7 Aug 2013
Start-Up Hub Shines
Premium serviced office providers are running at or near capacity as entrepreneurs set up in Hong Kong
Rather than waiting for better times to arrive, enterprising professionals are forging their own future in Hong Kong. Robust demand for serviced offices and a steady stream of new arrivals to the city shows that amid the economic gloom elsewhere, Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial spirit is thriving.
The trend was noted by The Executive Centre, provider of six serviced office centres across Hong Kong (and 50 centres in 19 cities across Asia-Pacific). The Executive Centre’s banking and finance client base in Hong Kong rose to 51 per cent in June 2013 from 29.5 per cent in 2010. In 2012 alone, more than 102 entrepreneurs established their business start-ups at its offices.
|Paul Salnikow, Chairman and CEO, The Executive Centre, says Hong Kong is an ideal location for firms or entrepreneurs looking to expand or start a business in Asia|
The Executive Centre, founded in Hong Kong in 1994, has grown to operate one million square feet of office space across Asia Pacific
One such entrepreneur, Francis Liang, started his own investment company, Big Champ Holdings Ltd, at The Executive Centre in 2010. Mr Liang said there are opportunities in crisis. “Shortage and adversity are a powerful catalyst for entrepreneurial endeavours,” Mr Liang said. “In the current economic climate, taking advantage of the lower interest rates and cheaper resources far outweighs other downturn effects. We are seizing this opportunity to maximise our potential by strengthening our foothold in Hong Kong.”
Jumpstart to Growth
Companies relocating and start-up businesses account for a considerable extent of the current demand for serviced offices, says Chapman Leung, Director, Jumpstart Business Centre
“Companies having to relocate, either through cost-cutting or downsizing, and SMEs that are starting their own businesses as first-time entrepreneurs, account for a considerable extent of the current demand for serviced offices,” Mr Leung said.
The majority of Jumpstart’s customers in Central are from the finance and recruitment sectors, with diverse sectors including consultancy, retail and trading dominating in the firm’s Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui offices, and information technology in Kwun Tong.
|Jumpstart’s premium serviced offices, which include a concierge, help companies increase productivity and sustain a competitive edge|
Mr Salnikow noted that Hong Kong, as the gateway to the Chinese mainland, is an ideal location for firms or entrepreneurs looking to expand or start a business, especially since the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Hong Kong and the mainland.
“The city is renowned for its economic freedom, political stability, low tax jurisdiction, well-developed financial markets, world-class infrastructure, cultural diversity and highly educated work force, which allow businesses to tap the opportunities driven by vibrant Hong Kong and Asian economies,” Mr Salnikow said.
Search Leads to Hong Kong
Search Office Space from the UK has opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong
Richard Smith, CEO of Search Office Space, described Asia as one of the strongest and most competitive flexible office markets globally. “There are new centres opening there on a weekly basis and we can see the serviced-office market continuing to expand.
Sean Morgan, CEO, Search Office Space Asia believes now is the right time to invest in the Asia-Pacific serviced office sector
Sean Morgan, CEO of Search Office Space Asia, said that now is the right time to invest in the Asia-Pacific serviced office sector and to push forward with the consultancy’s exposure in the market.
"The economy in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia is booming. Very real growth in the commercial property sector has led to an increase in demand for spaces across the continent, so we decided a local office would be the most efficient way to keep our finger on the pulse, and to better engage with our customers,” Mr Morgan said.
“We see continuing potential in Hong Kong – a city with one of the highest occupancy costs per work-station in the world. Serviced offices are a solution that is extremely financially-viable to many businesses, so offering our services on a local level will help us help our customers find the perfect flexible solution."