From ET Realty
NEW DELHI: Bharti Realty’s Worldmark buildings in Delhi’s Aerocity district are still not fully constructed, but one of the two that are ready has an office perched on the fourth floor Hike Messenger, the startup founded by Kavin, Sunil Bharti Mittal’s twenty something son, is operated out of it.
The average age of the Hike employee is 28. So it’s only fair that Mittal’s new office caters to that age group of employees, too. And, it has plenty to offer to the GenY workers.
A nap room, an escape room and a relaxing room, and a CEO who wants to make sure his millennial staffers get exactly what they like, as the company, which claims to have signed up 100 million users, is aiming to double the number.
As the clock strikes midday, the office is nearly half empty. Teams come in as and when they choose. There are no in or out times, but a puck-like Bluetooth software that tracks employees inside the office and detects a person entering a meeting room and automatically books it for them.
The office even has a bar, but sans alcohol as there are no permits in place to serve up. It’s not just minimalist workspaces here at the 60,000 sq ft office (of which half is covered), but the fact that it is a breakaway from the traditionally designed IT company offices in India.
It follows more on the lines of what online majors like Google, Facebook, Skype, AOL and Twitter have done in the past. The office can accommodate up to 500 people, but has just about 190 now.
The company will scale up in the coming years, but Mittal said he is in no hurry to do so. He has led his design teams to create this new donut-shaped facility, inspired by DropBox’s office in the US he calls it the “Temple of Excellence”. Themes like Lord of the Rings and Mario make an appearance throughout the office.
There are rooms that are dedicated only to designers that have walls that can be written on and areas that can be lounged around in. If they need silence, there are rooms for that.
Last year, Hike was rated 38th on the country’s Most Exciting Brands 2015 list, putting it above the likes of Zomato and Twitter. Mittal is reluctant to disclose how much money has been spent on the project.
But architects feel this trend is here to stay. One Delhi-based company that help design the first Google office in Gurgaon and the Quikr and Indigo airline offices is seeing a shifting clientele to more open plan offices that force creativity. For them, clients are trying to break away from the mundane, redundant workspaces.
“With the exception of the banking industry, I think that the companies in the startup mode, where they’re looking to hire a younger workforce, they will definitely go for something that’s away from the ordinary,” said Tithi Tewari, cofounder and director at SmartVizX, an architectural firm.
Its clients are looking to get rid of corporate standards with more “equality” and collaborative workspaces. At the end of each working day, Mittal can be found meditating in a Japanese-inspired soundproof meditation room in one corner of the office. The room has mobile phone jammers in place to give him peace of mind.