India today has the largest working population in the world. A significant portion of it is composed of young people, who are increasingly dissatisfied with conventional career options. They are open to working on new ideas and taking risks. The start-up culture has taken root and is growing quickly.
What hasn’t kept pace with this growth is the increase in office space for startups. Startups often operate from garages and homes, which makes it hard to separate life from work, and also brings with it power and connectivity issues. Un-boxed is a Noida-based startup that hopes to solve this problem.
The founders hit upon this idea when they required their own workspace for an architectural practice that they had started in 2011. They wanted their workspace to be functional and collaborative, but found that it was difficult to create. The hectic nature of their work and the cut-throat competition took up all their time, but they persisted, and came up with an office that they were happy with.
Not content with that, they transformed the spaces around them . They started adding and accommodating more people, and thus Unboxed was born.
Un-boxed aims at creating spaces where workers can feel good at work. “The idea is similar to community living; instead here we form community working! We try and achieve this through the formation of a physical yet social environment that supports activities to work, brainstorm, innovate together; yet at the same time live, connect, relax, play and rejuvenate together.”, says Tejeshwi Bansal. “We want our spaces that can allow our lives to thrive and support our human instincts and emotions.”
The team consists of Nilesh Bansal, Rajiv Agarwal and Tejeshwi Bansal. Nilesh Bansal had started the initial architectural consultancy, Chaukor Studio, whose inception led to the formation of Un-boxed. Rajiv Agarwal runs three other firms and serves as the thought ignitor for the company. Tejeshwi Bansal is a gold medalist from School of Planning and architecture, Delhi, and she manages, curates, and makes Un-boxed really work.
Today Un-boxed provides 7000 sqft of holistic work and houses nearly 50 people. The office comprises of 70 seats, dining area, reception, conference room and a think room, a recreation hall with a TT table, a small gym, and a terrace that has grown from contribution of all community members. The people working at Un-boxed are an eclectic bunch – it is home to tech startups, a 10 year old software development company, architects, interior designers and even an experimental urban farmer.
The team says that it is hard to justify open spaces as opposed to jam packed workstation system, so it becomes challenging to run it and make profits. “But we believe in the idea that eventually the importance of a holistic work environment will play an important role in our lives and affect us dramatically; and the time is very near when this system of co-working would become completely holistic in its nature.”, says Tejeshwi.
Un-boxed aims to ultimately transform how people work in India. “We plan to expand, grow and engage more and more people all across the country.”, says Tejeshwi. “We would like not to restrict this idea to ourselves but to make a community which can further re-create many more such platforms for people to Plug and Play.”