SteelcaseUS-based office space architecture firm plans to expand in about 20 cities. The US-based office space architecture, furniture and technology products company Steelcase, is seeing growth prospects across major cities of India, especially in Hyderabad. The company is keen to stay invested in Hyderabad, put more people and products in this market in the coming years.

Praveen Rawal, managing director, Steelcase India, told #KhabarLive, “Office space segment is seeing consolidation as the world continues to outsource work to India at rapid pace. The year 2019 is opening up positively.

The funnel of projects that we see this year is very positive with cities such as Hyderabad becoming the largest hubs for such activity. Companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Pega, Open Text and several pharmaceutical companies have chosen Hyderabad to create large centres. Hyderabad is fast catching up with Bengaluru as an outsourcing hub and office space footprint is expanding every year. Hyderabad is adding many large buildings, which is adding the growth momentum in India.”

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Steelcase entered the Indian market in 2008 and counts Google, Accenture, MasterCard, Dr. Reddy’s, Novartis, Pega, Jindal Steel and Infosys among its clients.

The company which is in 10 cities at present and in 18 months, the company plans to be in about 20 cities. Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai are the top three markets for the company. The company which has manufacturing facility near Pune is expanding its capacity. Steelcase is looking at alliances in Hyderabad either for manufacturing or strategic business. The company is keen to increase its footprint both in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

New trends
He said, “There is huge demand in designing office spaces in India using creativity and come out with products that suit country’s needs and conditions. Every company wants to grow and there is continued demand for fresh office space. Indian industry has started spending more per employee as the workforce is seen as an asset. Wellness is gaining popularity as organisations are becoming people-centric. Height-adjustable workstations are gaining prominence compared to traditional and stationary workstations. Companies are absorbing more of such workstations. Millennials are leading to further disruption in this space.”

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People want relaxing furniture at workspaces to give a residential feel in commercial space. All this is impacting the clients the way they looked at office space design as well as the designers. What was done a decade ago is no more relevant.

Innovation at core
When asked about innovation happening in the material space, Rawal explains, “Office space designing is changing from horizontal surface to vertical office and researching on the shapes. We are using microbial patches to be incorporated on worktops so that germs don’t move from one user to other user. We are implementing a mechanism by using new age polymers called SILQ, that helps reduce the controls in chairs that users use, mimicking human form and body language. Steelcase is working on getting certifications for chemicals, polymers, microbial patches, stainless steel and material boards. Material industry is big for us.”

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The company is planning to create an online platform for India, replicating its model in the US and China. It is identifying the products and offerings that will go online with the platform expected to be up and running in 2019. #KhabarLive