Entrepreneur

More Than A Co-Working Space, 2 Friends Brought Diversity & Hard Work From S'pore To KL

The checklist for a jobseeker these days is an endless one. Prior to even securing a placement in a company, they would first enquire about the benefits that they would acquire with their new job. Though it is only natural to know more about what a company can provide, it varies from one entity to the next.

However, one thing that remains a constant when it comes to a company, is the space by which an employee will spend their time working at. Most entities would provide a brick and mortar institution by which their staff can perform their daily tasks at. Then, there are also those who allow their employees to work remotely, whether that means a café, or from the comfort of their own couch.

The final group of companies seek flexibility in co-working spaces, which are far and plenty in our country. The best part of working in a co-working space would arguably be the unique environment and vibe that it gives off. This would in fact add value to an employee’s performance, because hey, who doesn’t want a cool working environment to slave off at?

A Place To Work And Grow

Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur
Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur

One such co-working space which has gradually built its name in the Klang Valley region as a go-to co-working space, is The Co. Kuala Lumpur. Having first grown its roots in The Land Of The Merlion, The Co. was introduced to Malaysians back in 2014 when the eventual Malaysian co-founders, Andrew Tan and Izwan Ismail saw a gap in the market for such a space.

“Justin Chen launched The Co. in Singapore in 2013. In 2014, Izwan and I were looking to build a co-working space in Kuala Lumpur because we felt that there wasn’t really a space where the community could meet, mingle, learn, grow and exchange ideas. Through a series of fortunate events, we ended up meeting Justin, who was also looking to expand The Co. outside of Singapore. As they say, the rest is history and we joined forces to bring The Co. to Kuala Lumpur,” Andrew told Vulcan Post.

Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur
Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur

The Co. Kuala Lumpur is big on providing the hardware, being the space itself, alongside the software, which is programming, for their community to collaborate and grow together. The way Andrew puts it is that the word ‘co’ is a prefix used to indicate ‘with’, ‘together’ and ‘in association’. This is the vibe which they aim to give off with their co-working space, which currently retails at RM650 for a flexible desk, and RM850 for a fixed desk, along with a day pass package at RM50 and a 10-visit pass for RM400 as well.

Diversity Is Their Middle Name

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The Co. Kuala Lumpur recently hosted Vulcan Post’s very own The Tipping Point #3 event.

Thus far, the team has been fortunate to have a great mix of companies at The Co. Kuala Lumpur from more mature startups like Zomato and Anaplan to younger upstarts like Isitup and Supahands, and even ecosystem players and investors like Cradle and 500Startups.

Besides tech startups, they also have a range of other industry folks such as a product and industrial design agency, and even a cookware company. In terms of events, they have also had the privilege to host a whole range of workshops and events.

Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur
Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur

Amongst these events are community-based events such as an Airbnb community meetup and Peatix meetups, and this is followed by tech startup focused events such as Echelon Top 100, Techstars Kuala Lumpur Summit and Big Data Malaysia. The Co. Kuala Lumpur has had entrepreneurship focused events such as B.E.A.M., and have even had a Makers Market where they have had close to a thousand attendees in total. In fact, Vulcan Post Malaysia had our very own gathering called The Tipping Point #3 at The Co. Kuala Lumpur recently as well that attracted 170+ participants.

Besides events, The Co. Kuala Lumpur hosts workshops and classes as diverse as yoga to growth hacking, legal to design, development to marketing, and even entrepreneurship to soft skill workshops. The diversity in the amount of events that they have hosted, and companies which have graced their space, allows The Co. Kuala Lumpur to grow even simply by word of mouth.

It Takes Hard Work To Work

Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur
Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur

Yet, with all of this, the team humbly believes that it’s not a snap of a finger, nor is it a magic trick. Andrew shared, “It is hard work, and it requires a lot of rolling up your sleeves and getting dirty as well as juggling several matters at the same time, but that goes for almost anything worth pursuing and doing.”

He believes that starting anything new and running any business is tough. “You just have to keep at it, find solutions to problems as they come up and never lose focus on the vision why you started on the journey in the first place. What could be unique to owning and running a co-working space is balancing the commercial aspect with wanting to help, grow and give back to the community and the ecosystem,” Andrew said.

He enjoys seeing the collaboration between members of The Co. Kuala Lumpur occur serendipitously and also to see how they encourage one another.

Growing And Building More Spaces

Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur
Image Credit: The Co. Kuala Lumpur

With this, The Co. Kuala Lumpur finds that they can explore a few possible locations to expand both locally and internationally. As of now, they have two hubs in Klang Valley, with one situated in the heart of Bangsar, and the other located at Asian Heritage Row, Kuala Lumpur.

“Besides expansion, our other focus will be to continue to improve the two spaces we already have. We want to continue to add to the programs we have and will be launching a lot more exclusive programs and also partnerships that will benefit our members,” Andrew said.

Judging from how involved The Co. Kuala Lumpur is with the community in not just being a place where individuals and companies can have access to Wi-Fi as they work away, but also a place for growth—they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. The desire for their space to be a place where companies can grow and work together, will definitely work together to allow The Co. Kuala Lumpur to grow further in 2016.

 

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