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DLI, IWG forge franchise agreement

Homegrown property developer Damosa Land Inc. (DLI) has signed a franchise agreement with the International Workplace Group Co. (IWG) for the setting up of eight center of the brands of the latter in five years in Mindanao.

During the signing of the agreement Friday, Matthew James Kenley, IWG-Asia Pacific head of partnership growth, said the franchise deal, the second for the company, as the first was in Cebu, allows the company to grow its brands faster.

“The (franchise program) is part of our global strategy,” said Kenley, pointing out that it started the program in the Philippines where at present it has 28 centers.

IWG, which used to be Regus, has been operating two Regus centers in the city- one in DLI’s Topaz Tower which was opened in 2016 and is considered to be the biggest in the country at 1,600 square meters, and the one at Felcris Centrale of the Yap group which was opened in 2018.

Aside from Regus, the other brands are Spaces, HQ and Signature by Regus.
Based on their respective websites, Regus, the primary brand, provides “ready-to-go serviced office space,” “flexible co-working (spaces),” and “virtual office.”

Aside from workspaces, Spaces also offers meeting rooms; while HQ offers either the smallest space for a person or bigger spaces for 1,000 people. Signature, on the other hand, “provides the ultimate business residences for individuals and companies who have come to expect impeccable attention to detail, and the level of care and consideration you would only expect in a five-star hotel.”

Ricardo F. Lagdameo, DLI first vice president, said in franchising the business, his company is looking at not only strengthening its real property footprint, but also attracting new investors to its spaces.

“This one is a perfect complement to our existing office leasing business, and one of the directions of Damosa Land is to really grow our office portfolio,” said Lagdameo, grandson of the company founder, the late Don Antonio O. Floirendo.
At present, he said, DLI has about 15,000 square meters in leasable spaces and the portfolio will grow to about 40,000 square meters when its Diamond Tower starts operating in April.

The new 15-floor tower will also become the location of the company’s first center and will have about 1,600 square meters in floor area that is expected to be operational before the end of October.

Lagdameo said the company believes that workspaces “will continue to grow in the next couple of years” as it is also looking at putting up centers in other cities. Among those that the company is considering for a center is General Santos City where it has another business complex, Valley High, which is also a location of its franchised hotel, Microtel.

Another city, Cagayan de Oro, may also become another location as the company has partnered with Ayala Land Inc. in developing Centrio.

But Lagdameo said the company is not limiting itself in setting up a center in its own building, but in buildings of other companies for as long as these are viable options.
“Any office building in the future will really have to have some kind of a workspace,” he added.

Lars Wittig, IWG country manager for the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and South Korea, said the operations of these spaces in the city have helped individuals and company find spaces where they can work.

Wittig said the workspaces have become the “good launch platform for local entrepreneurs to see the light very quickly” as he took note of the 600 members of his company in the city who have gotten access to other centers not only those in the country but also those in other countries.

He said the centers in the city have been 100% occupied as more people have been looking for workspaces where they can work for a minimal fee.
“We have enabled them to much faster growth,” he added.

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