So, your company is contemplating on relocating and you have been given the responsibility to scout potential new destinations. This may seem like a pretty easy one to nail, but believe me, when you come on the ground and have a look at vacant spaces; it becomes quite a task to filter each one of them through the set of parameters your company had fixed for the new ideal location. You could be a retail chain that needs several small joints in all different parts of high catchment areas in the city or a sales head office that has to be ideally situated in the center of the city where there is high commercial activity, or you could be a simple accounts office, no matter what your situation is, it is very critical that you as a service provider understand that occupying the right office space is not only critical to the valued customers but also a morale booster for the employees too. Especially, in fields of finance, retail and food and beverage, the attractiveness, proximity and connectivity of your office space does play a major role in setting an image of your company in the subconscious mind of the customer even before they have an interaction with someone. While there is no rule of thumb, and every situation could be different, there are a few basics that basically apply by and large in all situations barring a few exceptions.
The very reason that you are considering moving means there is a problem with the current location, so the first thing is to make a list of things that you want to be able to have in the new area. This is what I call the internal requirements and mostly pretty easy to derive at. Parking, meeting room, security, lighting and internet connectivity, furniture, toilets, green building concept etc is all part of the internal requirements. The next part is to work the external scenario, which is all about the budget, location, connectivity and accessibility, type of usage (commercial, IT, retail etc), therefore, it’s important that each one of these considerations is analyzed properly so that the new location becomes a favorable destination for your customers and employees alike. Most of the internal requirements now are met by new developers on an inherent basis with new technology and advancements, so here I am basically just dwelling upon the external requirements a little bit.
1. Location and Size of office space:
This is the most time consuming of all in the process of looking for an ideal location and most companies aren’t prepared for it and are often caught off guard. Especially, in case of businesses where foot fall of the end user matters to a certain extent. One of the good ways to get a sense of an ideal location is open a very small office on a short term lease to test some waters to see how the location will play out for you in terms of catchment size, accessibility to potential client base etc. Not many are willing to take this route though, so the first question you ask yourself is what is that we want to achieve with the new location? There are several answers to the questions but some of the obvious ones that will cross your mind are:
- Do we need to accommodate more employees and therefore need a bigger area?
- Or the company needs to target specific client base?
- Or the existing location is simply too chaotic and unkempt that you just want to move even though it’s available at a dirt cheap cost?
- Want to relocate to bigger locations as a brand building exercise to send out a message that we have arrived?
Mostly, it’s one of the above or two/three of them put together. Keeping in mind that most business would like to be as close to their customer/clients as possible so depending what kind of services you offer, your new destination would also change accordingly, basically, you want to keep your business theme as central and prioritize it over anything else. And sadly, there are no ready made solutions that one can offer in this regard, and it has to be evaluated differently for each scenario depending on what their business has to offer. And that should be your key in making this decision. For example, Connaught place is a must have destination for many big financial institutions like banks, insurance, money exchange and travel firms as it is the perfect business district and serves the purpose of branding which is of utmost importance in both industries. While on the other hand an accounts/back office could do just fine with a rather modest location. I would probably write about what each destination has to offer as a niche in Delhi Gurgaon market place in another post.
2. Connectivity and accessibility:
If someone ask to single out one single most factor that has been driving the upward trend in Delhi real estate, to me, it’s the Metro and rightly so, I believe there is nothing more important than your customer or client, and that has to be your central theme, however also keep in mind that while customers are the source of business, a happy and satisfied workforce ensures that the business is run without any hiccups on a daily basis. Your employees come to the office from various parts of the cities- some nearby and some far-off. Therefore, a conveniently located workspace which is close to public transport is a must, especially true for a city like Guragaon and outskirts of Delhi where there is no local transport means available to public at large. An easy commute is not to be underestimated, particularly in regards to employee retention. You want a place which is centrally located so it is close to hotels, shops, banks and restaurants as well. You want to make sure your place of business is easily accessible.
3. Cost/Budget and Set up:
While for most companies it is the economics and viability of business that drives the choice of location and I agree with that, however I would compromise on the size at a better location than take up huge place at location that is marred from all different angles like connectivity, accessibility above all a mediocre business catchment range. So, in my view it should really be your last step in process of looking out for a commercial area for your business needs. Other than that, focusing only on rent or per sqft rate it’s better to look at the whole package and see whats offering you an advantage in the long term as there are many other costs (service tax, maintenance, parking etc) associated with a transaction that might come as a shock later in the process when it’s too late. After you have zeroed in on the location, it is time to evaluate the set-up cost of the office that will get you up and running fast. The range of set ups required depends upon the infrastructure you lease. It may extend anywhere from laying carpet to buying furniture, sealing work, air conditioning, storage, IT functionalities including the wiring of your office. The set up costs add significant time and cost to your overall budget and may impact your business.
Once you know your needs you can then set them straight with a real estate agent to find yourself the right space.
Quick analysis of the current location vis-à-vis the new location
- 3 things you dislike about the current location
- 3 things you will miss about the current location
- 3 must haves in the new location
Kind of area you would need to operate from – full commercial, industrial, residential, mix land use etc.
- City center or outskirts
- Public conveyance/metro etc
- Accessibility – highways, railway station, airport (especially in case of logistics and delivery centers)
- Zone wise location preference, both municipality (NDMC, MCD) and operational zoning (industrial, commercial etc)
Total area required
- Growth projection keeping a horizon of next 3-5 years
- Total number of employees
- Size of work stations for junior employees and cabins for senior staff.
- Conference/training/meeting rooms capacity
- Restrooms and pantry/cafeteria
- Reception or display area size/seating capacity
- Recreation/unwinding area
- Phone/internet lines
- Water, electricity load, Gen set, cooling and heating system
- General upkeep of the building and internal areas
- Security system with alarm
- Fire fight equipments with sprinklers and smoke detectors
- No of parking
- Underground or periphery
- Reserved or common
Look and feel of the office
- Spacious or conservative
- Level of the building, lower, basement or higher floors
- Single floor or multi
- Signage and visibility
- Open areas required with plantation
Last but not the least, the big B, Budget & Cost
- Monthly rent/Buying cost
- Operation cost
There are many other things that could be added here depending on each businesses unique needs however, by and large, if one goes by this list it should give them a good head start.
Well begun is half done, so know exactly what you need and you can avoid a lot of hassle and find yourself a great place to do business within no time.
In case your company is looking to lease/rent commercial space in Delhi or just doing some looking around to see if you can save some money by moving out to a cheaper and better location, feel free to write to us at admin AT delhirealestateblog.com or just send us a message via whats your requirement!