Jivesh Goenka confesses that he always had a passion for design. So much so, that after spending years working in his family business, he finally decided to strike out on his own and set up 78 Design two years ago.
The 44-year-old entrepreneur is the man behind the branding of popular establishments such as Soy Soi, Bharat Bistro, and Canvas Cafe. He has also worked with organisations like FICCI FLO and YEO.
A few months ago, an office space that they held in Nungambakkam opened up, raising the question: should they sublet it? “But I decided to keep the space and turn it into a coworking space instead,” he says. In less than two months, the once staid office space was transformed into a chic 25-seater coworking space meant exclusively for designers.
Code7, launched earlier this month, on November 4, can be best described as a designer’s den. With an industrial finish décor replete with rustic touches, plenty of natural light and a breakout zone that features a Lego wall, the space is designed to unleash creativity.
The best part: it is pet friendly, with no restrictions on the kinds of pets one would want to bring in. “I’ve spent days working here with my dog sitting by my side. I am an animal lover and would love for people to bring in their pets. The animals can rest on the deck outdoors, sit indoors, or even spend time in the yard playing with my two dogs,” he says. The rooftop also has an aviary that houses 30 different birds. “This was one of the other major reasons why I didn’t want to give up this space.”
Take a break
With walls in the lower level of Code7 done up mainly in grey, the pop of colour comes in from the art works on display. For instance, overlooking one of the cabins are installations of a dog (78 Design’s logo) in different media — from chalkboard, a maze, film posters to threads knotted on nails.
As you ascend the stairs, the Lego wall greets you with only yellow bricks. “ It is meant to challenge one’s creativity,” says Jivesh, adding, “It is harder to design something with a single colour. So this is a great way for people to take a break from work and put their thinking caps on.” That’s not the only way you can switch off between intense design sessions; the reception offers free brick video games as well.
Further down is an alcove with bean bags and wall-to-wall shelves stacked with books on design and fiction. Another cabin, meant to be used as a private cabin, will be given out for a minimum period of three to six months. “It even has a separate access door,” says Jivesh.
The coworking space has a small pantry with basic refreshments such as tea, coffee, soda, water and chocolates. “We plan to add some noodles and chips to the stash too,” he says. For meals, they are tying up with restaurants in the vicinity to offer discounts to people working out of here.
Since the 78 Design team also works out of the premises, designers can always look towards them for mentorship. “ We plan to organise various weekend events to encourage the community and provide networking opportunities,” he says.
In the future, Jivesh says would like to branch out to exclusive coworking spaces for fashion designers, for gamers and for animators.
Instead of opening large coworking spaces in far-flung IT corridors, he plans to rent out bungalows in the heart of the city and spend ₹25-30 lakhs in turning them into coworking spaces.
“If one doesn’t work out, I could always close it and focus on the others,” he says. “I can take the loss of one space, but not the loss of the entire business model. So I’d rather keep the centres small and hyperlocalised to the design community.”