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Ben Parkinson
Ben Parkinson
  • 2 Minute Read
  • 08th October 2012

Mumbai professionals drive demand for virtual offices

Commercial rent increases in the Andheri East district of Mumbai are pushing business owners towards new virtual office locations, consultants confirm.


Despite a surge of commercial property construction in the district, demand is still outstripping supply for cost-effective rented office space. The immediate uptake of recently opened corporate centres has driven rental costs high above inflation over the past five months, despite vacancy rates of 19%.


Entrepreneurs and SMEs are increasingly turning towards virtual offices to ensure a professional corporate image, without the sky-high rental costs.


Ashutosh Punj, a business consultant based in Andheri, said: "More than 80-120 small and medium business entities in and around Andheri are using virtual office set ups".


"It is a big figure when we think that the whole trend came about in 2005-2008. I have enquiries for virtual office set ups coming in almost every day."


Punj adds: "It is a new concept in the market. Virtual offices are in demand even in tier II and tier III cities. With domestic and global players already there, the market is waiting to bloom."


Shaina Desai, an IT communication entrepreneur from Mumbai, claims that virtual offices are now a crucial means of supporting small industries as they seek to take advantage of the burgeoning Indian market. She said: "When I started out with my company, I had only the money needed to carry out my first order. I was getting an office that was just not what I wanted for my business.”


“In 2008, I came across a blog that talked about virtual offices. Soon I found one in India, and within days they set up a virtual office for me. It is a plausible option until you have the capital to spend for a real one."


She added: "With real estate prices heading north, it may not be possible for a small entrepreneur to set up even a medium-sized office in a city like Mumbai. Hence, virtual office set ups come in handy. They are cost effective, flexible and allow the company to focus on their core business."


Industry leading global business centre provider Regus has 32 centres across 10 Indian cities, with properties in Mumbai including: Andheri, Andheri Kurla Road, and Link Road in the residential district.


Madhusudan Thakur, regional vice president for Regus South Asia, says, "We set the infrastructure in a manner where specified services can be rendered to their virtual clients by their trained teams. The price for these facilities varies in accordance with the different level of services and categories required by the client. The most basic package starts from as low as Rs 2,000 per month."


The claims highlight both the rapid success of flexible office model in the growing Indian market and the profitability that can be derived from a prestigious virtual office address. Search Office Space provides an unbeatable array of offices in India and other emerging markets.