Chulamas Jitpatima (Amy) the India Director of MQDC India (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation)

Co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular and the culture is slowly shifting and changing. Offices of the past are making way for modern workplaces, shared spaces or co-working spaces. Recently I happened to visit Whizdom Club (a co-working space) situated at GK PART 2 New Delhi. A very comfortable zone with a happy work environment…

Chulamas Jitpatima (Amy) the India Director of MQDC India (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation), Chulamas Jitpatima (Amy) greeted me with a warm smile.. Amy  launched the company and set up its brand – Whizdom Club – in India. She believes the Whizdom Club can play a pivotal role in startupreneurs building new connections, gathering inspiration and discovering missing elements that can add momentum to their business strategies in addressing global competition.

Excerpts from an interview.

·        Tell me about your journey, how did you start?

We are a property developer based out of Thailand. We’ve been in business for 20 years.  Our Chair[person is a great visionary and she has already made a 40 year plan in many buckets, corporate, in business, in social responsibility. Thailand is a small country, and  we want to go abroad and help develop future leaders, help build the community. I started my first trip at the end of 2017. I did some research, looked around and found a lot of interesting partners. By 2018, we had our company set up registered, and then we decided we should enter with a co-working space because we’re very new to India. You know, we have to minimize our risk. We have to understand the culture, the people and everything. I started looking between Delhi and Gurgaon. I looked at almost 30 sites. But I finalized this one.  Because I felt that it fits our concept and our brand vision.

·        So how has been your experience with the Indians?

It’s been fun. It’s been fun. I think it’s a new culture. I’ve never been to India until I took on this project. I think the first thing that I noticed is that there’s a lot of similarities in terms of culture. There are some differences, of course. I love how fast you guys work. I like the attention to details and it makes my job a lot easier when I work with advisors and partners and teams here. So, that’s been the journey. I love the food. I love Indian food a lot. I have that quite often. And I think that’s why we also try to integrate multi cuisine cafes into the co-working space.

·        The USP?

 We want this space to be a one stop shop. You come here, everything that you need. You need event space. We have it. We have a workshop room, meeting room. We have a beautiful terrace. You can bring your own food or you can order from the cafe with special benefits.  I have a team of concierge for you, support, and service. I have everything. And I think what I’m proud of this place the most is we were probably the first, or one of the first that really emphasized on wellbeing even before Covid. you know, you look at the spaciousness,  look at the natural lighting, look at the ergonomic furniture, you know, these are all important , we are the pioneers of this, even before Covid. And now I’m happy to see that my peers, the other players in the market, are putting more emphasis on wellbeing at the workplace. I think this is very important because we spend like half our life, half our time each day at the office, right? So we have to make it nice and comfortable.

·         What do you think is the reason why people are switching over to this?

I think it’s easy for them, right? If you, if you are a new entrepreneur, have a team of 5, 10, 20, rather than go, you know, invest, design and then move into your own office, that takes time. You just come, look at our space. You like it, you move in the next day.

·         Any expansion plans?

Not immediate. But in the long run, yes. after we understand the northern market more. So I think it’s better to stabilize in Delhi. I think Delhi and Gurgaon both cities have a very big market for startups and MNCs

·          Did you face any challenges in India?

 I think if you talk about any obstacles or challenges in the working environment, not so much because I personally grew up in an international environment, I’ve lived in many countries. India- I feel it is very international. The language is easy for me, so that makes part of my work easier already. There’s already a set of good standards and protocols and speed. So, that helps us adjust to the Indian market quite well.

·         The culture of co-working spaces in India. Your views?

In India it’s booming a lot more. Five years ago, flexible spaces in India represented only about 5 or 6 percent of total office leasing. .  When covid hit, everybody thought co-working space is going to die, right? Because it’s, it’s a lot of open spaces. People want to be alone. You know, people are scared to go out and mingle and interact. But after the first six months, you know, after the first wave, at the end of the day, people have to get to know each other. People have to have interactions and also co-working spaces. It helps companies reduce their investment costs. People can  quickly move in, move out, you know, and they have a support team. So it’s, it’s on an uprising in India, b2b, in Thailand, I would say that the co-working space business is not growing as much because of different working styles, because of other things that are comparable.

 I think it’s on an upward trend. It started with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and startups. But you’ll see in India that it’s not just for startups, it’s for enterprises now and it’s for larger companies, it’s become the alternative to a commercial leasing.

About Chulamas Jitpatima (Amy)

Backed by more than 15 years’ experience with large Thai conglomerates and multinationals, Before joining MQDC in October 2017, Amy was the Managing Director and Co-founder of Idea360 – a research and branding powerhouse she helped establish in 2007. The agency assisted myriad brands in comprehending consumers’ subliminal beliefs. In this enterprise, Amy worked closely with the world-renowned experimental psychologist, Dr Howard Moskowitz, in establishing Mind Genomics as the leading consumer research tool in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Idea360’s clients extended across automotive, banking, construction & real estate, FMCG, petrochemicals, hospitals, food & beverages, electronics, retail and government.

Amy began her career at Accenture as a senior analyst, helping form strategy and improving processes at leading companies, including Siam Cement Group and PTT Public Company Limited.She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (International Business) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. Amy’s primary interest is travel – reflecting her diplomatic family roots and the saga of growing up on several continents, which have helped mold her robust worldview.

What is the reason for you to opt for a co-working space? Do write to us and let us know.

Interviewed by Seema Dhawan

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