Primus Co-Work: Blending two sectors

Debarati Palit Singh
Monday, 23 March 2020

Co-working and co-living spaces are witnessing slow but steady growth in India. Primus Founded by ad filmmaker Abhinay Deo, Shardul Singh Bayas, Ranvir Singh and Atul Chordia, Primus Co-Work, which launched in Pune, has started operations in Mumbai and have tied up with 30 premium restaurants.

Co-working and co-living spaces are witnessing a slow but steady growth in India. Primus Co-Work offers the interesting combination of co-working space and hospitality using technology. At Primus Co-Work, people  can work at their convenience at their favourite restaurant. 

Founded by ad filmmaker Abhinay Deo, Shardul Singh Bayas, Ranvir Singh and Atul Chordia, Primus Co-Work, which launched in Pune, have started operations in Mumbai and have tied up with 30 premium restaurants. 

They are slowly converting lounge bars, cafes into dedicated work spaces and offering benefits like free lease line for high speed internet, networking opportunities, complimentary beverages etc.

Some of the restaurants they have tied up include Copa, February 30 All Day Bar & Eatery, Fisco Restobar, Love & Latte, Olive Bar & Kitchen, The Villa Cafe and others. 

How different is Primus Co-Work from other co-working spaces?
We run a completely asset light model where we partner with fine dine restaurants which are shut during the day and open only in the evening. We take over such assets and convert it into a co-working place from Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm. Primus is a hyperlocal, proptech, consumer company. When I say hyperlocal, I mean one can find at least one Primus location in every pincode of the city. Proptech means completely technology led where the customer can download our app through the app store, search for a convenient location and make the booking online.

How did you get the idea of partnering with restaurants and cafes?
Shardul is a restaurateur himself and runs a chain of restaurants by the name of Nawab Asia in Pune. Most of the restaurants lie idle during the day. He came up with the idea from his own experience and then worked with some of the prominent restaurants and chains in enabling this model.

What are some of the challenges while planning these co-working spaces in terms of convincing restaurants or getting clients on board?
This being a completely new concept, a lot of customers don’t understand the same. Thus we are providing a free day trial for them to get an experience. Upon taking the trial, a majority of the customers buy one of our packages.

How would you describe Shardul and Abhinay’s role in the startup?
Abhinay and Shardul are cousins, so when Shardul decided to start this and ran this idea past Abhinay, he was also convinced and decided to join in. Abhinay, coming from a strong consumer marketing background, helps with our complete go to market strategy and campaigns. The rest is handled by Shardul.

According to a recent report, coliving, coworking and student housing have 7-11 per cent rental yield than the 3 per cent national average rental yield of traditional housing formats. Where do you see the co-working space heading and what more needs to be done?
The overall sector is growing multi-fold. What the entrepreneurs or freelancers or this new set of workers want is convenience at a price which is affordable along with a great user experience. We have packaged all three — convenience of working out of any pincode, affordability with prices starting at Rs 15 per hour and ease of use with a simple app for searching and booking a place.

The report also mentions that domestic coworking operators are currently present in tier 1 cities but global players are penetrating in tier 2 & 3 cities. Any special reason?
India’s growth is being led by Bharat, which is the tier 2 & 3 cities. So every consumer brand is already working on getting into these markets. However, for newer concepts like ours, acceptability is still too early even in urban markets. We are present only in Mumbai and Pune and still need to create a presence in other metro cities before heading to tier 2 & 3.

What is the way forward for Primus Co-Work?  
Primus is present in Mumbai and Pune and live across 23 locations with around 1500 seats. We are completely bootstrapped as of now and looking to raise our first external round and in talks with VC’s for the same. We hope to expand to five more cities in the next six months and grow our presence to more than 150+ locations across these seven cities with more than 12,000+ seats.

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