Co-living sector has bounced back, see momentum: COVIE’s Abhishek Kumar
Co-living is a better option compared to others as it provides food, laundry, WiFi, gym facilities and more as soon as the person moves in.
After seeing strong growth, India’s co-living space felt the pinch of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the country went into a lockdown, the demand for such spaces plummeted. With the economy opening up and cases declining, the sector is now slowly limping back to a sense of normalcy. In an interview with Economic Times Digital, Abhishek Kumar, Co-founder, COVIE, talks about how co-living spaces have morphed, the trends for the sector and why it continues to expand to new cities. Edited excerpts:
Economic Times (ET): Why has co-living space become popular for working professionals in high-density metropolitan areas?
Abhishek Kumar (AK): Various factors have contributed to the popularity of co-living spaces, and convenience is one of them. Working professionals prefer living in spaces that are furnished, comfortable, and close to their workplace. As accommodation providers, our properties are strategically located to reduce the travel time. We provide all the basic amenities that a person would require. Also, the perks of living with like-minded people in a community are one important factor. Basically, when a person moves in, he doesn’t have to worry about food, laundry, WiFi, gym etc. This makes co-living a better choice compared to other options out there.
ET: Do you believe the pandemic has impacted people’s attitudes toward organized living spaces?
AK: The pandemic has undoubtedly changed the priorities of people looking for accommodation. For instance, hygiene is now the topmost concern, followed by location and convenience. People want all services under one roof, and they are willing to spend more in return for assured service. Community living is now gaining popularity, and that applies to both working professionals as well as students.
ET: What are the new trends to watch for in the co-living industry?
AK: The industry has bounced back in recent times. As the market opens up, the co-living sector is gaining momentum. While few players perished during the pandemic, the ones with a sustainable business philosophy have regained their worth, providing healthy competition to the others. Few upgrades from the service providers helped respond to the demand, while few resorted to some smart business strategies. One such example is combining co-living with co-working. Living and working from the same places has numerous advantages. In the coming times, there will be a lot of collaborations within brands and various industry-specific service providers.
ET: What cities have a greater demand for co-living places, and why?
AK: Renting an apartment in an upmarket area can be expensive. Not to mention the maintenance and other expenses. The sum of all the expenses and effort is way too high compared to living in a co-living space. To put it in another way, the operational cost for providing all luxuries reduces when the number of consumers increases; hence it is economically beneficial to both in a co-living setup. Co-living spaces provide all luxuries and uninterrupted service, which is a value for money deal.
ET: What are your plans for the next 12-18 months, and how do you envision the co-living space’s potential?
AK: We are quite assertive and growing fast. The sector will witness an increasing adoption of technology, innovative pricing, and a better-staying experience. This industry will see a turnaround & transformation in the times to come.
We are on the expansion spree and looking for around 2000 beds in the coming year.