DBS Business Centers and cost savings

Vanita Bhandari, Owner & Director of DBS Business Centre, commenced the business at a time when the concept of business centres was totally unfamiliar to Corporate India. She is a graduate of Arts from St. Xavier’s College. She excelled not only academically but also in sports. She was awarded the runner-up title in the Women’s National Squash Champion in 1983, where she represented Mumbai.

DBS Office Business Centers initiated the concept of ‘instant offices’ in 1980. DBS remains the first choice of discerning companies and enterprising individuals. Its unmatched style and stamp of personalized service set it apart. Besides, DBS has a network of offices in all the key cities in India in prime business locations. Its affiliation with Alliance Business Center Network (ABCN) allows DBS members access to more than 600 business centres worldwide. The DBS advantage has resulted in a host of exciting success stories.

Replying to Anil Mascarenhas of India Infoline, Vanita Bhandari says, “We help our clients to concentrate on their ‘Spirit of Enterprise’ as we take care of all their ‘officing’ requirements.”

What are the changing trends in business centres?
In today’s global scenario, corporate houses and entrepreneurs need to set up base in an elegant and well-equipped office and just get down to business. Soaring real estate prices and the incumbent office overheads make a ready-to-use world-class business centre an attractive option.

With the changing times, entrepreneurs and corporate houses have started realizing the advantages of conventional officing. More and more people are opting for Office Business Centers as it makes good business sense. In India, Shamsunder Aggarwal, Chairman of DBS Office Business Centers, initiated the concept of ‘instant offices’ in 1980. DBS remains the first choice of discerning companies and enterprising individuals. Besides, DBS has a network of offices in all the key cities in India in prime business locations. Its affiliation with Alliance Business Center Network (ABCN) allows DBS members access to more than 600 business centres worldwide.

What is your business model? Usually, how long do the contracts last?
Flexibility and Economy are the two watchwords of an Office Business Center. A client can use Business Center for an hour, a day, a month or even longer. At DBS, we provide different office combinations to accommodate one small person to 50 Executives, viz., one private office for a senior manager or a team office to seat 5 / 10 members and also provide Meeting & Conference rooms.

Along with office space, a DBS provide all support services like high-speed Internet, telecommunication, Photocopy, secretarial help, and office assistance, the fully functional pantry is available on a pay-by-use basis. Virtual Office is another option available for clients, where they can avail services without having to physically occupy an office at the Center. Companies pay only for the space they use & other facilities like Business Lounge, Front Office, restroom etc is all shared costs.

Who are your large clients?
We have MNCs & Indian Corporate using our different services – In the past 3 decades, DBS has assisted over 6000 companies either set-up new offices, Branches, expansions, and project offices or simply used us for training/meeting or conference requirements. Some of them are – CA Technologies, Infosys, Nortel, Lafarge, Vodafone India, BASF, Singapore Telecom, Mastek Ltd., Morgan Stanley, Leela Hotel & Godrej.

What is the difference between business centres in India and other countries? What are some of the lessons we can learn?
There is more awareness of the “Business Center” concept in the West. Western corporate is more familiar with serviced offices compared to India. Work culture is different in the West and staff is now encouraged to operate from home offices or a virtual office through a business centre. There may be certain differences country-specific, for example, in the US the concept of co-working is catching up. Co-working or shared office allows people from different backgrounds to operate from one office, sharing workstations & ideas with each other.

Also, in the West, the clients are used to “self-service” whereas here in India we provide pantry services and ancillary services to the office cabins. Co-working in a shared office can be adapted here in India too.

How do you balance your professional and personal life?
Everything in life is about balance. Perfect balance is an impossible task, I prioritize my time, and I’m a planner. I delegate a lot to my staff and team. It is important to hire people you can depend on. I don’t rely on mental notes and have a long To-do list

What is your company’s vision?
To be the best in the “instant office” segment and offer businessmen everything they require is to start their business and get down to work immediately. DBS wants to help their clients so they can concentrate on their “Spirit of Enterprise” as we take care of all their “officing” requirements

What kind of cost saving have companies experienced with DBS Business Centers?
Time is money and the amount of time saved to open an office is completely cut down to just a few days. They also have the flexibility to scale up or down staff strength as the business grows. There are no long-term leases or lawyer’s fees. As DBS take care of all administrative functions, staff members can just concentrate on their work & revenue generation, rather than worrying about office maintenance, taking calls etc. There is one consolidated bill for all services, therefore one need not have to spend time accounting for branch expenses. No long-term capital expenditure whatsoever. No legal expenses or brokerage costs. No locking in the capital in deposits. You pay only for the service you use.

What is your total square feet owned? Would you look at leasing space and functioning it as the business centre?
DBS has seven Centre locations in India. Five of our locations have their own Stand Alone Building. Between the seven centres, we have about 1.50 lakh sq. ft. All our properties belong to DBS and we prefer not to lease the space.

Besides office space, what are the services provided? What are the average charges?
DBS provide different type of Meeting, Training & Conference room available for One Hour, half-day a Full day depending on the requirement. Hourly rates can be as low as Rs. 500 per hour depending on the location and availability. Larger rooms can go up to even Rs. 1500 per hour. Support services like an in-house pantry, high-speed internet, telecommunication, fax, photocopy, office assistance, and secretarial help all under one roof to take care of any business need and conferencing in state-of-the-art with all multi-media facilities.

Tell us about your association with ABCN. What kind of gives the client access to a point of contact in more than 600 cities of the world?
Alliance Business Centres Network is the largest Network of Business Centre Owners across the Globe. Today we have over 650 centre locations under ABCN. ABCN enables our clients to have a one-point contact for any office and meeting room requirements across any worldwide ABCN location. In addition, clients get priority access to these locations and discounts on room charges as well.

Brief us on your financials. What is your profit for the year? What are the financial goals you have? By when do you hope to achieve the same?
We are a Private Limited Company, running Business Center Industry for the past 28 years. The company has a paid-up capital of Rs224mn. We have adequate profit to declare an annual dividend of 10% and hopefully increase this to 15 % next year. Our plan is to grow at the rate of 20% annually which will result in greater profitability.

What is the shareholding pattern of the company? Any plans to sell the stake? Plan to do an IPO?
We are a closely held company. Expanding to other cities will require additional funding at which time we can consider going for an IPO.

source: http://www.indiainfoline.com/Research/LeaderSpeak/Vanita-Bhandari-Owner-and-Director-of-DBS-Business-Centre/7271495

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