Pallavi is the founder of Share-A-Space, a coworking space in Pune. She is the person who loves to face the challenges and starting the coworking space was the challenge for her, and she came out of her comfort zone and made it the reality. The goal of Share-A-Space is providing an environment for startups and entrepreneurs to make their ideas into reality too.
Tell us something about yourself?
I am Ms. Pallavi Lodaya, B.E. (Electrical), by qualification. With over 16 years of work experience in IT, I decided to become an entrepreneur. I am a technology enthusiast and try to keep myself updated with developments in the field of technology. Being a resourceful and persistent woman with high self-expectations, I generally achieve the goals I set for myself. I am passionate about playing cricket and brain teasers like Sudoku and Kakuro.
What was your first Job, and through the journey of how you got here today?
I started as a SCADA engineer in Nelco and then moved to IT. My career in IT started as a software developer and grew to the position of Senior Project Manager. I had the opportunity to work with various technologies and domains while I worked with US, European and Japanese clients during my tenure in companies like Wipro, Infosys, L&T Infotech. After handling multiple development projects with large teams, I had the privilege of working alone. That experience taught me the importance of self-drive, especially, when one has to run the show. It also made my resolve to become an entrepreneur stronger.
What inspired you to start coworking space and what makes Share-A-Space different?
Challenges at work have always excited me. I looked at Co-working space as a challenge to work on, since it was very different from IT, which had become my comfort zone. I took a plunge into this startup with an intention to maximize my experience as a Team leader with Planning and Organizational abilities. Meeting new entrepreneurs and being able to mentor them in some areas would give me added satisfaction.
How would you describe the community at Share-A-Space?
Share-a-Space is shared by multiple startups, BPO operations for Agriculture domain as well as professionals like Chartered Accountants and Lawyers. It strives to provide a warm and welcoming feeling informal set-up. For our occupants to get a feeling of community, we celebrate their birthdays as well as arrange sports activities and talks on various topics like soft skills, spiritual, technical, parenting and much more. This provides our co-workers with a platform to get to know each other, be inspired, as well as a possibility of a business opportunity within the community itself.
What do you think about the future of coworking and remote working?
Co-working and remote working saves companies of facility cost as well as improves employee satisfaction. Employees do not have to travel long distances to reach their workplace. Co-working like Share-a-Space provides its co-workers an office like ambience, closer to home.
Investing in office property and maintaining the same can involve the substantial amount of money. It would be wiser for Startups to begin with Co-working space, utilizing their money in their business.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced? How did you get over it?
The biggest challenge that I have faced so far or rather I am facing so far is to market my business. With hardly any previous experience in direct marketing, initially, I found it difficult to differentiate between serious prospects and others. Thus, there was a struggle with follow-ups, after getting leads. I wouldn’t say that I have entirely got over this challenge, but with the experience, I am getting better at identifying prospective co-workers. I continue to improvise on my marketing skills and have also learned to outsource some of it which I feel is not my forte.
Everything seems hard and impossible until we accomplished it. Trying anything new or achieving your goals is always a challenge, it takes endurance to move from your comfort zone and doing something different.