Central Asia consists of five main republics: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Due to its geographical location, Uzbekistan is often called the heart of Central Asia. It is here that you can find the precious pearls of the Orient: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Kokand, Shakhrisabz, and its capital city, Tashkent.
A dynamically developing metropolis, Tashkent has preserved its unique oriental flavor. Uzbekistan’s largest city elegantly combines medieval buildings, European architecture, and standard concrete buildings of the Soviet era, as well as glittering new skyscrapers, modern business centers, and banks.
In the twenty-three years since its independence, Uzbekistan has achieved great progress in all areas. Uzbekistan’s goal of building a socially-oriented market economy has come to fruition along with the development of the rule of law and civil society. Over the last few years, the government has paid special attention to youth, and has encouraged the development of small and medium-sized businesses, especially in the field of IT.
Coworking in Tashkent
In 2014, Anticafe was born, with a new concept of billing. Anticafe and other such institutions have entertainment as their purpose, with per-minute billing for time spent, which includes a wide range of board games, coffee, tea, and cookies. However, such places do not provide workspace areas.
Simultaneously, T4K became the city’s first, and so far only, co-working center. Although its concept is similar to Anticafe, co-working is a platform for the implementation of many and varying ideas, and more suited to the needs of freelancers, outsourcing persons, private entrepreneurs, and small start-up companies who enjoy being in on the creation of this full-fledged working environment.
T4K, above all, is an environment, a place of intersection and implementation of a wide variety of ideas and area that bond like-minded people. The founders of this co-working center in Tashkent are Anastacia Lee, Alisher Seytniyazov, and Bobur Akilkhanov. Working remotely, Alisher, Anastacia, and Bobur have all faced a lack of space that could combine both work and leisure. The trio opened the co-working center to create an environment for entrepreneurially-minded people – a one-of-a-kind project platform, and a space in which they themselves are also happy to live and grow.
Moreover, the opening of the co-working space has created a new market in Uzbekistan. Designed to house creative, enthusiastic, and artistic people and give them the freedom to realize their ideas, T4k provides the relevant and necessary work environment. As a result, T4K has received recognition for holding workshops, seminars, master classes, concerts, meetups, presentations with successful people, and numerous other events of various kinds.
Most people who use the center are individuals who like to spend their work hours in a specialized place, somewhere more conducive to work than a café, but at the same time not as formal as a traditional office. T4Ks particular environment contributes to its users being able to meet and communicate with other creative people. Persuade people to pay for the time spent there was a bit of a challenge, however.
The co-working space has also been used as an incubator. For example, it has been the venue for a two-day-long IT specialists “hackathon,” the first of its kind in Tashkent. With all the essential tools for long-term events, T4K boasts comfortable seats, food, drinks, free high-speed internet, and all required equipment for work. Last but not least, of course, is T4K’s creative atmosphere.
T4K, Uzbekistan’s first co-working center, has not only become the crucial point of the development of this market, but also for a focal point for business and creative initiatives.
The main have faced by T4K’s founders is a lack of any statistics that would be useful for business planning. Creating the first co-working center in Uzbekistan, the three founders had no reference points and were initially unable make accurate estimates. It is safe to say now that Alisher Seytniyazov, Anastacia Lee, and Bobur Akilkhanov have begun to amass statistics for co-working centers, learning from their mistakes. That makes their project even more unique.
Their future plans are to expand the range of activities, and create more areas to accommodate the needs of all users, as they grow to their full potential (500 square meters). The founders of T4K also plan more events Tashkent, as well as Almaty and Kiev.
Bobur Akilkhanov is an entrepreneur in the IT industry, with over 15 years of experience of developing web products. A majority of his time is spent with clients in Moscow, London, and New York. Akilkhanov has developed products for the fashion industry, short-term accommodation booking services such as Airbnb for the Russian market, social networking websites, daily deals likes Groupon, peer2peer marketplaces, and many other web products.
Alisher Seytniyazov is a logistics specialist with over 8 years of experience in logistics development in oil and gas, construction, and retail projects.
Anastacia Lee is a PR / SMM / marketing specialist. She has extensive experience in publishing, gained over seven years of work at British publishing houses Silk Road Media and Hertfordshire Press.