Coworking space really important for now a days because these days, youngsters are much talented, creative and using the latest technology would like to explore the different options that are available to them. But they may severely lack in funds, the reason why, their dream to become a successful businessman could possibly be shattered. Or they may probably have to wait for more time, until they have somehow accumulated funds as much possible to lease or have their own office purchased.
But with commercial property rates increasing with each passing day, it has become almost impossible for new startups to buy office space at expensive rates. The best solution for this is to avail shared office space that is available for low rates and within the budget.
Shared office space can be termed to be a great opportunity for new entrepreneurs to start their choice of business and ensure that it starts rolling and functions smoothly. Previously, the individual was stated to work on his own or with others. But now, he has the option to work along with others using the facilities of shared office space.
Today We are presenting the exclusive interview of Pratik Potnis who is the founder of TRIOS offering high-end, pocket friendly co-working spaces to young startups and entrepreneurs. Lets see what Pratik & TRIOS has to offer to young startups
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Ans: TRIOS. TRIOS stands for Thought River Infra and Office Solutions. Thought River group is a group of companies providing the IT, Education, Real estate, construction and coworking office spaces. Hence we found TRIOS as apt name for our coworking office space business.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
Ans: Our clientele focus group has always been – established companies and startups alike. IT Companies, Legal firms, CA, Agri, Automation, Robotics, companies in varied professions enjoy office facility at TRIOS.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
Ans: We have three operational centres in Pune, Maharashtra in India. Couple of them in Baner and a brand new one in Viman Nagar. And planning to expand it soon to other tier 1 cities. We follow the principle of “The entire universe is my office”, hence all major IT cities in the entire world are our target geographical areas.
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
Ans: Everybody needs an office, but entrepreneurs who are focused on their work, product and their ideas do not wish to invest time and money in setting up an office and maintaining it. This is a simple real-life problem of startups and the overseas companies is being solved by TRIOS since 2015. We offer state-of-the-art office amenities and facilities. With private cabins, Workdesks, High-speed internet, Conference and meeting rooms, Pantry, Recreation lounge, Library and games corner, Reception desk service. We have 325 seats in total of 15000 sq ft of coworking area spread across these three centres.
Apart from tiring and exhaustive working hours, TRIOS members enjoy TRIOS organized fun events, birthday celebrations, outdoor treks etc.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
Ans: I (Pratik Potnis) used to run Software services company – Quexa Systems before this venture. Which later got acquired by US based firm. In those days, one of the rooms in the giant bunglow office space used be always empty although the size of team had grown to 60. I put up small desks and required IT equipment in that room and asked my friends if they needed an office to work from. Most of them showed interest immediately and started using the facility on regular basis and paid us for number of seats they occupied. They also called their acquaintances to use this place and Quexa System’s overheads of electricity, internet, tea / coffee bills were covered from this small establishment that had seen dust and spider web for quite some time. It triggered from this idea that we can create a larger coworking or shared office space for rest of the entrepreneur fraternity as well and create a business out of it.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Ans: Although coworking office space market is emerging, competitive landscape always seems to add new players in the market. With global payers like WeWork, SmartWorks, Regus, Indian companies have also started sprouting in this segment. We keep things simple at our cowroking space and offer best in class professional ambience at very affordable rates. With lot of dominant positive vibes in the office interiors, companies working at TRIOS are succeeding in their own business.
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us some thing about your co-founder/s
Ans: Choice was really easy to find co-founder. My life partner Tejasa, who has keen eye for the architecture and interior design of commercial spaces has put her heart and soul into creating our one of a kind theme and design at TRIOS. Tejasa also looks after the operations and customer relations at TRIOS.
8.How did you hired your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
Ans: Exuberance, sportsmanship, eye for the details, inclination towards learning, understanding of human relationships are the key factors that we look for a team member in our company. Asking a simple question like if this is your own company how will you manage a function given to you, answer to this gives the entire idea whether the person is a perfect fit in our team. We are a team of 15+ now.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
Ans: We are spreading our wings fast and speedy with already three centres in Pune, this year we are conquering Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi NCR. With collaborations we are also planning to setup coworking centres outside of India in a longer run.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
Ans: If you ask me to paint the picture of TRIOS after ten years, it would be, Over hundred thousand community of TRIOS members, collaborating in over 50 major cities in the world. A world of TRIOS where entrepreneurs are focused on the task at their hand and succeeding in it, rather than paying utility and office maintenance bills.
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
Ans: After an overwhelming response on the new centre in Viman Nagar, we have already started the procedure to open fourth centre in Pune. Also this year we will be targeting centres in Mumbai and Bangalore.
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
Ans: We are already in talks with major VCs in India and overseas to be part of our coworking journey.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
Ans: Being the early player in this industry biggest problem we faced was that our prospective clientele did not have much knowledge about coworking offices and working model of it. Educating them and really helping them understand the benefits of coworking was key to the overall success. We called up open house conferences, All hands sessions, Brainstorming breakfasts, participated in lot of outside events to educate people about our value offerings.
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
Ans: Managing support staff needed for housekeeping and office assistance is the most challenging part of our world. As getting the right person to do an excellent job and have them motivated to stay on the job was a difficult task. We setup a crucial interview, on-boarding and on-going review process that has helped us overcome this challenge and now our coworking members really appreciate help they get from office assistance staff.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
Ans: I am married.
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
Ans: You will mostly find me engrossed in some exciting books ranging from Biography, Non-fiction to fiction Or sometimes guessing next best move in a game of chess. After 10 years of training as a professional Tabla player, I now find free time in bits and pieces to roll my fist on Tabla. Sports and exercise are the essential part of my daily routine. I have taken up liking for Shotgun shooting as well, which I pursue it usually on weekends at Balewadi sports club shooting range.
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
Ans: I like anything and everything. Especially home cooked food as both, my mother and wife have great eligibilities in cooking department. However I touch base upon every new restaurant whenever time permits. I am more of a water person when it comes to holiday destinations. I like oceans and lakes. Recent trip to Lake city of India, Udaipur was especially magnificent.
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
Ans: I believe that every person I meet is a great being in one or the other departments of life. Everybody has something to learn from. I believe, I have a good knack for picking up wonderful attitudes of all kinds from people I meet in everyday walk of life.
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Ans: There is none. As long as you enjoy the work that you are doing – You are working for Yourself, not for someone else.
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
Ans: Not even a single bit. I am loving every second of my existence.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Ans: I am blessed with great set of friends and family. Family has been particularly supportive of me being entrepreneur. Although I had to leave a cushiony job at Cisco to pursue entrepreneurial journey, family never cribbed about challenges that I might face. And now when my life partner is my business partner, work is even more fun.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Ans: There is no achievement in life than spending time in doing what you cherish the most. So, love what you do. Do what you love.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
Ans: I pursued my B.Tech in Computer Science from Pune university. I come from a family with business background who love to find something to sell every now and then.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
Ans: Ability to build and guide the team at TRIOS to achieve success in order that within every team member a sense of responsibility has germinated that TRIOS is their own company and they have the ability to steer it through the everyday challenges. This sums up us being overtly different from anybody else.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
Ans: Right guidance and finding right team members is the biggest threat to success of small businesses today. We are tech savvy nation and almost 80% entrepreneurs are techies. They build excellent products, however they need a team and training to excel in the departments of sales and marketing as well.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Ans: Every milestone that we set to ourselves in a company is a small success that we achieve. Be it signing up a new client, building new centre, conducting an engrossing event for our members. Building on such small successes we enjoy our journey.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person.
Founder and Director
Ph : 8884540362
Co-Founder and Director
website : https://www.trios.co.in