KOCHI: When fire destroyed the office of a Kochi-based IT company recently, it was faced with an emergency situation: find a ready-to-move fully serviced office with advanced IT and IP telecommunication system almost next day so that its 35-strong workforce can be shifted immediately or risk losing its business and reputation built over the years.
If the IT company was looking to save its business, Spanish national and clinical psychologist Olga Martin, who has been shuttling between Kochi and Barcelona for the last five years, had a different problem. She needed a cost-effective place in Kochi which offered both privacy and high-speed internet to connect with her patients in Germany and Spain.
Enter Centre-A, part of the Francis Alapatt Group and Kerala’s first provider of executive offices, which offer premium yet budget-friendly space at MG Road, the heart of Kochi. “I was finding it difficult to find a cost effective place with good connectivity for some time. A friend told me about Centre-A and I am happy with the facilities here,” said Martin, director-psychologist at Street-Heroes of India (SOI), which is involved with healing street children and orphans from trauma in India.
“Earlier, I was doing video conferencing from places which offered no privacy; most times the connectivity was also bad,” she said.
Joe Alapatt, partner of Francis Alapatt Group and Centre-A’s driving force, said the company’s facilities allowed the fire-wrecked IT company to work, almost as normal, immediately. “Due to their cost constraints, we arranged a 35-seater office by providing extra chairs and cubicles within a 25-seat space for them,” he said.
“We want companies to grow and not constrained due to lack of funds,” he said.
Even multinational companies (MNCs), which are exploring business opportunities in Kerala, have acquired space in Centre-A as it would suit them to test the market with minimal staff.
MNCs which have obtained space in Centre-A include US credit card major American Express, airline company Air Asia, online recruitment major Monster.com, US commercial real estate Colliers International and American Heart Association.
“One MNC was providing services to clients in Kerala from their Chennai office with two executives flying down twice a week to Kochi. Adding the expenses, including their stay in a 5-star hotel, the cost was much higher than what we offered here,” explained Alapatt on why one US company chose to work from Centre-A for its Kerala operations. “We also offer flexibility to companies to upscale or downscale without too much of a cost burden,” he added.
Companies can obtain space for one day to even a year, based on their requirements. Other big cities, including Mumbai, have business centres but this is first such ready-to-move office space in Kerala, offering top IT infrastructure, world-class services and best of the line communications systems supported by highly trained admin and support team, said Alapatt.
on Expansion Mode
Currently, Centre-A has 250 seats spread across 18,000 sqft and 50 premier office suites. it also has a 3,000-sqft Sky Cafe and garden. Joe Alapatt said Centre-A is looking ahead to expanding the current Centre by an additional 6,000 sq ft, and the new phase will have a gym, entertainment zone and meeting and breakout spaces apart from the office suites and co-working spaces.