Infosys Co-Founder to directly compete with WeWork in Asia

Infosys co-founder Nadathur Raghavan’s $1billion family investment firm is starting a co-working business venture focused on Asian markets at a time when shared office spaces are changing the corporate real estate landscape. Next Story Group, a Singapore-based hospitality subsidiary of Nadathur, is embarking on the community workspace business even as the heavily funded pioneer WeWork is aggressively expanding its footprint across Asia including India.

The community venture, named Kafnu, blends the coworking and hospitality business models, as it opens the first centre at Taipei. Raghavan’s son Anand Nadathur, who manages and operates 37 hotels with over 3,000 rooms under the Next Story brand, will lead the co working business as well. Two Kafnu urban community hubs will open in Taipei and Hong Kong initially before spreading out to other cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Kafnu’s facilities include shared work spaces, meeting rooms, communal lounges and kitchen areas, private sleep pods, gymnasium with personal trainers, and a craft whisky bar. Kafnu is looking at making a debut in India in gateway cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru. In Bengaluru, it is looking at setting up a blended space focusing on banking and financial services in the central business district (CBD).

Kafnu’s entry in the co-working space comes at a time when community office spaces are becoming popular with the number of independent professionals among the urban workforce rising rapidly.