Corporate Real Estate(CRE) post COVID-19

The Corporate Real Estate (CRE) post COVID-19 roundtable featured leaders from prominent organisations in India to participate in an insightful panel discussion.
More than 60 participants participated during the roundtable. Key insights shared by the panelists across the three themes are as follows:

1) Workplace of the future:

• Panelists acknowledged that COVID-19 has presented organisations with a unique opportunity to re-define their CRE strategy, and increase the leverage of digital technologies for the workplace of the future.

• The ability to seize this opportunity would depend on leadership decision at the organisation level to identify optimal workplace model for the future.

2) CRE cost optimisation:

• The opportunity for CRE optimisation always existed. The pandemic has only brought the focus on savings and design changes, with technology as the driver.

• While physical offices would remain in practice, the way they are utilised would undergo a change. For instance, implementation of technology to drive usage patterns are imperative to harness the opportunity.

• The investments required to drive the CRE optimisation may be high but not more than that of maintaining the status quo in CRE space. Organisations could look at alternative ways of monetising the asset and managing cash flows.

3) Centralisation of real estate in Global In-house Centre (GIC)

• Key reasons inhibiting organisations to leverage GIC for the CRE function are as follows:

− The process split in CRE function is not as seamless as compared to other back office functions.

− The scale of cost arbitrage is limited, since CRE function typically has less manpower, and requires proximity to the employees for any site specific support.

• Despite few limitations, organisations could identify opportunities to leverage GIC for the CRE function. Procurement in CRE function could be one of the processes that could be a starting point for centralisation.


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