CENTRAL PATTANA (CPN), a leading local mall operator, announced yesterday it is in the process of setting up a joint venture with Common Ground Works Sdn Bhd and MSB Asia Ltd of Malaysia to operate a co-working space business in Thailand.
Under the partnership agreement, CPN will hold 51 per cent in the joint venture, while the remaining 29 per cent and 20 per cent will be owned respectively by Common Ground Works and MSB Asia. The joint venture will have Bt400 million in registered capital, with the set-up totally completed within this month.
It will open its first co-working space branch at the beginning of next year and target to invest Bt800 million to open 20 branches within five years.
The expansion of co-working spaces in Thailand will help create a new generations of innovative entrepreneurs and nurture a start-up community, and build on CPN’s vision of being the “Centre of Life”. The co-working spaces will meet the needs of modern working life with its “holistic lifestyle integration” concept, and will support Thailand as a hub of SMEs and start-ups in Southeast Asia as well as supporting sustainable growth for Thailand’s economy.
Juhn Teo, co-founder and CEO of Common Ground Works, says the company sees great potential for the co-working space business in Thailand, driven by a healthy economy and strong GDP growth. The demand for flexible office space will continue to grow in Thailand, in line with other countries in the region, where they are expected to make up from 2 per cent to 30 per cent of Grade A office space by 2030.
“Also, the Thai culture is very open to lifestyle offerings at the workplace,” he said.
Teo said the key driving factors for the growth of the co-working marketplace in Thailand are the growth of local start-ups and SMEs, as well as individual firms that are looking for more lifestyle features and benefits for their staff workplace.
“The emergence of new digital technology also enables more people to work remotely from outside,” he said.
“For Thailand, we expect the volume of co-working spaces to increase by seven times over the next five years,” said Teo.
“We also feel that more Thai people and companies want to be out of their workplace today and for that trend to get even stronger in the future. To attract and retain top talent, companies need to offer not only a beautiful and innovative working environment, but also to provide great benefits to their staff in terms of fitness, education, self improvement, F&B offerings – all on the top of an attractive culture to work in. That is what Common Ground can provide with our expertise and technology,” he added.
“In the next five years, we plan to triple the number of branches across Southeast Asia with the aim to have 20 branches in Thailand alone. Ten of these branches will be in prime locations in Bangkok, such as in office building connected to CPN’s shopping centres and other Grade A office buildings, while the rest of the branches will be in major cities such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya. The goal is to have our customers use our services in these various locations. Entrepreneurs can use our services in all locations,” said Teo.
Common Ground is the fastest-growing co-working company in Southeast Asia.
The company prides itself on not just being a communal working space, but also for building a sustainable and integrated co-working community. It plans to open triple the number of branches across the region by the end of 2023, located in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.
Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, CPN executive vice president of marketing, said the company aims to continue its vision of encouraging all entrepreneurs to become the mainspring in supporting the economy following their concept of being the “Centre of Life”.