The recent media debate around India’s entry as a ‘space superpower’ triggered a thought of the existing, substantial and very real might of India as a ‘workspace superpower’.
At the beginning of my career as an architect, what attracted me most to workspace design was the steady rate at which it was catching up with global standards. Over time, it has been evident that the world sees India as a substantial player in this field. The reduced delta between what is offered worldwide and at the same company’s India headquarters, is a massive indicator of this trend.
Here are 5 reasons I believe India is a global leader in workspaces:
Premium office furniture manufacturers take India seriously.
India contributes a significant percentage of the market share of premium furniture brands like Steelcase and Herman Miller. A recent report suggests that Steelcase estimates India to be a $200 million market opportunity for ergonomic furniture, almost at par with China.
The rise of Indian cities as microcosms of the world.
Cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad currently have every major company opening headquarters there. The fact that the office furniture majors even have their own experience studios and large capacity manufacturing units in these cities goes to show how discerning the Indian office-space customer is deemed to be.
The emergence of India’s unicorns.
Beyond the buzzy ecommerce names, there is a wide swath of ‘serious’ tech companies like Fractal Analytics raising large capital from major global investors.This goes to show that India is no longer an afterthought but a centre for global growth.
Indian elections are impacting the way enterprises do business.
A quick look at the global news cycles clearly shows how every major nation (and corporation) now views the Indian election period as a turning point for the market, globally. The stir isn’t just restricted to political entities alone — our political leaders are considered important deciding factors in business.
Indian operations as headquarters for multinationals.
Much has been written about the Indian-origin leaders heading major international corporations like Google, Microsoft, Pepsi et al. The more important perspective for me is the growing number of Indian operations that serve as global hubs for major players like Unilever, McKinsey, the Star TV Network, and Ogilvy. Indian leadership is getting its rightful due – in terms of functions, flexibility and work culture. We are no longer an inexpensive market for just assembling knocked-down kits into products, or outsourcing based on salary arbitrage. We are deeply involved in conceptualising, designing and driving products and services for global markets.
In conclusion, it’s safe to say that the rate at which we are building capability and capacity is faster than most countries. This rate, of course, is inevitable – not just because of the sheer numbers and data points which we impact, but also the quality of the managerial talent here.