Sunanda is the cofounder of The DAFTAR, a growth-ready coworking space in Pune that provides a perfect ecosystem where freelancer, founders, remote workers get the opportunity to collaborate and grow together with other like-minded people.
Tell us something about yourself, what was your first Job and through the journey of how you got here today?
The DAFTAR was founded by four cofounders. I am Sunanda First Generation Entrepreneur, Marketing & Branding Expert. My role at The DAFTAR is Marketing & Finance, I am Super Organized, Loves Travelling, Reading, Meeting new people and is the grounded element at The DAFTAR. I would always give a reality check on things. I am the Calm & Composed, and the more thoughtful one.
Brief about the rest of my cofounders:
Vandita, First Generation Entrepreneur and manages Sales & Business Development, takes care of Space Design and Events at The DAFTAR. She is the mother of two boys, loves traveling, Reading, exploring new opportunities, Jack of many Trades & Master of some. She is, let’s do this that and everything element and always needs a reality check. She’s the energetic and enthusiastic one, can say Yes to everything.
Amit, First Generation Entrepreneur and handle Business Intelligence & Management, takes care of Operations, Expansion & Funding. He loves to cook, read, bike, drive, play multiple sports, travel and explore new places. What thrills him is the adrenaline pumping activities like Scuba Diving and Paragliding. He’s the one who’s amazing at crunching numbers, making business plans and at the same time has the capacity to mobilize all the resources from people to money to achieve the desired outcomes. Well, we call him the dependable one.
Abhishekh, First Generation Entrepreneur and operate Sales & Research, Participates in the strategy, planning, and all brainstorming. He loves to travel, read, research on multiple subjects, and deep dives into the things to come up with new opportunities and identify the trends. He’s the calm and silent one – always available to bounce off any idea you have and when he comes to talking he asks just the right set of questions to help you get clarity on whatever you are working on. As he’s not involved in the day-to-day operations, he brings in the unbiased third-party view and suggestions to all the plans.
It’s been a journey of almost three years and it has been nothing less than a drama movie full of fun, laughter, tears, challenges, and achievements.
For us, there is nothing more gratifying to see people joining us as founders, freelancers, solopreneurs, and corporates running their business – growing their teams and moving to bigger areas within the premise. At times they collaborate on multiple projects and join hands to form new ventures. Working along with such high-spirited teams and individuals inspires us to sustain the momentum of expansion and keep working towards adding value to their lives and work.
What inspired you to start coworking space and what makes The DAFTAR different?
We believe that when like-minded people with the bigger intent come together, they can achieve much more and can create wonders. We wanted to give this thought a format & platform which led to the inception of The DAFTAR. The idea is to create a community of like-minded people from diverse backgrounds who work together in an inspiring environment and collaborate to achieve bigger goals.
One spends almost one-third of the life at a workplace and our idea is to make this time happy and fulfilling. We invest a lot of our time and thought process around how to create a wow member experience at The DAFTAR. We constantly strive to make our members’ lives more meaningful, productive & balanced by giving them the best services possible, organising different types of workshops & events, having strategic tie-ups and associations so that they get time to unwind, relax and get to know each other better.
How would you describe the community at THE DAFTAR?
We are a strong knit community of more than 750 like-minded individuals coming from diverse backgrounds who not only work together but the network and collaborate with each other adding value to each other’s lives and work.
The entire space is designed and run in the manner to promote the community. For coworkers, we conduct multiple events and activities to introduce them right when they join the space, to make them comfortable in the space and with the other members and then give them multiple platforms to interact, know each other better, network for business, share common interests and add value to each other’s professional and personal lives. All Hands, Brain-A-Thon and Happy Hour are a few of the signature events conducted at The DAFTAR. Apart from them, we host and conduct regular Expert Talks, Workshops, and Seminars, Fire-side chats to help our community members to enhance their knowledge, skills and upgrade themselves continuously.
What do you think about the future of coworking and remote working?
There’s definitely a lot of demand for coworking spaces in the city and it is expected to rise in the next couple of years. With the rising number of startups and growing trend of freelancing, the creative and community-based coworking spaces have a lot to contribute and are here to stay and grow with them.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced? How did you get over it?
Challenges are an integral part of every startup journey so is true for us. Since we were doing everything for the first time, right from selecting the property to hiring the team came as a challenge. But the biggest challenge was building the community because it demands a lot of efforts to engage people and add value to their work and life fostering meaningful connections. It took us a little time and consistent efforts to understand the dynamics and create a community of more than 750 members who share resources, give mutual support to each other, collaborate on multiple projects or simply thrash out ideas.