There are a few other measures that would benefit the coworking industry. The Investment Clearance Cell will give a boost to start-ups as there would be quicker and easier approval for setting up of start-ups. Exclusive funding, single window clearance and portal for start-ups would also encourage entrepreneurs to take greater risks to set up start-ups. This will augment the number of start-ups in the country and we could be heading to be the largest start-up ecosystem in the world. This will in turn impact the coworking sector positively as there would be greater demand for coworking spaces.
However, there are a few aspects that the budget could have addressed. There was a need to reduce GST to the lowest slab for upcoming innovative startups as it impacts their budget. Introduction of a new provision under the Income Tax law to reduce the rate of TDS as against the present rate of TDS at 10%, u/s 194I which is applicable on the conventional renting business, would have helped the co-working firms to improve its quick ratio and consequently, the co-working firms' financial shape would have become attractive from its cash flow perspective.
Co-working culture, at present, is experiencing high growth trajectory in India. Going forward, a single window approval approach is also required by coworking, instead of having to seek multiple approvals for the same business. Further, in order to expand from the metro cities to the tier II and tier III markets, added infrastructural push in these markets from the government would be appropriate. Overall, the co-working industry is looking at improvement in the ease of doing business. The government could assist in this a great deal by addressing regulatory concerns and by encouraging more coworking firms to open up through a series of both financial and non-financial incentives.
Manas Mehrotra, Chairman, 15Work Avenue