The number of centres of large coworking operators in the country is likely to double or treble in the next two years as the segment has gained momentum, a leading real estate consultant said on Friday.

In the coworking space, top seven operators - Cowrks, WeWork India, Awfis, Regus, Smartworks, 91springboard and OYO Workspaces - have more than 350 centres across cities in the country, Anarock Property Consultant managing director Anuj Puri said.

"This number is likely to double or even treble in the next two years, given the rate at which these leading players actively leased spaces across major cities in 2019," he said.

Currently, there are more than 200 coworking players operating across the country, Puri said.

Despite the WeWork debacle in the US raising questions about the future of the coworking business, the segment has emerged as a "viable asset class" for landlords and operators in India, he said.

"Millennials are set to form 50 per cent of the global workforce by 2020. This influential segment has been at the core of the coworking story in India and will continue to drive demand for such spaces in the country," Puri said.

The coworking market has grown by leaps and bounds and the supply was about 7-7.5 million sq.ft. area by end of 2018, he said. By end of 2019, the coworking space crossed 12 million sq.ft. mark, he said.

"The current lease-based structure does not offer much flexibility and cost efficiency. In 2020, it is likely to see the rise of ownership model, developed in partnership with landowners, developers or the space providers," Puri said.

This arrangement will create built-to-suit spaces that are customised as per the tenant's needs, he added. PTI BSM

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