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The secret sauce behind Worktech’s phenomenon growth
After being plagued by problems of scandal, overvaluation, and overplayed marketing tactics, it now seems like too much trouble to get into the co-working industry. However, Hong Kong-based co-working operator WorkTech has taken advantage of the sudden silence in this space, and risen up almost overnight to capture the excess demand.
While WorkTech doesn’t position itself exclusively as a co-working space, it certainly has enough square footage to go around. With 20 spaces around the Asia-Pacific region (16 of which are in Hong Kong), the company is among the largest operators in the region.
Despite this rapid expansion in the number of locations, WorkTech’s real mission is to provide a soft landing spot for startups entering Southeast Asia. Offering services like company secretary, banking, legal advisory, and more, WorkTech’s experienced team of professionals (who hail from several industries and walks of life) help to set members up with startup essentials. They also make use of a network of strategic partnerships, chosen for how they might benefit startups in a certain sector.
For instance, the Taipei space is customized for blockchain and cryptocurrency startups. WorkTech can help founders register their businesses through a government partnership, as well as set up a bank account with their banking partner. Ordinarily, this process would take months and be much more difficult–after all, many still struggle to understand the business models behind blockchain and crypto startups. But having the necessary institutions on board with WorkTech’s ethos has made it much easier for startups in this space to focus on building their solutions.
“A significant portion of our members are startups or technology companies, and one of the most important elements we advocate is to provide opportunities for them to do rapid proof-of-concept (POC),” says WorkTech Chairman and Founder Michael Wong. “This is done through technology adoption initiatives with our strategic partners, including financial institutions, professional firms, and large corporations that are looking for ways to innovate and transform digitally.”
Localization has proven to be a particularly successful strategy for WorkTech, and part of the appeal that’s drawing in local strategic partners. Through a series of well-planned acquisitions and working with people who understand patterns in local demand, WorkTech has been able to selectively funnel resources into areas of the ecosystem that are in need.
While the priority is to create a space that suits the needs of members and eases the entry of new firms into the market, WorkTech has the same need for a sustainable business model as any company, and to that end has also set up an investment arm, as well as joint ventures with influential partners. Its partnership with Raffles Family Office launched in late 2019, and aims to create a space for a network of asset and wealth managers across the region.
WorkTech’s focus lies in developing comprehensive end-to-end ecosystems for all its members, which includes making beneficial introductions between members and allowing them to work out of any location in the region. The company is also geared towards emerging industries, such as blockchain and esports, and aims to build up the right resources to give startups in these spaces a head start.
“In the future, WorkTech will further expand in the Asia-Pacific region and is planning to set up new offices in Cambodia, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam,” says Wong.
With an ambitious expansion plan and a growing network of partners, WorkTech has set itself up to dominate the Asia-Pacific co-working market and become a first-resource for startups in the region.
Nayantara is Jumpstart’s Editorial Associate.