Southeast Asia's Coworking Giant Is Not In Singapore, But In The Philippines: The KMC Story

7/4/2018 | By Kyle Edriel Tomagan

Flexible workspaces around the world are ramping up in volume. Today, the flexi space (coworking space and serviced offices) trend is growing steadily, establishing a dominant presence in the global office space industry. And just recently, the Southeast Asian market has experienced a huge burst of growth in the previous year.

The hype around large multinational and regional players such as WeWork, Regus/SPACES, and JustCO is growing every day, as these companies raise more capital to build new spaces and expand to new markets in Southeast Asia. But while well-funded regional and global providers look to disrupt SEA’s office space landscape, only one company has continued to grow organically and dominate its local market with no outside investment: KMC.

SouthEast Asia’s Biggest Flexible Workspace Player

KMC has the largest network of serviced offices and coworking space in the Philippines, and in any one country in Southeast Asia. With the release of its newest managed facility at Robinsons Zeta Tower, KMC now commands more than 41,000 sq m of office space across 28 managed workfloors in 16 buildings in the country, making its portfolio considerably larger than those of its competitors and establishing itself as a quiet superpower in the region.

By December of this year, KMC’s network of flexible workspace will rise to 30 workfloors in 18 buildings across Metro Manila and other destinations outside of the metro such as Cebu and Iloilo, with approximately 53,000 sq m of office space and 10,000 desks. With such a robust development pipeline, KMC is determined to stay atop the flexi space industry in the country.

While KMC is the leading flexible office space provider in the Philippines, the company does not focus solely on multipurpose workspaces. The company also assists businesses by offering Staff Leasing, as well as HR & Payroll management services to initiate stable company growth.

Organic Growth

KMC has grown immensely in less than a decade. Beginning operations in 2010, the company had only four floors across two buildings by the end of 2011. Since then, it has grown organically through consistent operational excellence, a solid brand, and retained earnings. And to get its large size, the company did not need to raise capital like its regional counterparts.

KMC has fostered strong connections with foreign chambers and industry associations. The company also has solid relationships with multinationals, the Philippine government, and even the country’s startup community. In fact, it has even incubated some of the Philippines’ most successful tech startups, such as Sprout and Zennya.

KMC’s sister companies, KMC Savills and Kittelson & Carpo Consulting, have also been instrumental in assisting local and foreign companies in setting up operations in the country. KMC Savills’ brokers assist clients in looking for the ideal location for their operations, while Kittelson & Carpo Consulting is a one-stop shop for all business-related services, from company registration, tax incentives, visa and immigration, to HR consulting, recruitment, payroll, and accounting.

The Provider Of Choice For Multinational

KMC has successfully assisted MNCs to set up operations in the Philippines, aiding them in expanding their operations within the SEA region. KMC’s client list includes two of the “Big 4” auditors, Australia’s largest bank and insurance companies, along with Korea and Japan’s largest electronic brands. Multiple Silicon Valley tech giants and unicorns have also occupied the company’s workspaces.

At its core, KMC is a flexible workspace provider, but the company also offers value-added services such as Staff Leasing and Enterprise or Build-to-Suit solutions.

Dominating The Philippines’ Flexible Workspace Industry

The company asserted its dominance on the market with the opening of its largest facility at Cyber Sigma, with each level measuring 3,500 sq m, the largest single floor in any flexible workspace. This allowed KMC to significantly widen the gap between it and other flexible office space providers, including Regus. This is a manifestation of KMC’s mission of creating modern and passion-filled workspaces for startups, multinationals, and the Philippines’ largest companies.

Chairman and Co-Founder, Gregory Kittelson, has made it clear that KMC is concentrating on the Philippines, saying: “The company is hyper-focused on the Philippines, as KMC is an expert on commercial real estate, the tech startup scene, and the outsourcing industry; it has its ear to the ground when it comes to direct foreign investments in the country.”

KMC will remain ahead of its competitors, with six more floors across four buildings proposed to be added to the company’s portfolio by the end of 2018. These buildings are Robinsons Zeta Tower in Quezon City, Rockwell Sheridan 1 in Mandaluyong, Robinsons Cyberscape Gamma in Ortigas, and Festive Walk Office Tower in Iloilo.

These additional projects are part of the company’s nationwide expansion, moving out of the known Metro Manila CBDs and making the commute and work environment more conducive to productivity. With such an overwhelming presence in the Philippine flexible workspace market, KMC is an industry powerhouse that continues its momentum, showing no sign of slowing down.

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