Dempo Group and Mumbai-based BIZ Nest came together to launch premium co-working space at Patto called ‘MeWo’. Aimed at giving an opportunity to companies in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to move to Goa to work in a more relaxed fashion, MeWo is also helping in creating employment for Goans. The Goan in an exclusive conversation with the founder of BIZ Nest, Abrar Shaikh
q: The recently launched ‘MeWo’ is yet another co-working space in Panaji. Could you tell us how is it different from other co-working spaces?
Abrar Shaikh: It would be wrong to compare MeWo with other bigger & established co-working brands. The earlier brands have initiated the concept of co-working and have trained the ecosystem around the concept. Today, it is due to these brands that co-working is known as a concept. We have a lot of respect for these brands.
As MeWo centre, we have picked it up from here and we are improvising and taking the concept forward. We have introduced a pioneering concept in India, which we call “Work Nest”. In this concept, we are helping new start-ups and corporates, which are working in a stressful lifestyle in other parts of the country, to establish a new experience lifestyle in Goa in the form of a work nest.
Our focus is to help start-ups and corporates from outside Goa like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi to get de-stressed by making a work nest for them in Goa. We also want to make Goa’s ecosystem bigger, which will create more employment opportunities for Goans.
q: Tell us about different options MeWo offers to start-ups and companies willing to go for co-working space. For example, minimum to maximum seats, which can be offered.
AS: We charge a monthly fee for each desk/seat that we rent to a start-up/corporate. This desk/seat comes fully integrated with facilities and services like Wi-fi, electricity, AC, housekeeping etc. There are several luxury facilities as well, like a plush lounge area, plush café, high tech private meeting rooms, high-speed internet backup, electricity backup, personalized housekeeping for your guests and gaming zone.
We have members, who have signed up with us for an hour or a day. We also have members who have signed up with us for as long as two years. Our offerings for companies include -- personal secured cabin desks, open dedicated desks, flexible open desks, hourly desks & meeting rooms and virtual desks.
q: Is there a time limit, like companies can’t spend more than a certain number of months at MeWo? And what is the minimum rent per month for a seat?
AS: We are open to host individuals, start-ups and corporates with us for as short as an hour and as long as they would want us to host them. We are currently evaluating and learning the pricing model for a fresh concept like ours in Goa. We are open to supporting aspiring start-ups from across India. Having said that, we are very competitive in our pricing, if logically considered with the kind of offerings that we are providing to our members.
q: You said that companies from Mumbai have already expressed interest in moving to MeWo in Panaji for their office. Could you tell us what kind of companies are these and what sort of jobs are they going to offer to Goans?
AS: We have received an overwhelming response to our new concept of work nest. We had pre-bookings for a few companies even before we officially launched in Panaji. Two of the start-ups that have already signed a long-term engagement with us for our Panaji centre are from the IT Sector.
These companies have already employed more than ten Goans. As they progress, they have plans to employ more Goans. I know employing ten people is a small number if you see now, but for us, it is a beginning to a brighter future.
q: Is the focus predominantly on non-Goan companies willing to have a base in Goa or are you actively targeting Goan start-ups and companies as well?
AS: The concept and focus of MeWo as a work-nest is to encourage and get as many start-ups and corporates from outside Goa to set up their business operations here. We want to introduce a seamless and stressless work experience for start-ups and corporates, which they haven’t seen in Goa so far.
Our focus is also on making the Goan ecosystem bigger and creating more opportunities and employment for Goans. Having said that, we are getting a great response even from companies, which are already established in Goa.
q: Are you going to open MeWo centres soon in other parts of Goa as well?
AS: For now, we are focused to make the MeWo prototype a full house! We are happy and proud that we have kick-started the operations of MeWo - a concept that started from my living room and moved to Shrinivas Dempo’s cabin and now it’s executed.
Having said that, we shall soon start strategizing to scale up. Our intent is to open MeWos across Goa.