WeWork’s first venue in Singapore is open for business, and the co-working company already has plans for more.
Inside WeWork's first Singapore spaceWe spoke with WeWork's Southeast Asia MD "T" at WeWork Singapore's first location to understand more about the co-working giant's ambitions and plans in the country and region.
Posted by Tech in Asia on Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Turochas “T” Fuad:
We are almost full to be honest. We’ve been very lucky, very blessed, knock on wood. I think there’s definitely a good following of WeWork as a brand.
Look, this is the 200th location for WeWork, the 20th country country that WeWork launches. I’m not sure why – it’s just a random alignment, 20 and 200.
But look, I think a lot of folks are very aware of what we’re doing as a company – we are developing a platform, just beyond space, a platform for all types of creators. Different sizes of companies, come together to really work together and collaborate.
Enterprises want to be as agile as a small company, and a smaller company wants to learn a lot from those larger enterprise companies. All of these guys are coming together nicely.
71 Robinson Rd will definitely be launched earlier, towards the early part of next year, and then Funan Center will launch sometime in early 2019. So 71 Robinson Rd will fit about 1,000 members for us, and Funan about 700, around the same as Beach Center here.
It will serve a different mix of potential members. I think Robinson Rd is very classic CBD, where you potentially have banks, folks in financial institutions, but you also have fintech startups that will be interested in the space itself because it’s in that vicinity.
And in Funan, I think you see a lot of tech. You know how the mall and this mixed use space is now being very focused on technology, they have very modern, futuristic things all the way down to the car park, to the 24-hour retail mall, a bunch of other things.
I think we’ll serve very different types of segments there. It could be large enterprises in the tech field or it could one of those startups and freelancers as well.
Over the last few years, the enterprise segment has almost doubled. It now represents close to 20 percent of our global members, around the world. Given that Singapore is such a hub, it’s like a gateway city to Southeast Asia if you think about it, it’s a hub for a lot of financial companies, it’s also a hub for a lot of startups and entrepreneurs right now.
And that’s why Singapore has always been a starting forefront for us to enter the market, the whole Southeast Asian market, from that perspective.
HP wants to be here, I guess it’s an interesting story. They came by here, they looked at it for just, less than a day. They want to be able to be closer to a lot of smaller companies here. They felt that this particular division wanted to be away from what their typical office would be.
A lot of enterprise companies have come to us and said, “Hey WeWork, we really like the culture, the energy, the diversity that you’ve created here, how do we replicate that in our organization?” So that’s where we come in, we provide our hardware, our software, our know-how, and provide that service to companies to enable them to recreate a bit of the WeWork energy and vibe.
We will actually design, manage, build it for them, and now their own employees are able to experience what a WeWork would be at their own location. It really depends on how this enterprise wants to open it up to the public or keep it sort of private to themselves. Those options are made available to them.
Did they show you the secret room? I didn’t realize it was there until the designers kind of highlighted it to me.
“Oh yeah, there’s a little thing, I don’t know if you noticed.”
“Oh yeah, you’re right, there’s a little segment on the blueprint!”
We don’t tell our members exactly where… If you notice, all of our rooms have A and B and C and D, that one has nothing, that one’s just called the secret room. I don’t think our community members tell them where it is. They can book it if they can find it, right – once they find it, they’ll be able to use the room.
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