Kickstart https://kickstart.pk Co-working Space Mon, 29 Jun 2020 16:18:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://kickstart.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/cropped-identit-32x32.png Kickstart https://kickstart.pk 32 32 176523994 How Coworking Spaces in South Asia Fight COVID-19 https://kickstart.pk/how-coworking-spaces-in-south-asia-fight-covid-19/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-coworking-spaces-in-south-asia-fight-covid-19 https://kickstart.pk/how-coworking-spaces-in-south-asia-fight-covid-19/#respond Thu, 28 May 2020 12:57:00 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=19368 Coworking spaces in South Asia, like the other parts of the world, […]

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Coworking spaces in South Asia, like the other parts of the world, have been severely affected by COVID-19. The good thing is they are among the first to start thinking about how they should adapt to the situation and among the first to start the recovery process.

To help more operators learn from their experience, we share the story of Kickstart, Pakistan’s largest coworking space operator with a mission of creating ease of doing business for SMEs, startups, and freelancers.

Below, its co-founder Saad Riaz shares what the space did to fight COVID-19 and keep functioning as a business.

How Kickstart coworking space fights COVID-19

COVID-19 has suddenly turned the great coworking USP of community and collaboration into something negative and risky – at least for the time being. The ensuing lockdowns and safety risk of going to offices have left coworking spaces across the world with little or no footfall, and the South Asian region isn’t an exception.

Much has already been said about the standard best practices and safety measures that flexible operators and coworking spaces across the world could adopt. However, in this article, I would share some of the steps that we have taken at Kickstart deriving from our peculiar South Asian context.

As the footfall started reducing and eventually led to a complete lockdown, we started thinking of ways to engage members and help them do business while they are at home.

This was completely new territory for us since we never thought about offering services to members at their homes. However, we started having conversations with members about the issues they are facing.

Adopting a Product-based Approach for Additional Revenue

As the COVID-19 spread and spaces closed, it became clear that 2020 will not see any events or gatherings like the ones we used to have before COVID-19, which means zero revenue for coworking spaces from events & gatherings. It is also expected that revenue from Hot Desks remains significantly low even a few months after the spaces open.

Under these circumstances, we thought it necessary to work on developing more revenue streams.

In our conversations with members, we learned that around 60% of them don’t have a proper work desk at home. There are also reports about the e-commerce sector doing well as customers preferred to shop online during the lockdown.

So we came up with the idea of a B.Y.O.D kit. It is a desk made from high-quality, recyclable cardboard that we can easily ship to any place in a flat pack. We could price it very low since it is made of cardboard. Customers gave an overwhelming response, and we shipped 50+ desks for just a week. We are also gradually refining the product based on customer feedback.

Coworking Spaces in South Asia Fight COVID-19

For us, coming up with the B.Y.O.D had a background. Before the lockdown, we were in the process of developing a height-adjustable desk that didn’t go through. So we always wanted to do something like this. When COVID-19 happened, we thought it is time to do that one thing we always wanted to do.

B.Y.O.D is working great for us, and we would highly recommend other operators to come up with products to generate additional revenue keeping in view the customer needs and operator’s positioning.

Engaging Members with a Surprise Service During Lockdown

During our conversations with members, we also learned that they are having a hard time carrying out chores related to business that required going outside.

It is especially difficult here in Pakistan since there is much room for digitization, and people are regularly required to go out to conduct business. It became even more difficult when the ride-hailing and delivery services were suspended indefinitely.
In the South Asian region, coworking spaces and flexible operators employ a high number of “office boys”. Since the spaces were closed, so all our staff was free, we decided to convert our “Office Boys” to “Riders” and launched the Kickstart Rider Service.

It is a free-of-cost service, and, so far, we have carried out tasks like collecting laptops from laid-off employees, delivering stuff to new hires, depositing cheques in banks, and collecting cash from customers. A not-for-profit company that is a member of our coworking space is even using this service to deliver rations (donations) to daily-wagers who have been left unemployed due to lockdown.

65% of our member companies have already used this service and they have absolutely loved it. More than the tangible value, they loved the intention and the message behind it: no matter what the situation is, we are here to help our members conduct business!

We launched this service without deploying any additional resources. We just created a simple form and shared it with members. Any member who wants to call a rider fills out the form.

I think there is a great deal of opportunity for all operators to utilize their unused resources at the time of lockdown for the help and support of members and broader society.

“Virtual Office” But With a Twist

Across the world, there has been much conversation around launching Virtual Office plans to generate additional revenue. The following services are generally a part of a standard virtual office plan:

  • Business and mailing address
  • Mail handling
  • Day Passes
  • Meeting Rooms

Although it is an excellent source of additional revenue for spaces in regions like the US and the UK, and in most countries in Europe, here in South Asia, the same template doesn’t apply. The main reason behind this is that you can get a flex desk plan in a coworking space here for as low as USD 30. So the customers don’t find great value for money in the virtual office plan when a better substitute is available.

However, our market research suggests that if we add a few more services in this plan, we might unlock a reasonably large share of the market for the virtual office plan. Those services will include:

  • A few monthly tasks by our “Riders” in the virtual office plan
  • Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant is an online assistant who receives calls on behalf of customers and forwards it to the customer’s cell phone or landline number. Customers can provide a professional calling experience to their callers. An online virtual assistant can also perform tasks like booking a plane ticket or managing a schedule. We are planning to launch this service within a couple of weeks. (We will post the details of customer response as an edit to this post)

The Core Focus for 2020 is Safety and Hygiene

Coworking Spaces in South Asia Fight COVID-19

Even though we have maneuvered to launch these initiatives to engage members and generate revenue, our core business focus for 2020 has shifted to safety and hygiene. Coming into 2020, the focus was on growth, but we have put our plans on a halt.

We had started implementing the safety and hygiene measures when there were only a handful of COVID-19 cases in the country.

So far, we have implemented all the necessary safety measures including thermal temperature check at the entrance, disinfection of all hand-accessible areas every 30 minutes, deep disinfection of space every day, provision of hazmat suits to thermal scanning and disinfection staff, hand sanitization at the entrance, and installation of hand sanitizers at multiple points. These are some of the basic measures required at every office. You can get more reopening ideas here.

We have also completely revamped the flow of our facility management operations. All processes have been changed to ensure the interaction between people and the sharing of physical resources stays low.

In addition to that, we are also implementing a complete record-keeping of the body temperatures and entry/exit times of members. This record enables us to track the overlap of any particular member with other members, and it is an essential part of our strategy to deal with any unfortunate situation.

Going ahead, we are also looking at the problem from an architectural angle. Seating in common areas will be reduced to 40% of what it was before. Chairs and seats will be tagged in Red and Green to signal to members where they can and can’t sit. Frequently hand-accessible areas will also be tagged in Red to ensure members always have the correct perception of risk. Transparent separators will be installed in the shared workspace.

I would be happy to learn about the safety measures and other steps you are taking to fight COVID-19.


About the Author: Saad is a cofounder of Pakistan’s largest coworking space operator – Kickstart. They established the 1st coworking space in Lahore back in Feb 2016 and – since then – coworking has picked up in Pakistan with 51 operators in Lahore only.

Saad is interested in everything coworking and would love to engage with and learn from other operators across the globe. Feel free to ping him here if you want to get in touch with him.

Originally published by Office RnD: https://www.officernd.com/blog/coworking-in-south-asia-fights-covid/

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10 Ways to keep your office COVID-19 free as the lockdown eases https://kickstart.pk/keeping-office-covid-19-free/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=keeping-office-covid-19-free https://kickstart.pk/keeping-office-covid-19-free/#respond Thu, 21 May 2020 15:32:22 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=19275 After shutting down all activities in Pakistan for over two months due […]

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After shutting down all activities in Pakistan for over two months due to the coronavirus outbreak, a light can finally be seen at the end of the tunnel. Based on research and analysis, countries around the globe are resuming businesses since they are the engine that keep every economy running.

Here’s why this is happening – it’s because governments have realised the virus might be here to stay – and the only means of tackling it is to incorporate certain measures to our work lifestyle.

Yes, ‘work from home’  is not the only solution. In fact, offices can do wonders at maintaining a bacteria free environment. Just remember: safety measures and precautions are an integral part of your life now.

Here’s how you can make your workplace a safe space that is COVID-19 free.

1) The essentials needed before opening up

Now that you can get back to business, here are certain investments you need to make to create a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. Remember, if the number of infected cases rises, we might enter another phase of the lockdown. Hence, investing in equipment to keep your office coronavirus free is a step you must take now.

  • Install hand sanitizers around the office:  Hand sanitizers must be installed at different points around the space including the entrance and exits in order to motivate staff to keep disinfecting.
  • Hazmat Suits: Arrange Hazmat Suits for thermal scanning staff.
  • Keep masks for guests and visitors: Store masks for employees as well as outsiders and make it mandatory for them to follow this protocol.
  • Staff training: Since everyone is new to tackling the virus, make sure each member of the staff is aware of the precautionary measures needed to be followed in the office. Hold daily staff briefings regarding COVID-19 and assign lunch shifts in order to avoid a crowd.

2) Signage around the office

Paste flyers and signage around the office space regarding physical distancing, washing hands, and how one can wear the mask correctly. This includes sanitizing before wearing a mask, making sure it covers the nose and mouth completely, and the disposal of damp masks.

It will take employees time to adjust to the new way of life so keep reminding them of the measures they need to follow.

3) ‘Germ proof’ the employees at the entrance

Let’s face it, sometimes we are sick and we don’t even realise it. Therefore, it’s of great importance to have equipment that can spot an ill employee before they even enter the premises. It’s better to be safe than sorry, isn’t it? Here’s what you will need as an employer:

Temperature scanner:

Scan everyone at the entrance – be it the boss, a visitor, or an employee. Ask anyone with a temperature above 37.5 celsius or 99.5 Fahrenheit to head back home and seek medical attention.

Santize before entering:

Who knows where those hands have been and what they have touched? Life will be much easier if a sanitizer is provided at the entrance to cleanse everyone. Sanitize, disinfect, and enter, is the motto of the year!

No mask, no entry:

keep your office covid 19 free

Sure, wearing a mask can be annoying, but it is essential nowadays! The fact is, even if someone doesn’t have fever, they could be carriers of the virus.

How is the coronavirus spread? Mostly through coughing and sneezing. According to WHO, people wearing masks can greatly reduce the risk of infection, hence make it mandatory for all employees.

Time stamps:

Keep a track of staff and visitors entering the office. This includes the time and date of the entry/visit. The data will prove to be of great help if an individual who had recently visited the premises contracts the virus.

4) Disinfect to keep bacteria at bay

Since disinfection is one of the most crucial steps in controlling the virus, make sure you introduce important sterilization methods into your workplace. This includes deep disinfection at least once a day.

Also hightlight areas frequently touched by employeees, for instance, lunch room, smoking zone, toilets, meeting rooms etc. Once these areas have been detected, use red tags to label them as ‘high risk’ red regions. This means, the employees touching these areas have to sanitize or wash their hands. To follow full protocol, decontaminate the red zones after every 30 minutes.

Last but not least, discourage staffers to order food from outside. In fact, keep it a rule to disinfect each parcel or food delivery entering the premises. Who knows how many people have touched the packaging?

5) Make special rules for each area of the office

keeping office covid 19 free

Since each area of an office serves a distinct purpose, it’s crucial to plan out a different protocol for each region. Following are some useful suggestions:

Meeting room

Since meetings get crowded, our recommendation is to turn to the option of online meetings. However, if a meeting is necessary to be conducted in person, create a distance of a few feet within the employees by tagging seats as ‘red’ and ‘green’. Only green chairs can be occupied.

Don’t fill up the office

Assign employees different days to visit office in order to avoid 100% occupancy. Divide the workers into two shifts and call them every alternate week. The 10-day break provided to each shift will also help identify infected individuals if a case of COVID-19 arises.

Most importantly, asymptomatic people will have only four days of interaction with the rest of the staff – greatly reducing the chance of infection spreading.

Install separators

The idea may not excite you but it’s time to change the way your office looks. Yes, you can no longer have employees sit together without separators on their work desks. If a mask can control the spread of the virus, imagine the good a desk separator can do.

Desk distance

Make sure each employee is seated a few feet apart. This way even if an infected individual coughs or sneezes, the likeliness of the virus spreading is next to zero.

Prayer areas

Designate praying areas that can be sterilized a few times a day. Also make sure staffers bring their own praying mats.

Dining areas

Break down the lunch timings into four hours in the afternoon and assign groups that will have lunch together while maintaining social distancing protocol.

Common areas

Also mark the common room seats as ‘red’ and ‘green’ to avoid chances of people sitting too close together.

Washrooms

Appoint someone to disinfect washbasins, taps, doorknobs and other touch points after every  30 minutes.

6) Control the tea and coffee breaks

Let’s face it, working all day can tire the brain out to a point where a caffeine is needed. However, a lot of people touching the crockery and the pantry is just a disaster waiting to happen. Instead, we suggest you appoint the duty to a designated staff. Also forbid the employees from forming a queu while they await their caffeine hit.

Worried about those who will step out for tea? Simply set a fixed time where employees can leave the office. This is important as upon their return, they must go through the sanitization protocol all over again.

7) Areas to sanitize every 30-minutes

We agree, disinfecting a space after every half an hour can be a tedious task, however, it’s a necessary one. Following are a few areas that are generally the most touched and need to be cleansed often:

  • All doorknobs and handles
  • Switch boards
  • Staircase railing
  • AC and TV remote
  • Printer and telephone receiver
  • Meeting room accessories such as board markers, erasers, chair arm rest etc
  • All washroom accessories
  • Kitchen accessories such as coffee machine/kettle/microwave buttons, storage handles, etc
  • Water dispenser

8) Habits employees need to adopt

  • Always wear a mask.
  • Bring personal water bottles and mugs.
  • Do not show up to work if unwell.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Avoid office if you just returned from abroad.
  • Do not spread panic regarding COVID-19.

9) Tips for managers and team leads

keeping office covid 19 free

Believe it or not, a manager or boss can have an impact on how seriously the protocol and safety measures are followed by the rest. But before that comes into play, managers must realise they can’t be as strict as they once were. For instance, be understanding if an employee does not have transport as using public transport can have numerous detrimental effects at this point in time.

Also, do not push employees with a high risk profile to come to work. This includes people with fever , pregnant women, people with a medical history, employees with asthma and respiratory conditions etc.

10) How to deal with an employee with COVID-19

If you want the staff to be honest, create an open and safe evironment. This means, you must set a policy that restricts revealing the identity of an infected staffer. This is necessary as fear may force the other team members to stigmatise those who are ill.

Furthermore, individuals who interacted with the infected employee should be given some time off to observe quarantine.

Here is Kickstart’s health and safety guide that can help you in keeping your office COVID-19 free.

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Restarting Workspace: Kickstart’s Hygiene & Safety Protocols https://kickstart.pk/restarting-workspace-kickstarts-hygiene-safety-protocols/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=restarting-workspace-kickstarts-hygiene-safety-protocols https://kickstart.pk/restarting-workspace-kickstarts-hygiene-safety-protocols/#respond Mon, 18 May 2020 18:28:30 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=19240 The Office as we knew it has completely changed in just two […]

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The Office as we knew it has completely changed in just two months.

As our members start coming back to the office, the hygiene and safety protocols in the office have gained prime importance.

At Kickstart, we have a laser-sharp focus on health and safety. We have revamped our entire facility management process to cater to newly arisen requirements. We are also doing the required architectural changes to make our space safer.

We have made an elaborate health and safety guide to outline the measures we are taking. This is guide is primarily for our customers for whom Kickstart is the second home.

Here is the pdf version of the guide. You can download for faster viewing or keep scrolling to go through the guide online.

Table of Contents
Why we made this guide
Steps to be Taken Before Opening the Office
SOPs to Enter the Office
Safety Protocols for Different Office Areas
Safety Protocols for Different Office Areas
Disinfection Processes at the Office
Hand Accessible Areas to be Disinfected
Hygiene and Safety Protocols for Food and Tea/Coffee Serving in the Office
Signage in the Office
Communal Responsibilities
Strategy to deal with a COVID-19 positive case.
Strategy to Deal with a COVID-19 positive Case.
Concluding Note and Contact Details

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Making Adjustments: How Kickstart is Keeping Coworking Alive in Pakistan https://kickstart.pk/making-adjustments-how-kickstart-is-keeping-coworking-alive-in-pakistan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=making-adjustments-how-kickstart-is-keeping-coworking-alive-in-pakistan https://kickstart.pk/making-adjustments-how-kickstart-is-keeping-coworking-alive-in-pakistan/#respond Tue, 12 May 2020 12:46:00 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=19363 After graduating from college, Saad Riaz and his friends were in the […]

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After graduating from college, Saad Riaz and his friends were in the market for office space. However, there weren’t many decent spaces in Lahore that were reasonably priced, which led to Riaz wondering how he could bridge the gap between living communally and working in a shared setting.

In 2016, Riaz and his co-founder launched Kickstart. In those days, Kickstart was one of the very first coworking spaces in Lahore. Now, the flexible office industry in Pakistan is rapidly expanding, with over 51 coworking spaces now available in Lahore alone.

Coworker caught up with Saad Riaz, Co-Founder at Kickstart, to learn a little more about the industry for shared office space in Pakistan and the reasons why Kickstart has been a game-changer during the COVID-19 pandemic for members.

A coworking space in Pakistan.

1) First and foremost, what do you love about coworking and why is it important to you as a co-founder?

While establishing our first Kickstart coworking space, we were coming from a background of our own difficulties of starting a business in Pakistan. At that time, Pakistan was ranked 144 among the 190 economies by the Worldbank in their ease of doing business index.

Our mission was therefore very personal, and it was crystal-clear from day one: Kickstart makes it easy for others to do business in Pakistan. Be it by providing cost-effective and hassle-free office facilities or by creating a community of a dynamic group of people who could help each other grow, this mission is what matters most. 

Over the past four years, we have seen many members partnering with each other and forming new companies. That is something that motivates us to keep going. 

A coworking space in Pakistan.

2) In light of recent global events, what initiatives did Kickstart put in place as a way of responding to members’ changing needs?

When our members couldn’t come to the office anymore, we started thinking about how can we help them do business at home. We had conversations with some members and learned that they were struggling to do occasional chores related to business. 

In coworking spaces in South Asia, we have a lot of ‘Office Boys’ who aid members in office chores. Since the spaces are closed, we converted them to Riders so they could help members do these types of tasks from home. 

Since we have launched this service, our riders have carried out tasks like depositing checks, collecting cash, delivering laptops to new hires, collecting laptops and other office equipment from laid-off employees, and even paying bills.

Around 65% of our members have used this service in some way and have really appreciated it. The service was particularly useful here since there is a lot of room for digitization in Pakistan. At present, there are still a lot of tasks that require people to go outside. 

During our conversations with members, we also learned that an overwhelming amount (60%) of them do not have a proper desk at home. Most of them worked on a sofa or a dining table. So our team quickly ideated and developed a Build Your Own Desk kit. 

A photo of Kickstart's Build Your Own Desk kit.

The desk is not a substitute for a wooden desk, but it is an excellent value-addition for quarantine days. We have kept it cost-effective so that everyone can benefit from it. Our customers encouraged us a lot on this. They are enthusiastically sharing feedback and we are improving the kit.

3) Why do you think these new initiatives have been successful?

Our customers found great utility in these initiatives; however, they loved the intent even more. Adopting and conveying a collaborative mindset is very important in moments of crisis. Through these initiatives, we conveyed a message that we are here for them at this moment and trying our best to provide services in changing times. 

4) What other strategies or business practices will you adopt as members begin returning to work?

A members start coming back to the office, we are keeping a laser-sharp focus on one specific area: safety and hygiene. We are looking at the problem from behavioral and architectural angles. 

From the behavioral point of view, we have changed the entire facility management operation to minimize contact and maintain distance. We put the basic safety measures in place a couple of weeks ago and started training staff on those measures. These included thermal scanning and hand sanitization at the entrance, provision of hazmat suits for the temperature scanning and disinfection staff, disinfection of all accessible areas after every 30-minutes, and deep disinfection of the space every day. Everybody has to wear a mask inside the spaces at all times, be it our staff or members. 

We also keep a detailed record of entrance and exit timing of different members to determine overlap of any particular member with other members. 

A coworking space in Pakistan.

We have also modified the entire service-structure to minimize contact. We have dedicated staff in our pantries who carry out special hygiene procedures. They are the only people who touch the crockery and coffee machines, so they are the ones brewing the coffee and members can then come to pick it up. 

We are tagging all hand-accessible areas with red tags so that our members have an accurate perception of risk at all times. The tags will also remind our staff that they have to disinfect high-risk areas every 30 minutes. Similarly, the seats will also be tagged as red and green to show members where they can and can’t sit to maintain the required distance. The dining area capacity will be cut to 40% of what it was before coronavirus. 

There are many other measures that we are implementing along these lines. We are very clear that health and safety will be our core focus for 2020. 

5) How has the current pandemic affected your operations? What else has Kickstart done to engage your members, even from afar? 

The pandemic has turned the great coworking USP of interaction and community to something harmful and risky — at least for the time being. Even after the resumption, we don’t see any events and get-togethers in the near future. 

To keep a sense of community alive, we are soon launching video rooms within our member web app. The app will have virtual meeting rooms and other areas named after our physical rooms. The idea is to encourage members to cut back on in-person meeting room usage wherever possible while keeping a sense of community alive by carrying the association of community from physical areas into virtual space. 

A coworking space in Pakistan.

6) What do you think the future holds for coworking and remote work? What is the situation in Pakistan currently like?

At the start of 2020, we predicted that the year would see a phenomenal rise of coworking spaces and flexible offices in Pakistan. But the expansion plans have been delayed due to coronavirus, and the focus is entirely shifted to making our existing spaces safe for members. 

More people are definitely going to shift to remote work post-COVID-19. However, they might still keep coming to coworking spaces. We have a lot of members who work remotely for companies in other countries with no compulsion from employers to use coworking spaces, but they do so because of different reasons.

Originally published in Coworker Mag: https://www.coworker.com/mag/kickstart-coworking-pakistan

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Progression of Coworking & Flexible Offices in Lahore 2016 – 2020 https://kickstart.pk/progression-of-coworking-flexible-offices-in-lahore-2016-2020/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=progression-of-coworking-flexible-offices-in-lahore-2016-2020 https://kickstart.pk/progression-of-coworking-flexible-offices-in-lahore-2016-2020/#respond Sat, 09 May 2020 10:29:18 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=19136 Coworking and flexible offices in Lahore proved their utility and entered mainstream […]

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Coworking and flexible offices in Lahore proved their utility and entered mainstream in 2019.

Owing to the hassle-free and cost-effective business model, the industry was expected to more than double yet again in 2020. However, the timelines and focus have changed after the lock-down.

How the coworking spaces will look like for customers post-COVID? We will talk about it in the coming days. But today we are sharing some numbers with you about how the coworking movement has progressed during the past 4 years.

Progression of Coworking Industry in Lahore

Embed this Infographic in Your Website:

<p><strong>Please include attribution to https://kickstart.pk/ with this graphic.</strong><br /><br /><a href='https://kickstart.pk/progression-of-coworking-flexible-offices-in-lahore-2016-2020/'><img src='https://kickstart.pk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/0001-359x1024.jpg' alt='Number of coworking spaces in Lahore and their progress during the past 4 years (2016 to 2020)' 540px border='0' /></a></p>

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Registration of Trademarks in Pakistan https://kickstart.pk/registration-of-trademarks-in-pakistan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=registration-of-trademarks-in-pakistan https://kickstart.pk/registration-of-trademarks-in-pakistan/#respond Sat, 18 Apr 2020 14:44:07 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=18886 This article covers the process of registration of trademarks in Pakistan with […]

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This article covers the process of registration of trademarks in Pakistan with Intellectual Property Office Pakistan. The Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (the “IPO Pakistan”) was established as an autonomous body in the year 2005. It has offices in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. IPO Pakistan is responsible for administering intellectual property services, coordinating all government systems for protection, creating awareness about intellectual property rights, and advising the Federal government on intellectual property related issues.

The following questions will be answered in the course of this article:

  1. What is a trademark?
  2. Why do you need to register your trademark?
  3. What kind of companies / businesses should consider registering their trademarks?
  4. What protections trademark registration provides?
  5. What is the process of registering a trademark in Pakistan?
  6. What is the time required to register a trademark in Pakistan?
  7. How can a trademark be filed in the US for your tech product?

If you are here just to understand the process of trademark registration, please scroll down to section # 5. 

  1. What is a trademark?

A trademark is any graphical mark which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one business from those of another business. 

The domain or subject matter of a trademark can be defined as the good will or good name of a business. Trademarks are powerful instruments for distinguishing goods in the course of trade from the goods of others. 

Trademark law in Pakistan is governed by the Trademarks Ordinance, 2001.

  1. Why do you need to register your trademark?

It is hard  to set up a profit-generating business. Building such a business requires  significant hard work and sacrifice on part of the business owner. Trademarks and other copyright laws exist to protect your businesses from copycats who are always on the lookout to copy the identity of successful businesses and benefit from it. 

Registering your unique trademark with IPO Pakistan will give you legal protection against all those who might seek to impersonate or copy your brand after your success. For this reason, it is important to start the process of registering your trademark early on. 

  1.  What kind of companies / businesses should consider registering their trademarks?

 It does not matter whether you are a small-scale retailer, a startup, or a multinational giant, you should strongly consider registering trademarks for your products and services. 

Failure to do so may allow your competitors to take advantage of your brand through unfair marketing techniques

  1. What protections does trademark registration provide?

If you have registered a trademark  in your own name or in your company’s name, you have an exclusive right to use it. You can also license another business to use and charge a fee against it. Registration also provides legal certainty, and if an legal dispute arises, you will have a strong position

IPO Pakistan ensures effective enforcement through various designated agencies like the Police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and Pakistan Customs. You can also initiate proceedings to claim damages under sections 46 and 47 of the Trademark Ordinance 2001, against parties who violate your rights by copying your mark. 

An owner of a registered trademark, you will have the exclusive right to prevent all third parties from using identical or similar signs in the trade of goods or services.

  1.  What is the process of registering a trademark in Pakistan?

Trademark Registration in Pakistan involves a five-step procedure which is as follows:

  1. The first step is to determine the classification (class) under which goods/services of your business fall.  Please keep in mind that you will have to file a different application for each class in which you want to register your trademark.
  2. Once the classification has been determined, you have to file a Trademark Search (TM-55) application before the IPO Pakistan. This application is filed in order to identify whether any similar trademark(s) already exist in the market.

 The IPO Pakistan will refuse to accept your application if:

  1. Your trademark contains obscene content;
  2. Your trademark contains a religious symbol;
  3. The trademark has already been registered.

The official filing fee for each trademark search application is PKR. 1000/- .

iii. Once you receive the Trademark Search results, you will proceed to filing the Trademark   Registration Application (TM-1) for each class in which you want to register your trademark. Please note again that you will have to file a separate application for each class. 

The official filing fee for each trademark registration application is PKR. 3000/- .

Note: Remember, you will also have to attach a form (TM-48) for authorization of an agent with your Trademark Registration Application. The form TM-48 is to be printed on stamp paper with a value of PKR 1000/-.

iv. Response to Objections Raised by IPO Pakistan 

After evaluation of your application, IPO Pakistan may send you objection notice(s) asking you about further clarifications around your application.An objection may arise if you file your application for trademark in an incorrect classification.Once all objections, if any, are satisfied, the IPO may may also call you for a hearing before the Registrar to provide provide answers to any further queries.

v. Advertisement in the Trademark Journal

Once the IPO Pakistan is fully satisfied that your trademark does not bear any similarity to an already registered trademark or a pending registration, it will issue notices to publish your trademark in the Trademark Journal. The idea here is to give the public a chance to raise any objections to ensure there is no registered trademark with a similar design. 

vi. Final Registration

If no objections are received from the public after the advertisement of your mark in Trademark Journal, the IPO Pakistan will issue additional demand notices for submission of Form TM – 11 for each class in which the application for the trademark was filed. 

This is done to confirm registration and issue a certificate of registration of the trademark (Registered Trademark). The official fee for form TM-11 is PKR. 9000/- (Pak Rupees Nine Thousand only).

You can access all relevant forms mentioned above at this link. hese forms must be submitted in person at any IPO Pakistan office.

Here are the locations to Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad offices of IPO Pakistan:

  1. Lahore Office
  2. Karachi
  3. Islamabad
  1. What is the time required to register a trademark in Pakistan?

The average time it takes to register a trademark is approximately two (02) years. However, this is subject to change and varies on a case to case basis.

The registration process initially may seem daunting or time consuming, but in the long term, protecting intellectual property is well worth the time and effort.

  1. How can a trademark be filed in the US for your tech product?

For trademark registration in the United States, here is a detailed explanation of the registration process with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

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The process of registering a trademark can be daunting for many business owners and startup founders. But there is no need to worry. Just drop us an email at legal@kickstart.pk and our consultants will take care of the process for you.

About Kickstart: At Kickstart, our mission is to make it easier for you to do business in Pakistan. We do this by providing hassle-free office space solutions and value-added services like Legal, Accounts, HR, and Digital Marketing.

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Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore https://kickstart.pk/top-14-coworking-spaces-in-lahore/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=top-14-coworking-spaces-in-lahore https://kickstart.pk/top-14-coworking-spaces-in-lahore/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:12:12 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=18741 The trend of coworking spaces and furnished offices has been on the […]

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The trend of coworking spaces and furnished offices has been on the rise in Lahore throughout the past year. In 2019 alone, twenty-three (23) new coworking spaces opened doors for customers in Lahore. That is 2 spaces opening every month, which – by all standards – is impressive growth!

As the number of spaces is increasing, it is becoming increasingly difficult for customers to decide which option is best for them. 

To help you make this decision, we have already published a list of 5 Best Coworking Spaces in Lahore. If you are looking for the best spaces, you should hop to this link

If you have more time available and want a more comprehensive look at all other spaces as well, the following article is for you! 

For your convenience, we have categorized the spaces according to the area in which the spaces are located. 

Coworking Spaces in Gulberg

Gulberg is the most central area for offices in Lahore. People from most localities in Lahore can reach Gulberg in 30-35 minutes. This is a big plus when you have team members coming in from all over the city. Having your office in Gulberg also increases your company’s HR resource pool since resources from all over the city can join.

Kickstart | Gulberg (62-C2)

Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore

This Kickstart location is one of the best coworking spaces in Lahore. It is a 5-story standalone building inhabited by multi-million dollar startups like Educative and Starzplay and established IT companies like ZONES and ICE Consulting

Other than all necessary office amenities, this location has unique amenities like a fitness studio, inside boundary wall parking, and a nice terrace. 

The location hosts individual freelancers as well as teams of 70+ people.

Desk Price (Coworking space): 10,000 – 20,000/head

Private Office: 20,000 – 30,000/head

Regus | Tricon Tower

Regus is the only international co-working space operator in Pakistan. Their Tricon tower location has very nice views of the Lahore Gymkhana Club. Pepsi and Dupont are among their top customers. They only provide professional private offices, classy conference rooms and a lounge. Most of their customer-base belongs to the corporate sector. 

Desk Price (Coworking space): 34,000/head

Private Office: 30,000/head

Kickstart | Gulberg (58-A2)

Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore

This Kickstart location is among the early coworking spaces in Lahore. It hosts a vibrant community of startups like BYKEA, Swvl, and Payoneer. The location has the most spacious private offices available in any coworking space. 

The location operates 24/7, has a dedicated dining area and a variety of meeting & huddle rooms. The location has very friendly staff who will certainly make you and your team feel at home!

Desk Price (Coworking space): 7,000-17,000/head

Private Office: 80,00-140,000/month


Daftarkhwan Central | Hali Road

Daftarkhwan Central undoubtedly has the best events for emerging entrepreneurs and startups in Lahore. Run by a few inspiring entrepreneurs, Daftarkhwan Central has an amazing community of professionals from all walks of life. 

You won’t have a boring day at the office after joining Daftarkhwan Central. 

Desk Price (Coworking space): 16,700/head

Private Office: 65,000 Starting


Colabs | Gurumangat Road Gulberg

Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore

Colabs is a project of SABCON – which is a construction company – and is powered by Bangerhead. Their goal is to reconfigure the modern workplace to make it more open and collaborative. Colabs believes in making individuals realize their potential by providing them the network and resources they need to be successful. 

Desk Price (Coworking space): 16,000/head

Private Office: 70,000 starting

Coworking Spaces in Johar Town

If you are looking for only the best spaces in Lahore, we would recommend that you choose among the ones in Gulberg. 

However, do consider that it isn’t always the best option to opt for an expensive space. If you are starting up, have scrappy cash flows you should go for a decent space that provides consistent service at a low price. 

Consider our picks in Johar Town 🙂

WORK by Kickstart | Airline Society

WORK is a small space offering decent service through cost-effective plans. It is mostly inhabited by small IT and Creative agencies, small teams, and freelancers. The space provides shared coworking seats only. 

Desk Price (Coworking space): 10,000 – 20,000/head

Private Office: Not Available in this location

Ignition | Nazria-e-Pakistan Avenue

Ignition provides coworking desks as well as private offices for small teams. They also have a small dining area and access to a rooftop. Many small-scale IT companies and freelancers are their members. 

Desk Price (Coworking space): 10,000 – 20,000/head

Private Office: Not Available in this location

Launchbox | Abdul Haque Road

Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore

“A collaborative platform to truth seekers,rebels, and path finders to innovate,and create wonders”, this is how they describe themselves! 

Launchbox started with a goal of providing an affordable office space solution for remote employees, freelancers and stay-at-home workers. 

Desk Price (Coworking space): 12,500/head

Private Office: 75,000 – 125000

Workstance | PIA Main Boulevard

Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore

Workstance is a community-based co-working space for freelancers and small teams. They have worked hard to design a clean and neat workspace that helps you stay productive.

Desk Price (Coworking space): 8,500/head

Private Office: Not available  

Venture Drive | Allah Hu Chowk

Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore

Just like many other spaces in Johar Town, Venturedrive is another space in Johar Town for freelancers and small companies. They provide decent service at low price.

Desk Price (Coworking space): 7,500

Private Office: 15,000 – 50,000

Coworking Spaces in DHA

There are a variety of coworking spaces in DHA, Lahore. You can find coworking spaces ranging from very low to medium price point. 

One drawback that coworking spaces have in DHA is that floor size is very small. The standard floor sizes in DHA are either 900 sq.ft. or 1800 sq.ft. It is very rare to find a bigger floor plate in a commercial building so all coworking spaces are slightly narrower and congested as compared to spaces in other parts of the city. 

Daftarkhwan One | Khayaban-e-Iqbal

Daftarkhwan One is the best coworking space in DHA. It is accessible through Ferozepur road from other areas of the city as well. 

It is a standalone building with cool amenities and shared areas. Famous local music app startup Patari has been a member of Daftarkhwan One. 

Desk Price (Coworking space): 16,200/head

Private Office: 65,000 Starting

Mango Space | Y-Block

Located in the famous Y-Block market with access to some of the major brands and stores, this co-working space provides individual and team spaces. This space caters to individuals and freelancers as well as small teams.

Desk Price (Coworking space): 12,000/head

Private Office: 11,000/seat

Popcorn Studio | Phase 5

Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore

Pop Corn Studios specializes in running small coworking spaces. They have multiple coworking spaces in Lahore. They host freelancers and small teams at their Phase 5 location. Last we checked with them, they were also in the process of setting up a fitness studio in this space.

Desk Price (Coworking space): 13,500/head

Private Office: 135,000 for 7 people

Huddle Coworking Space | Phase 6

Top 14 Coworking Spaces in Lahore

Huddle is a decent space located in phase 6. It can be a suitable choice for people living in DHA phase 6-8, cantt, and askari 10. They also have a professional event space to cater to networking events.

Desk Price (Coworking space): 15,000/head

Private Office: Not available

To check Kickstart’s plans and locations – which are among the best in Lahore – you can visit this link.

Note: If you are still confused about which coworking space in Lahore is best for you, please feel free to reach our coworking hotline at +92-333-0596162 and our representatives will understand your requirements and guide you through the process.

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Legal Implications of Coronavirus: Can Force Majeure be relied upon https://kickstart.pk/legal-implications-of-coronavirus-can-force-majeure-be-relied-upon/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=legal-implications-of-coronavirus-can-force-majeure-be-relied-upon https://kickstart.pk/legal-implications-of-coronavirus-can-force-majeure-be-relied-upon/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2020 17:24:19 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=18690 Is Coronavirus a Force Majeure event? A force majeure provision will only […]

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The coronavirus epidemic has upended life as it was. Many businesses across the globe are scrambling to oblige their contractual commitments. In the prevailing situation, many businesses are wondering whether Force Majeure can be invoked in their situation.

To help readers understand the subject better, Mr. Ahmad Uzair – Partner at AUC Law – shared sound legal perspective on Force Majeure which we are presenting below for our readers.

Is Coronavirus a Force Majeure event?

A force majeure provision will only arise in contracts where the parties have specifically agreed to it and on the terms that they have negotiated. 

1- Specific mention of a disease or virus outbreak in China is important here!

If a contract included a force majeure provision (‘Clause’) excusing the performance parties’ obligations for lack of demand of products resulting from the outbreak of a disease or virus in China, it would likely be invoked in the current circumstance of the outbreak of coronavirus.

However, if the Clause excused performance because of natural disaster, flood, war, acts of God or even of epidemics generally, it is less clear that the outbreak would fall within the intended use of the Clause. A party must bring itself clearly within the wording of the Clause before it can claim force majeure. A party will not get a relief from its obligations merely due to the performance of the contract becoming more difficult or harsh than initially intended: this is the cost of bargain a party is stuck with.

2-Importance of causal connection between the virus outbreak and the inability to fulfil contractual obligations

A trend is emerging that most of the contracts entered into after the outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China, contain the term ‘epidemic’ in the Clause. But, it will only be fair to grant relief where causal connection is established between the outbreak of the virus and the inability to fulfil contractual obligations. Therefore, the second requirement is proving the causal connection. 

It will only be fair to grant relief where causal connection is established between the outbreak of the virus and the inability to fulfil contractual obligations.

To be able to utilize the Clause, a party needs to show that:

     i.        it was the outbreak of coronavirus that is causing the party to be unable to fulfil its obligations; and,

   ii.        and that the party trying to invoke the Clause, used reasonable endeavors to avoid the effects of force majeure to the extent possible through the exercise of diligence and reasonable care; but,

  iii.        non-performance was due to circumstances beyond its control.

3- Proving the unavoidability 

Therefore, the third requirement is to prove that there were no reasonable steps that it could have taken to avoid the event or its consequences from coming in the way of performance of the contract.

A force majeure event must make the fulfilment of the contractual obligations impossible as opposed to merely causing inconvenience.

A force majeure event must make the fulfilment of the contractual obligations impossible as opposed to merely causing inconvenience. This is a crucial difference one must bear in mind while attempting to comply with the first requirement as mentioned above. The effect of a force majeure event is to absolve a party from liability of non-performance of an obligation due to a supervening impossibility. The party that claims the aid of force majeure will have to prove the impossibility. Mere difficulty in acquiring of raw materials for manufacturing a product to be supplied under an agreement, for instance, will not constitute as a supervening impossibility.


Normally, courts do not entertain pleas of commercial impossibilities under force majeure. So even if a force majeure event has occurred, unless that event creates circumstances in which the performance of the agreement is impossible, the obligations of the party so claiming will not be excused. In the specific context of coronavirus, price hikes will not be sufficient for a successful plea of force majeure. 

Real-life Example 

Taking a real-life example of the Clause, as used by a public body of Pakistan, Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) of Pakistan in its definition of force majeure event included “epidemic” as one of the events which is beyond the reasonable control of a party and can qualify as a force majeure event. Reading the basic definition of an epidemic, which is “a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community”, one would establish the stance that coronavirus is an epidemic.

Nevertheless, it is arguable that the outbreak of coronavirus is covered within the term ‘epidemics’. The World Health Organization (‘WHO’) declared that the outbreak of coronavirus is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, but not a globally recognized epidemic.

Having said that, the WHO Director General’s remarks at a mission briefing on coronavirus stressed upon the “rapidly evolving nature of this epidemic”, which may be interpreted as portraying a potential force majeure event in the making. It remains to be seen whether the courts, in other jurisdictions and those in Pakistan, independently embark on the journey of deciding whether coronavirus is an epidemic or they follow the WHO or their respective government’s stance thereon.  

At the end of January, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) confirmed that China would offer force majeure certificates to local companies which were not able to fulfil contractual obligations because of the outbreak of coronavirus as a means of evidencing their inability to perform the contract and application for this certificate is relatively straightforward.

An affected party can apply for such certificates online with supporting documents evidencing the delays caused by the outbreak. It can be analyzed from this that coronavirus is a force majeure event and such a certificate will be very useful where the force majeure clause is not wide enough to cater to the circumstances at hand.

However, is CCPIT force majeure certificate sufficient to prove that a force majeure event has occurred and/or to allow the party seeking to rely on the relevant force majeure clause to do so successfully?

Under Chinese jurisdiction, the answer is probably yes but in other jurisdictions, such a certificate would only be useful to the extent of being one of the factors in establishing the existence of a force majeure event.

Where does the burden of proof lie?

So, the burden of proof is entirely on the party seeking to rely on force majeure. The required evidence for this purpose will be fact-specific and will depend on the contract and the prevailing circumstances. The Clause and the surrounding circumstances will need to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Legal Implications of Coronavirus Outbreak

If it can be established that coronavirus is a force majeure event, then a secondary question arises: what are the legal implications of coronavirus outbreak?

If coronavirus triggers the Clause, then the legal implication thereof will be no different from that of any other force majeure event

If coronavirus triggers the Clause, then the legal implication thereof will be no different from that of any other force majeure event, and the affected party will be excused from performing wholly or partly such part of the contract as is directly affected from coronavirus. Both parties will be left to bear their own losses.

What if there is no Force Majeure provision in the contract? “Principle of Frustration”

In the current day and age, usually, every commercial contract would include a force majeure clause, however, in an off-chance where either there is no force majeure clause or the force majeure clause does not cover the eventuality of coronavirus, in Pakistan, one may still get out of performance of agreements that have become impossible to perform or radically different from what was initially envisaged.

This is possible due to the allied principle of frustration. Any event which is supervening, unforeseen and not an event which has been anticipated in the agreement may be an event of frustration.

The doctrine of frustration needs not to be expressly mentioned in the agreement. On the one hand, this increases uncertainty, especially when viewed in contradistinction to a force majeure clause.

Why you should still have the Force Majeure clause in the agreement?


With a force majeure clause, the parties know, with more certainty, that a particular contractual obligation is either suspended or excused, however, under the doctrine of frustration since there are no express events or situations, therefore, the parties are at a disadvantage. Secondly, an event of frustration immediately and automatically discharges the contractual obligations, without any need for the party affected by the frustrated event to either repudiate or even serve a notice.

Although, regardless of whether a force majeure clause exists in an agreement or not the doctrine of frustration can still provide a similar relief. However, it is advisable that a force majeure clause must be added. 

This advice sounds more forceful when viewed in the light of the uncertainty of frustration: the innocent party’s losses may be higher than those under events of force majeure. This is due to the fact that the innocent party, unbeknownst of the fact that the contract has become frustrated, will continue to abide by its obligations under the mistaken belief that the contract is still ongoing and binding. Since under the doctrine of frustration (just like under force majeure) each party must bear its own loss, therefore, the losses of the innocent party may continue to pile up without it having any opportunity to mitigate or stop them.

About the author:  Mr. Ahmad Uzair is Partner at AUC Law. His firm advises corporate entities on legal compliance, handle their transactions, such as M&As, debt restructuring, contract negotiations, and drafting. He can be reached at uzair@auclaw.com.

About Kickstart: Kickstart is Pakistan’s largest coworking operator with a mission of creating ease of doing business for SMEs, startups, and freelancers.

In addition to providing managed offices and coworking space, we support our member businesses by connecting them with certified professionals in the field of law, accounting, HR and many other areas. To know more about us, please visit this page

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5 Best Coworking Spaces in Lahore https://kickstart.pk/5-best-coworking-spaces-in-lahore/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=5-best-coworking-spaces-in-lahore https://kickstart.pk/5-best-coworking-spaces-in-lahore/#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2020 09:00:24 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=18607 The trend of coworking spaces and flexible offices is rapidly growing in […]

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The trend of coworking spaces and flexible offices is rapidly growing in Lahore. There are a few characteristics very unique about coworking spaces that set them apart from traditional offices. These spaces not only improve your productivity but they are also cost effective and have flexible membership plans to meet different needs.The exponential growth of the coworking industry within a short time span is a proof of the effectiveness of these spaces.

With an increasing of number of spaces in Lahore, it has become increasingly difficult for customers to decide the best option.

We have compiled this list of 5 best coworking spaces in Lahore to help you make that decision.

1- Kickstart

Best Coworking Space in Lahore

Kickstart is considered as the pioneer of coworking in Pakistan. It is the only coworking space in Lahore catering to large teams of 50+ individuals. 
With a variety of membership plans offering great value for money and a hospitality mindset, Kickstart has become the 1st choice for startups, established companies as well as accomplished freelancers.

Best Coworking Space in Lahore- Kickstart

Exciting startups like BYKEA, Payoneer, and Educative that have raised millions of dollars in funding are among Kickstart’s satisfied customers. Moreover, established multinational technology companies like ZONES , Starzplay, and Ice Consulting are also its members. 
The company specializes in providing managed office solutions for SMEs, startups, development sector organizations and other serviced based businesses. Kickstart provides inspiring modern design, valuable amenities and business support services to help you focus on your core business. 
Kickstart also claims that its Managed Offices are 20-30% less expensive as compared to managing your own office. With plans offering great value for money, highly reliable service, staff with a hospitality mindset and a long list of satisfied customers from all segments, what else are you waiting for to schedule a visit at Kickstart?

Location

Kickstart has three (3) operational coworking spaces in Lahore out of which two (2) are located in Gulberg area and one (1) in Johar town. They have another coworking space coming soon in Gulberg. 

58-A2 Tipu Rd, Block A-2 Block A 2 Gulberg III
1STFloor, Building No. 184-Commercial, Airline Society
62, Block C2 Block C 2 Gulberg III
Square One Mall, MM-Alam Road, Lahore (Coming Soon)

Pricing

Per Seat Private Office Price Ranges from PKR 15,000 – 25,000  (based on team/office size)
Per Seat Desk Price Ranges from PKR 10,000 – 20,000.

2- Regus

Regus has the world’s largest network of workspaces around the world. Right now, it is the only international serviced office operator in Pakistan. It offers professional private offices to corporate customers with a high budget. Their spaces have a corporate feel and most of their customers prefer Regus for their huge global brand. Companies like Pepsi and DuPont are among their customers in Lahore.

5 Best Coworking Spaces in Lahore

It is particularly suited for executives with International Travel since Regus offers access to their huge network of business lounges across the world. However, it is out of budget for a major segment of local companies. Another drawback of Regus’ locations in Lahore is that they don’t have any shared areas (except for meeting rooms and a small lounge) which are a big plus at spaces like Kickstart and Daftarkhwan.

Location

Regus hasone (1) coworking space in Gulberg and another one near thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore.

73 jail road Tricon tower gulberg 2
The Enterprise

Pricing

Private Office Price per Seat ranges from PKR 30,000 – PKR 40,000 per month.
Regular Desk price per person starting from PKR 25000 per month.

3-Daftarkhwan

Daftarkhwan works around it’s concept of being more than just an office. It’s aim is to create a meeting point for entrepreneurs, a resource palette for start-ups, and an open call for collective action.

Coworking Spaces in Lahore

Famous startups like Patari ,EatMubarak, and Mail Munch have been their customers. Daftarkhwan also organises the best events for startups in Lahore. They closely work with Startup Grind, Invest2Innovate (i2i), Open Lahore and many other organizations in the startup ecosystem to bring valuable events, talks and collaborations for the startup community.

Location

Daftarkhwan has three operational coworking spaces; two (2) of these are located in DHA and one in Gulberg. They have another coworking space coming soon in Gulberg.

90-B Hali Rd, Block B Gulberg 2
45 A Khayaban-e-Iqbal, Sector XX DHA Phase 3
3rd flr Vogue Towers, MM Alam Rd, Block C2 Gulberg III (Coming Soon)
CCA، 94، Sector C Phase 5 D.H.A,

Pricing

Private Office Price per Seat ranges from PKR 15000 – PKR 20,000 per month. 
Average Price Point for Private Office Seat = 16,500/-
Regular Desk Price per person starting from PKR 12,000 /-

 

4- Popcorn Studio

Popcorn Studio started its journey in 2016 with a single vision to provide a decent workspace at an affordable price.

They focus on providing basic facilities for freelancers and entrepreneurs who struggle in getting an office space in a pocket-friendly budget. Compared to other operators, they run smaller locations in various parts of Lahore and majorly cater to freelancers and IT agencies looking for cost-effective office space.

Location

Popcorn Studios has a couple of coworking spaces in DHA, one in Gulberg, and one in Muslim Town Lahore.

CCA, 77, Sector C Phase 5 D.H.A
10 Wahdat Rd, Muslim Town
51-Main Boulevard, Phase 6, DHA، Sector B
12A, Block K Gulberg 2

Pricing

Per seat price of private office starting from PKR 8000  (based on team/office size)
Regular Desk Price Per Member starting from PKR 7500

5- Colabs

Colabs is a project of SABCON – which is a construction company – and is powered by Bangerhead. Their goal is to reconfigure the modern workplace to make it more open and collaborative. They believe in making individuals realize their potential by providing them the network and resources they need to be successful. They have an ecosystem which promotes a culture of togetherness, innovation and ambition for visionary individuals.

Colabs is definitely one of the coolest spaces out there with a trendy and inspiring interior.

Location

As of now, they only have one location in Gulberg, Lahore.

50 Gurumangat Rd, Block N Gulberg III

Pricing

Per seat price of private office starting from PKR 70,000 (based on team/office size)
Desk price range across all locations starting from PKR 15,000

If you want a more comprehensive look at coworking spaces Lahore, you can visit this link. Here, we have compiled a bigger list of top 14 coworking spaces in Lahore.

To check Kickstart’s plans and locations – which are among the best in Lahore – you can visit this link.

Note: If you are still confused about which coworking space in Lahore is best for you, please feel free to reach our coworking hotline at +92-333-0596162 and our representatives will understand your requirements and guide you through the process.

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Why Flexible & Managed Offices are on the Rise https://kickstart.pk/managed-offices/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=managed-offices https://kickstart.pk/managed-offices/#comments Mon, 17 Feb 2020 12:36:02 +0000 https://kickstart.pk/?p=18376 By Saad Riaz (Co-founder – Kickstart Coworking Space) In 2016, a few […]

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By Saad Riaz (Co-founder – Kickstart Coworking Space)

In 2016, a few months after I graduated from college, I was sharing a place with one of my friends. Before moving to that place, my friend (now co-founder) was looking for a decent small space only for himself. However, after a failed search for a decent upper portion, my friend rented an entire house and sublet it to his friends (including me).

During the same time, he was also looking for a small office to house his ed-tech venture’s 5-person team.

Low on budget and high on passion, he searched through Zameen.com, engaged property brokers & later did space visits in DHA & Gulberg too – complete office floors in DHA were too expensive; Gulberg spaces were good on budget but did not have the experience he wanted to give to his team.

After a couple of weeks of searching, he was far from finding a suitable office space. 

Meanwhile, our living arrangement at that time was working great. We could share a housekeeper, utilities, internet, and divide household chores. 

In the backdrop of his experience of renting an entire house, subletting it, and sharing costs and management, my friend had no hesitation applying his learning to rent an office space. 

In the coming weeks, we set up a small space for 30-35 people with very basic furnishing. We called it a “shared office.” We learned a month later that it was generally called a “coworking space” in other parts of the world. 

In the early days, we received high interest only from small teams and freelancers. However, we started receiving interest from SMEs and more prominent companies when we established a bigger and better facility at Gulberg a year later. It was at that time when we began to learn the magnitude and complexity of real-estate problems facing SMEs and corporations. 

During our interaction with SMEs, Startups, and building (office real-estate) owners in the following period, we saw a massive gap between the needs of modern workers and supply in the Office Real-Estate (ORE) market. 

The gap wasn’t about the number of square feet available. There was (and still is) tens of thousands of square feet of vacant office supply available, but the supply isn’t attuned to the demands of potential tenants. 


SMEs mainly drive the ORE demand in Lahore compared to Karachi and Islamabad, where the financial sector, large corporations, and development sectors dominate office demand. 

According to a 2012-13 colliers international report (just before the introduction of 3G), there was a high demand for offices of size 800- 1500 sq.ft. in Lahore. However, there was a lack of demand for Grade-A properties and large floor plates (usually required by the corporate sector). Introduction of 3g and 4G, coupled with overall high internet penetration and IT literacy, has brought a boom for small-scale IT companies and freelancers in Lahore. As a result, the already huge contribution of SMEs in the office market has risen even more. 

IT or non-IT – these companies majorly employ millennial workers with an average age in the late twenties and early thirties. For a demographic perspective on the labor market, consider the fact that 40% of Pakistan’s 200+ million population lies in the age bracket of 15-40 with another 36% below the age of 15.  

-Millennial workers want to work from cool workspaces hosting a dynamic community (Image: Kickstart Gulberg 58-A2)

In Kickstart’s interaction with more than 25+ such companies during the last two years, we have learned that they have a few common pain points. 

Tenant Pain Points

Flexibility

These SMEs find it hard to scale up or down after entering into a long-term rental contract and setting up an office. There is no surety whether they would find space adjacent to their existing office if they decide to scale up in the future. Scaling down on office space isn’t very convenient either. What if the company has to ramp up again soon? They will have to bear the upfront costs again in this case, so most of the companies keep lingering on the decision while incurring the costs of vacant space. 

Cost and Hassle of Setting Up & Managing an Office

There is a high managerial cost of dealing with informal vendors in Pakistan. The furnishing task requires hundreds of small decisions, which is not a competency of most businesses. Moreover, the job requires a significant investment in fixed assets – most of which are not movable. Then there is the difficult task of procurement related to furnishing.

Managing an office is another challenge. Smaller enterprises suffer with management since the task of office administration is taken up as a secondary task by founders or team leads. Medium and large companies have to raise dedicated functions and incur high costs to manage office operations.

Attracting and Retaining Quality Talent

Attracting and retaining quality talent is a challenge faced by almost all companies. It just intensifies further for SMEs and startups with scrappy cash flows and secluded offices. Nearly all SMEs we have hosted at Kickstart faced this challenge. Physical workspace – after the coworkers and managers – is one of the most critical touch-points between an employee and his company. Millennial and Generation Z employees love flexibility and diversity in office design: they want an aesthetically designed workspace with different areas for work, meetings, relaxing and dining, and even workout. 

Fitness studio at Kickstart Gulberg 62 C2- flexible office

-Fitness studio at Kickstart’s Latest Location

A workspace that provides them their desired office experience while also offering a dynamic community of people outside their office drastically increases the company’s chances of retaining its resources. 

Keeping in view the pain points of the office tenants, now let’s have a look at the supply side of the market. 

(Below insights come from our interaction with landlords and seasoned brokers & developers in Lahore. There is a dearth of research and credible data on the office real-estate market.) 

Small Landlord

Most of the ORE supply is formed by small landlords who invest in property, keeping in view the “safety” of investment. A small investor usually makes up his mind on the advice of close friends and acquaintances who are “into property” and makes the final decision under the influence of hype created by real-estate brokers.

Professional Real-estate Developers

They form a small part of the total ORE supply where investors invest in properties developed by professional property developers. 

Professional developers have a better understanding of the building layout and design suitable for tenants of unfurnished office properties. However, they don’t take into account the “office experience” expected by the millennial workers in today’s organizations. 

After selling large ORE projects in parts to small landlords and real estate investors, building developers have no incentive to manage the building experience. As a result 

  • Management of common areas of building suffers
  • Building experience gradually degrades
  • Resulting in low-quality tenant experience, vacant floors, and low yield for property owners (investors)

This has been the story of much of the ORE projects of the last decade in Lahore. There are a few exceptions where forward-looking developers appoint professional building management staff to maintain building experience for the longer-run.

Description: A well-managed office building in Lahore

– “The Enterprise” – A well-managed office building near Thokar Niaz Beg, Lahore. (Source: http://theenterprise.pk/)

Lack of Research around Evolving Tenant Needs

Apart from a few professional ORE developers, most landlords take their decisions to buy land and build on it based on the amateur opinion of their acquaintances and close friends. They do very little research on what their customer needs are. From building design to rental model and branding to common area management (CAM), there is a lack of research into evolving customer requirements. 

ORE Owners as “Rent-Collectors”

The priority of ORE owners is to earn maximum rental yield while facing the least hassle. They neither prefer to customize any aspect of the building based on what their customer wants, nor do they want to provide any service. They abhor short-term tenancy since changing tenants frequently results in a significant amount of hassle and financial loss. They are, therefore, in favor of long-term contracts – hence the famous desire for stable “Bank or Multi-national” tenants. 

Shift From “Rent Collectors” to “Service Providers”

Rising internet penetration in Pakistan, coupled with a large IT talent base, has given rise to the gig economy and a new class of agile technology SMEs. 

According to the state bank data, Pakistan’s IT exports have tripled between FY’13 to FY’19.


These agile SMEs need answers to questions like how they would manage if they have to scale their team from 50 to 100 people rapidly. Will they pack up and shift to a bigger space? Changing offices is a tiresome experience and results in substantial productivity & financial losses. Maneuvering becomes complicated once a high investment is made in fixtures and furnishing assets. So these companies prefer an asset-light model. 

This new group of companies has provided vital early adopters for the flexible and managed office sector. 

In FY’18, Kickstart’s 80% member base came from the tech sector. However, the percentage decreased in FY’19 when some companies from other sectors also joined in.

Moreover, the entry of unicorns like Careem, Uber, Alibaba (Daraz), and KeepTruckin has trained local talent. This pool is now starting its own companies or joining other startups and SMEs. Moreover, Pakistani diaspora working in big companies is coming back to Pakistan to set up their SME and startup teams. This new breed of trained talent has exposure to progressive culture and the value system of these companies. Priorities like employee well-being and engagement – which are better served by flexible and managed offices – are high up on their priority list.

Across the world, the adoption of flexible and managed offices is directly linked with internet penetration and the rise of the gig economy.

Description: No alt text provided for this image

The evolving tenant demand for flexible contracts, low upfront costs, and fully managed offices have driven the shift to flexible and managed offices in all developed economies, and emerging economies are now catching up. Coworking and flexible space operators leased more than one-third of the total office space in the US last year. In Indian tier 1 cities, coworking and flexible space operators have leased up to 22% of the entire office space entering the market. 

Pakistan is not far behind, and the segment picked up fast in 2019. Much work still needs to be done here for the wide-spread adoption of the ORE Model. However, the platform is set, and 2020 will prove to be a game-changing year for this decades-old ORE industry. 

The above thoughts come from my three years of experience at Kickstart. During this time, we furnished 32000+ square feet of office space and served 2500+ members.

The post Why Flexible & Managed Offices are on the Rise appeared first on Kickstart.

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