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WeWork India is planning to add 25,000 desks to its portfolio in 2022, a top executive said, as the shared workplace operator returns to growth and expansion after almost two years.

The company will expand to 13 new locations across 1.5 million sq. ft in the six cities it is currently present in by year-end. Large enterprises have already committed to pick up 70% of the 1.5 million sq. ft. WeWork currently has 5 million sq. ft of operational space and 50,000 active users across 36 locations.

“Over the next 12 months, we will be back to our growth strategy. By 2022-end, we will be at 6.5 million sq. ft. The January-March quarter was the first profitable quarter for WeWork India, though we turned profitable since November 2021. In January-March, we leased around 12,000 desks, which is almost a million sq. ft. We did a few big deals, but a large part came from those who wanted 50-150 desks," WeWork India chief executive officer Karan Virwani said in an interview.

Currently, the firm offers both managed office services for larger enterprises and serves smaller startups and MSMEs. The average size for a managed office is currently 1,000-1,500 desks, against 600-700 desks before the pandemic.During the course of the pandemic, when the commercial office sector was impacted, the co-working sector was also on a wait-and-watch mode. WeWork India too was focusing on execution and introduced new products such as “On Demand", as the pandemic transformed the office sector.

With companies asking employees to return to offices again, traditional office developers and shared working operators are seeing some momentum. Occupancy at WeWork India centres touched 80% in April.

Around 30% of WeWork’s growth comes from existing members. For instance, Meesho has grown from four desks in June 2020 to 700 desks in 2022. Of this, over 200 seats were taken up in January-March 2022.

WeWork India’s revenue during calendar year 2021 was 750 crore, and the company expects it to cross 1,000 crore in 2022. The WeWork “On Demand for Enterprise" has around 30 members including Sharechat, Tata Unistore, Tata Play Broadband Pvt Ltd and British Safety Council.

The usage of WeWork On Demand offering has risen from 3,000 users in December 2021 to 30,000 in March.

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