Co-working platforms have been flourishing of late in the Kathmandu valley.
--BY SAMAN LAMSAL
As an increasing number of young entrepreneurs are engaged in start-ups and new business ventures, the demand for workspaces is growing rapidly. This has resulted in rise of co-working spaces in Kathmandu that has allowed entrepreneurs to set up their offices at relatively cheaper costs.
Shared office space, a widely accepted concept abroad, generally provides basic requirements like internet, electricity, meeting rooms at affordable cost, enabling new companies to focus more on their business development and strategy. At the same time, it also provides networking opportunities to entrepreneurs. New Business Age has profiled some of the co-working spaces that are in operation in Kathmandu.
“You can only dream big when you have fulfilled the small ones,” says Dadhi Ram Poudel, the co-founder of Work Around. Poudel shares that opening a co-working space was his brother’s idea. After many startup failures, the brothers decided to open a co-working space. After spending Rs 15, 00,000 on furniture and setup, the finances dried up.
They reached a point where they had to paint and install the electricity wires themselves. Poudel says that his job is not just to provide space for people but also to enable interaction between users. To ensure fast and stable internet connection, Work Around has taken service from two ISPs.
Work Around offers a pleasant ambience consisting of live plants and bamboo furnishing. Work Around has been able to launch four different ventures, which encourages both co-working space providers and its consumers.
OOJAM - Alternative Office Solutions
‘Just bring your laptop and work’ is the motto of OOJAM - Alternative Office Solution. Established with an investment of approximately Rs 55, 00,000, OOJAM offers a contemporary office outlook. “The comfort of the customer is our primary concern,” says Binisha Vaidya, the business development manager of OOJAM.
She adds that every customer is paid close attention to. Besides co-working spaces, OOJAM also offers a soundproof conference room, IT support team, air-conditioning, private working spaces and two meeting rooms that are available free of cost to the clients. The rate of flow of customers is increasing progressively, which is good news for OOJAM as it is planning to open a new branch soon.
Bikalpa Art Center
Established in 2014, Bikalpa Art Center is an amalgamation of an art gallery, a restaurant and a co-working space, all under the same roof. Saroj Mahato, who has a background in filmmaking and visual arts, co-founded the operation with his wife. Mahato says that the co-working space was constructed at a cost of around Rs 20, 00,000. He recounts that many people started coming to the place because of the 2015 earthquake in search of fast internet and a work-friendly environment. He adds that the formula of the place is ‘Work alone, Work together’ which means that people can have a private and peaceful space for work, but they can also listen to live music, network and relax whenever they desire. Mahato opines that Bikalpa can be a rewarding place for nature, art and music lovers. He shares that in the past four years, Bikalpa has been able to start over ten ventures.
Established with an investment of Rs 50, 00,000, Rem.work is an ideal solution for those in search of a premium co-working space at the lowest cost possible. After their IT startup did not grow as expected, two brothers, Nirvaan and Nirakaar Sharma went to the United States to attend an event based on startups. Upon their return, they recognised the prospect of co-working spaces in Nepal and opened Rem.work
Rem.work has a smoking zone, a mini library, a table-tennis table and a dedicated parking space. “The customer flow is substantial,” says Sharma. Rem.work not only provides a work-friendly environment, but it also organises tech and startup events. Sharma adds that Rem.work is ready for immediate expansion.