The CEO Magazine
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The Senate: the innovator and the trendsetter in workplace solutions space; redefining the ways the industry works

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The Senate: the innovator and the trendsetter in workplace solutions space; redefining the ways the industry works

Two decades ago nobody could foresee a time when breakneck evolution in corporate landscape would empower businesses with a feasible alternative to lease or purchase of commercial workspaces. With the advent of globalization and technology innovation at full tilt, businesses faced many challenges that demanded them to upsize, downsize or relocate to meet the needs of their market efficiently. Such urgency gave rise to the concept of flexible workspaces to cater to the dire need for personalized workspace requirements. This newly formed sector didn’t take much time to be delineated as a major industry offering a broad spectrum of products namely business centres, shared working spaces, co-working spaces and many more towards fulfilling the requirements of different business models. What’s more, the persistent progress in this space is set to absolutely metamorphose the corporate structure providing innovative and groundbreaking solutions at cost effective engagement models.

In 2013, the establishment of The Senate rattled the panorama of Business Center industry in Pune which was then dominated by global MNCs who offered offices spaces at inordinately high prices. Consequentially, only giants and super elite could afford them. With a brilliant portfolio, The Senate made an entrance in this space bringing to the clients’ table a complete ecosystem for their growth at desirable prices through its unique platforms such as Business Centre, Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, Fun & Fitness. The firm rose to prominence as workplace solution providers enveloping 45 plush plug-n-play office suites spread across 21,000 square feet presenting a seating for 250; 6 meeting and conference venues and a banquet hall across its two locations in Erandwane and Waked. Besides, the bouquet of services also encompasses Talk Shows, Club Senate, Reading Lounge, Recreation Centre and Sports Week.

The foundation

During a conversation with The CEO Magazine, Vikrant Vartak – Founder & Managing Director at The Senate speaks about what inspired him to venture out with such avant-garde concept, “We saw both – the market need and an opportunity – to offer a value for money proposition. I had always been influenced by a famous book on strategy named ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ by W. Chan Kim. The book speaks about something called ‘Value Innovation’ which says that a quantum leap in value for customers occurs when an organization pursues differentiation and low cost simultaneously (instead of a trade-off). Southwest Airline’s tagline ‘Fly at the cost of a bus’ sparked my enterprising spirit to come up with a hybrid model as The Senate.”

The Senate’s hybrid model is geared to empower businesses with all the features and business benefits that any large world-class business center offers; however, at a fraction of the cost they charge. The company aims to fetch maximum value and utility to clients towards removing the greatest hurdle in their path and that is the price at which these world class services are offered. In its small journey, the company has successfully built a magnificent and diverse clientele embellished with several Multinational Corporations from United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Israel; corporate giants as well as startups from India. Beyond that, the client portfolio is crowded with entrepreneurs and professionals.

Unparalleled Value Proposition

The diversity and uniqueness of The Senate’s portfolio translates the company’s presence from a mere workspace solution provider to a partner of growth to clients. Once onboard a project, the company extends the hands of support to provide its clients a value that goes much beyond just business continuity. This unique value proposition is grounded on two pillars – empowerment of entrepreneurial ecosystem and fun & fitness; which form the basis of the company’s zealous approach towards inculcating good practices in the entire corporate vista and contributing to its development. The Senate’s unparagoned initiatives involve rigorous efforts towards promoting entrepreneurship and their creativity. On the other hand, the company persistently endeavors to push for significance of Fun & Fitness in a professional’s life.

An inimitable and nonpareil combination of these two motifs makes The Senate’s value proposition unique and hard to match. Elaborating on such a USP, Mr. Vartak shares, “Work creates stress & stress impacts health. While, as a workplace provider, we facilitate our client’s work, it’s our endeavour to help them stay fit. Most of our clients operate as small teams in The Senate. Some of them work alone. Activities like Sports Week, ongoing Yoga sessions and a facility like Recreation Center get all of them together and closer as friends. This bonding helps create a small ecosystem around them. Moreover, regularly conducted competitive events in Sports Week get their talent to the fore that somewhere stays suppressed under the rigmarole of life.”

Drive for Entrepreneurial Empowerment

The Senate’s Center for Entrepreneurship Development is a home to an unmatched environment that fosters out –of-the-box thinking with peerless and progressive offerings such as Mavens, The Senate Talk Shows and Club Senate. Exclusive areas have been dedicated for Recreation Center, Reading Lounge (library with Crossword’s kind of seating area), The Senate Sports Week and Yoga sessions.

Mavens A ‘think tank’ of trusted peer CEOs for entrepreneurs; serves as advisory board and learning platform; Routine fortnightly meetings for peer CEOs and periodic review of member’s businesses through an initiative called Mavens Deep Dive; Opportunity to learn from accomplished entrepreneurs through initiatives like Mavens Huddle, Mavens Good Read (book reviews), Mavens Bioscope (educational movies), Mavens Pataskala (for skills enhancement), Essentials for Entrepreneurs series (for domain specific knowledge sessions),  Study tours etc.

The Senate Talk Shows – Talk Shows (conducted in an interview format) with successful entrepreneurs; Pune’s signature event for entrepreneurs; eighteen talk shows have been conducted over a period of three years; media partnership with reputed firms such as The Economic Times; Hindustan Times and more

Club Senate – a compelling combination of conferencing, lounge access, virtual office and access to events & other benefits provides opportunity to those entrepreneurs to get associated with The Senate who otherwise will not hire a Serviced Office with us

The Senate Sports Week – a Fun & Fitness Initiative carried out once in six months; a week-long event involving five sports and six sporting events like Badminton, TT, Carrom, Chess and Foosball. A large number of individuals representing various organizations (business owners/heads & client teams) participate

With its proactive attempts towards nurturing entrepreneurship and building SME sector have enabled the firm to position itself as a leader carving a niche for itself in the sunrise industry. Its’ extensive endeavors; which have been successful have unlocked the doors for its sustainable leadership in the space in such a short span of time. The Senate’s portfolio is adorned with several accolades and the one that shines among them is its recognition as one of the top 10 startup co-working spaces in India by a renowned business magazine.

Speaking of the future vision for the company, Mr. Vartak says, “We have been following a strategic roadmap towards brand building. As a part of that, we plan to increase our footprint in Pune by opening more centres. We are also exploring the option to spread our wings to other cities. We are particularly exploring the potential to expand to level two cities like Nagpur, Kolhapur, and Aurangabad etc”.

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