Flipspaces, a preferred partner for startups for their office design needs
CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Kunal Sharma, Founder & CEO, Flipspaces.
1. How does Flipspaces ensure that its office designs are both functional and aesthetically pleasing?
We’re a design and build company that offers end-to-end office space solutions. Our focus is on creating office designs that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing by following a comprehensive design process backed by our proprietary multi-module tech stack that is created keeping the customer experience at the core of it.
To ensure that a client’s office design is functional, we first start by understanding the needs and requirements of the clients. We then take into account factors such as the number of employees, the nature of the work being done, the company culture, and the budget. Once we have a clear understanding of the client’s requirements, we create a design that maximizes the use of space, promotes efficiency, and enhances productivity.
Using our proprietary tech suite named VIZWORLD, we create realistic renderings of the proposed designs, along with virtual walkthroughs allowing clients to visualize the space before it is built. This helps to ensure that the final design is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, our in-house team of experienced designers and architects who have an eye for detail and a passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces are also involved at every step. In addition to this, the Flipspaces Supply Chain is built around a deeply researched and price discovered catalog of 200 thousand products and services deliverable across geographies in India and US. The customer often lacks the time, resource and knowledge to deal with multiple stakeholders like interior designers, multiple product suppliers and turnkey contractors. Flipspaces provides a platform where all of these can be seamlessly discovered and empaneled either separately or as an integrated service.
To ensure that the client’s office designs are aesthetically pleasing, we focus on creating designs that are in line with the latest trends and design principles by incorporating elements such as color, texture, lighting, and furniture to create a visually appealing space. Apart from this we also pay attention to the details, such as artwork and plants, to create a space that is warm, welcoming, and inviting.
2. How does Flipspaces use technology to support its office design services?
Founded by Kunal Sharma and Ankur Muchhal in 2015, Flipspaces is an interior design-tech venture based out of 12 cities worldwide having offices in cities including but not limited to Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and New York (USA). It uses its multi-module technology stack to bridge the gaps in the customer experience journey pertaining to the interior designing, associated product and services supply , and project execution industry. While solving tangible issues faced by different stakeholders in the value-chain through its proprietary technology suite, Flipspaces is redefining the way commercial interior design and build industry operates. With over 6+ million sft. of delivered space across almost all commercial real estate categories, it has become the de facto choice of turnkey design and execution brand for start-ups, coworking, retail, corporates and F&B players.
At the core of all offerings is their proprietary tech suite named VIZWORLD which enables businesses with a one-stop integrated solution that brings the fragmented pieces of space planning, interior designing and visualization, furniture selection, services and project management under one roof.
It all begins at the client discussion stage where layouts are created based on the bare-shell floor plate and mapped to the clients requirements. If a client has not yet found a commercial space and needs to find the right kind of property as per their requirements, the team helps them with the same using VIZTOWN which is a one-stop property discovery platform. Post this, during the space planning stage where the technology allows to convert 2D layouts into a basic 3-D walkthrough, clients are also given access to the in-house product supply domain called VIZCART where clients can choose from market available interior products and finishes on the go. These products and finishes are real time changeable through market available products during the 3D visualization walkthrough stage which is also known as VIZWALK. Once all the details are finalized and the project is being executed, the technology allows clients to use VIZDOM, the execution management platform which has a range of features that benefits the client with real time updates on the project, remote site viewing amongst other features.
The result of this revolution has been nothing but extraordinary, evident in the way the brand is expanding in the international territories eyeing the $1 trillion global market size.
3. In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of office design that startups should consider?
- Functionality: Startups should prioritize functionality when designing their office space. This includes factors such as the layout of the space, the placement of furniture and equipment, and the flow of foot traffic. A functional office design can help employees work more efficiently and productively. For example, our repeat client The Address which is based out of Ahmedabad and a top player for co-working spaces, designs their flooplates to sublet to other companies focussing on providing functional workspaces which are customized as per team sizes keeping in mind standards of design – such as aisles, passage widths, fire exits, adequate meeting rooms for employees. The Flipspaces team has shown design versatility to cater to varied functionality briefs during its journey of delivering over 2 lacs sq ft area for The Address.
- Flexibility: Startups should consider designing a flexible office space that can adapt to changing needs as the company grows. This includes things like movable furniture, adjustable lighting, and flexible workspaces that can be reconfigured as needed. Our client Simpl, wanted to renovate their office space to fit their current needs. Since the office cabins are designed with dry walls or partitions, they can be easily dismantled for any future expansion or revamping into smaller zones within the office space. While providing multifunctional zones, one has to keep in mind the basic HVAC and MEP services are planned to accommodate future changes. Apart from this we’ve also worked with Quanitphi, for whom we’ve designed and built 5 different offices in different cities while retaining the essence of the local culture of the city while maintaining our guidelines with respect to our design and build approach. Each office is flexible enough whether it is to imbibe a new age design ethos for their Mumbai offices or maintaining a traditional office in Bengaluru to a neutral themed office space in Boston, US.
- Branding: Startups should consider incorporating their brand identity into their office design. This can include using the company’s logo and colors in the decor, creating custom graphics or murals, or using unique materials that reflect the company’s values. For one of our clients, Opulence we helped them create a brand mascot using a scooter which has been a hit and has been used across all their offices and this has created a great brand recall.
- Comfort: Startups should prioritize employee comfort when designing their office space. This includes factors such as lighting, temperature, acoustics, and ergonomics. A comfortable office space can help reduce employee stress and improve overall well being. For example, Allied Digital, an IT firm – keeping in mind the age group of the employees, it was vital to have multifunctional seating which were comfortable to the youth. So we incorporated seating booths in windows, a few sleeping pods, ledge seating and a lot more age specific seating solutions.
- Technology: Startups should consider incorporating technology into their office design. This can include things like smart lighting and temperature control, collaborative technology such as video conferencing and interactive whiteboards, and IoT devices such as smart locks and sensors. For Litera, Ahmedabad – the conference rooms were all tech enabled understanding the requirements of the client. Also in the Boston office for Quantiphi we also created a specific AI room which follows the movement of AI generation in terms of design as well.
By considering these aspects of office design, startups can create a functional, flexible, and visually appealing workspace that supports employee productivity, wellbeing, and company culture.
4. Can you share any examples of how Flipspaces has helped startups optimize their office spaces for productivity and employee engagement?
With over 600+ projects being executed with a floor plate of over 6 million sqft, we as a firm also have an expertise of handling a vast number of startup clients from various industries and categories. We understand that each startup is unique when it comes to their requirement for an office space which also depends on numerous factors for example, the kind of seed round they’re currently in and what is the growth plan for the firm as well.
With clients such as BharatPE and Open Money from the Fintech Sector to Vymo from the CRMtech sector, each office created for them is unique and focuses on factors such as inclusivity and collaboration. For clients such as No Broker which is one of the unicorns in the Poptech Sector, each office designed for them focussed on break out zones and collaborative spaces for cross functional teams to brainstorm and ideate on new ideas and overall improve the productivity and engagement between fellow colleagues.
For a real estate startup, The Address we have created spaces & zones which encourages collaboration and a sense of connectivity with the brand which directly or indirectly enhances workforce productivity and resilience among the team as well.
Overall, with our proprietary technology suite and the experience we have of designing and building offices for startups and future unicorns, it’s safe to say that we are the de facto design and build firm for 7 out of 10 startups in the country that want to design and build their first and subsequent office spaces with us. On the back of our tech-driven vision, Flipspaces tech-platform suite has now catered to over 6+ million sqft of commercial spaces globally for renowned companies across corporates, start-ups, MNCs, retail brands and SMEs such as BSH, NoBroker, Open Financial, Times Group, Aditya Birla, InstaOffice, BharatPe, Nivea, Oppo, P&G, Reebok, Royal Enfield, Razorpay, Bounce and PlaySimpleGames in India and the US. We target categories across commercial-like offices, retail, hospitality, education and health care institutions among others and provides a one-stop, tech-enabled solution to our clients for design and build.
5. How does Flipspaces balance the need for innovation and creativity in office design with the practical considerations of budget and timelines?
We at Flipspaces balance the need for innovation and creativity in office design with the practical considerations of budget and timelines through a combination of careful planning, efficient processes, and transparent communication with clients.
Firstly,our team works closely with clients to understand their budget and timeline constraints from the outset. This helps the design team to create a design that is realistic and achievable within the given parameters. They work with the client to identify the priorities and allocate resources accordingly.
Example – Dynatech in Ahmedabad, the design and build process was completed in under 50 days.
Secondly, our use of a systematic design process that incorporates elements of innovation and creativity while remaining focused on the practical considerations of budget and timelines. At the core of all offerings is the global-first proprietary technology suite called VIZWORLD which creates efficiency at every level of workflow including design, product fulfillment, and project management. The tech-suite is actually a boon for businesses who do not want to deal with multiple stakeholders in their design and build journey. With the help of VIZWORLD Azentio, an IT firm used vizwalk and understood the concept of how their workspace would be designed and built and the completion for their project was done in 75 days.
Thirdly, we have an in-house team of over 100+ experienced designers and architects who are skilled at finding creative solutions that work within budget and timeline constraints. They use their expertise to suggest alternative materials, layouts, or finishes that can help achieve the desired look and feel of the space while staying within budget and timeline limits.
Designing a new space is like creating a brand new world. But the joy of this creation is taken away by lack of transparency and efficiency at every step of the interior design and build process. What should be a joy of creating something new is replaced by a frustrating experience for the business owner looking to design and build related products or services. Our endeavor overall is to bring back the joy into this process by driving customer delight in every step which is only possible through a bespoke tech-suite combined with category defining processes and benchmarks.
6. Can you discuss any unique challenges that startups face when it comes to office design, and how Flipspaces addresses these challenges?
Startups face unique challenges when it comes to office design, including limited budgets, changing needs, and the need to create a space that reflects the company’s culture and values. Here are some ways Flipspaces addresses these challenges:
- Limited Budgets: Many startups have limited budgets for office design. Flipspaces works with startups to identify cost-effective solutions that can help them achieve their design goals within their budget. This includes using cost-effective materials, repurposing existing furniture and equipment, and finding creative ways to maximize space utilization.
- Changing Needs: Startups often have changing needs as they grow and evolve. Flipspaces designs office spaces that can adapt to changing needs by incorporating flexibility and modularity into the design. This includes things like movable furniture, adjustable lighting, and flexible workspaces that can be reconfigured as needed.
- Company Culture: Startups often have a unique company culture and values that they want to reflect in their office design. Flipspaces works with startups to create custom designs that reflect their brand identity and values. This includes using the company’s logo and colors in the decor, creating custom graphics or murals, or using unique materials that reflect the company’s values.
- Future Growth: Startups are often focused on growth and expansion, and need office designs that can accommodate future growth. Flipspaces designs office spaces with future growth in mind, incorporating scalability and modularity into the design to allow for easy expansion as the company grows.
By addressing these unique challenges faced by startups, Flipspaces has been able to carve a niche for itself when it comes to designing a startup office. Backed by an enviable strong body of work and years of expertise, the team understands the pulse of the startup industry and enables its clients to create an office space which fosters disruptive growth, rapid scale and inviolable brand affinity.