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Co-working major WeWork India’s revenue grew by 40 per cent to Rs 400 crore during the first quarter of this fiscal year on rising demand for flexible workspace across major cities from corporates, its CEO Karan Virwani said.

The company, which is owned by real estate firm Embassy Group and WeWork Global, has started its 50th centre at Saket in South Delhi, marking its entry into the national capital market. The new centre, comprising 54,000 square feet area and around 700 desks, is located in a commercial building developed by realty firm Eldeco.

In an interview with PTI, Virwani said the company has completed six years since it opened the first centre in India and now it has 50 centres and around 90,000 desks across seven cities.

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“It has been a great journey of growing both the co-working/flexible workspace segment and WeWork India as a brand. In the last three years, since COVID, the adoption of flex space growing significantly,” he said.

The demand is increasing as more and more employees are coming back to offices, Virwani said, adding that the country’s economic growth is also supporting demand.

“In 2021-22, we close the financial year with around Rs 800 crore of revenue and we were negative Rs 50 crore EBIDTA (Earning Before Interest, Depreciation, Tax and Amortisation). During the last fiscal, we achieved a turnover of around Rs 1,400 crore and Rs 250 crore of EBIDTA,” Virwani said.

The company was profitable at the post-tax level also during the last fiscal year, he said.

Virwani hoped that the company would maintain growth during the current fiscal.

In the first quarter of 2023-24, Virwani said the company has posted a revenue of Rs 400 crore, up 40 per cent from the year-ago period. The EBIDTA was about Rs 70 crore.

“We are targeting 50 per cent growth in this full fiscal year,” he added.

On the operational front, Virwani said the average occupancy level at its centres is at around 80 per cent and the company would target to increase it further.

He said that a lot of new demand is coming from the existing clients. “The past few years have clearly highlighted that the future of work is flexible, and India Inc is increasingly adopting flex working as a way of life”.

Asked about US-based WeWork Global’s recent statement that “substantial doubt” exists about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern, Virwani said WeWork India business will have no impact from the development globally.

“We have always been a separate entity where the majority anyway is owned by Embassy Group. We have run and build the India business in an extremely healthy way. So, India business is fully isolated from what is happening globally,” Virwani said.

In WeWork India, Embassy Group holds a 73 per cent stake, while WeWork Global has a 27 per cent shareholding.

Asked whether Embassy would consider WeWork Global stake in India business, he said, “I will always be a buyer of this company’s equity if anyone is willing to sell it whether it’s at a discount or even a slight premium. We see a long-term value to be much much higher than what it is today. So I am always going to be a buyer.” Virwani described WeWork Global as a great partner who helped India business during the tough COVID period by making investments.

WeWork Global, which is a leading provider of flexible workspace, had in June 2021 invested USD 100 million in WeWork India. WeWork India has 50 centres, covering 6.5 million square feet area across 7 cities — New Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad.