companies for virtual and serviced offices is huge.
Current market scenario and future potential
Any company will try and cut costs as long as cost-cutting is viable and does not imperil its integrity and reputation. For a small company wanting to establish in a competitive environment or an experienced business looking to expand, serviced office space with its inherent advantages will definitely be a perfect choice. In the last five years, awareness and the concept have grown manifold in India and it is heartening to note that now when clients come to us for offices, they know the difference between a serviced, virtual and an actual office space.
There is tremendous potential in the market and we have seen a 25% growth in demand ever since we launched. As mentioned earlier, India is the place to be in now considering the growth potential and we will see many companies setting up offices in India. Since Servcorp is a premium service provider offering upscale quality office spaces and high end technological support and backup, we see a huge market for ourselves.
The company has already shortlisted cities like Pune and Gurgaon and plans to expand operations in Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore in the coming months. In terms of the logistics, we provide the latest high speed IT infrastructure with a dedicated help desk team for network maintenance in India and a 24/7 help desk for our team and our clients in Sydney. We plan to add more services and advanced technological services to the existing virtual offices and serviced office packages.