Umeash Sahhaaii, Chairman and CEO, EFC, ET RealEstate

June 24, 2023

Entrepreneur Facilitation Centre (EFC) is planning to disrupt the co-working/business center space industry by creating an environment and a scenario for collaboration and exchange of ideas among entrepreneurs, creation of communities and higher networking opportunities. Here Umeash Sahhaaii, CEO of the company, in conversation with ETRealty talks about his journey and what he plans to do ahead.

1) What motivated you to choose entrepreneurship?

There are many reasons why individuals choose to become entrepreneurs over the more conventional route of becoming employees. And I strongly feel that only you can decide the life that’s right for you. Uncertainty is a part of being on this journey but with that, comes tremendous amount of freedom as well as accountability.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 15 years now and I’ve tasted failure as well as success which has made me realize the potential to harness my capabilities and push me forward to explore my strengths and skill sets.

The entire process of transmuting ideas, dreams into reality overall fascinated me to a great extent. Also, it’s an extremely satisfying feeling when instead of being a wealth seeker one chooses to play a role of a wealth creator for the society.

A very famous entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki once said, “The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning — to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

That is the driving factor for me, to be able to work towards to bring in the change and make it a better place.

2) What is the core aim of your business model and what kind of problems are you trying to solve?

The core aim of our business model is to provide world class services at an affordable cost.

India is home to the third largest number of technology-driven startups in the world, according to a study conducted by ASSOCHAM in association with Thought Arbitrage Research Institute.

This has only intensified the demand for co-working spaces not only amongst startup, real-estate but also across various corporate sectors.

We understand that by providing flexibility, convenience and latest technology at minimal cost can fuel and fulfill the need of a contemporary worker who is all set to grow and upscale his/her business hassle free.

3) How has been the experience so far of doing business in an organized sector like real estate?

It’s been a great experience so far though we are not fully fledged real estate players. We deal as professional office service providers, and follow and exercise transparency and documented transactions with the clients whether property owners or with our corporate customers.

Currently, we are experiencing many changes and new offerings in this industry. The sector has evolved – and is still evolving – from simple shared offices or rented spaces on seat-basis to modular and scalable solutions with multiple options.

The trend of serviced office concept is still relatively new for conventional real estate players. Bringing in that change in mindset, is a challenge.

4) What has been your biggest learning in the due course of establishing your business?

My biggest learning and understanding came from when I realized that:

When in a developing or growing economy, do not wait for the support system and infrastructure, but create the same for your business growth.

Also, we are in the service industry so it’s highly critical for us to have a proper resource management system in place by allocating the right resource for the specific requirement. Our employees are our biggest strength and support.

5) What are the challenges you faced so far?

Challenges are part of an entrepreneurs’ journey. Also I’ve come to believe that it’s lot to do with the mindset and how one perceives challenges as.

It can either be considered as challenges as milestones or milestones as challenges.

In our case, during initial days of our business set up, we faced a lot of challenges in changing the mindset of the clients to use our facility.

The idea of sharing office facility with others was a very tough task to convince our clients, but we persevered and succeeded by doing so and establishing the concept into a profitable business model.

And with the rise of high-end affordable work spaces, the services provided in a co-working space plays a very critical role. However, to provide an edge over others and yet keeping the cost at bare minimum, our team puts in a lot of effort and bring in ideas which will not only enhance our business but also assist our clients in corporate tie-ups, provide value-added services like concierge desk, group discounts, and even temporary living arrangements – suitable for the millennial workforce.

6) Given that there are so many startups in this segment, how would you manage to get exclusive mandates from developers?

It’s always nice to have competition around because that brings in a lot of motivation to keep evolving. We’ve been one of the early players in this segment which has created a strong brand value and high credibility in the industry for us.

Being one of the dominant players in this segment, we have not just managed but built relationships with our clients, customers and that has in turn translated in great business opportunities for us.

So we do not see startups as threats but more as brand promoters of our industry.

7) What has been your worst business mistake, how did you overcome it?

There is an old saying if one doesn’t make mistakes one cannot grow. It’s again a matter of perception here. I don’t believing in making the same mistake twice.

I learn and gain experience and I feel I am lucky to have an opportunity to learn from my mistakes.

8) Who is you role model and why?

I’ve come to believe that life teaches you something new every day. We learn from our mistakes and from each other. I learn something new every day from my team and from people who are a part of my daily life.

9) Where do you see your company in 5 years from now?

To be seen as one of the largest and best service office space provider across India.>

  • Published On Mar 8, 2017 at 05:40 PM IST

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