My West London Life

Sanj Mahal

November
30

Sanj Mahal, founder of London start-up, AndCo talks to us about his exciting brand and how it works to reawaken London’s most unique venues by transforming spaces in independent pubs, cafés and restaurants into affordable and convenient co-working spaces!

What does AndCo do?

AndCo is a workspace platform that re programmes space (by optimising latent capacity) in restaurants, bars and hotel lobbies, transforming them into co-working hubs for freelancers and flexible workers. Our vision is to help revitalise fantastic independent venues (whilst generating higher customer footfall for them) and to help freelancers find convenient, unique, and inspiring places to work in.

What’s the reaction to AndCo been like in West London?

The reaction has been incredibly positive across the capital, and particularly in West London where we already have more than ten venues. We’ve had a fantastic reaction from a number of pubs, cafes and restaurants which are seeing greater footfall during the day, as well as some great feedback from members who are using the spaces on a daily basis.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve encountered to date?

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced to date is the asymmetric nature of the marketplace. When we launched it was a balancing act between venue and user acquisition. Many venue owners were already beginning to think about creative ways to use their spaces, but others needed some time to embrace the idea of their space being used for something other than socialising and relaxation.

What are the benefits for venues?

AndCo represents an opportunity for venues to think more creatively about their space, maximise latent capacity, and increase footfall during quieter periods of the day.

How does it help freelancers?

For freelancers, it’s a chance to work alongside other freelancers in over 60 venues across the capital. For £20 a month, they get access to all of our partner venues and their dedicated working areas and secure, high-speed WI-FI to help them get their work done in a productive, relaxing environment. They can also unlock rewards with our brand partners Courier Magazine and ZipCar.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

I’m happiest when I’m thinking positively about a bright future.

What’s your greatest extravagance Sanj?

My Tokyo City bike – love riding it around west London!

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

I think too many people overrate honesty, confusing it with truth.

What is your greatest fear?

Heights!

On which occasions do you lie?

I know it’s not always possible, but I try not to lie. I think you’re better off not saying anything rather than lying.

What is your motto?​

Don’t look back!

What are AndCo’s expansion plans?

We are adding new locations to the platform every single week, and at present our attention is focused on expanding across London. We’re also exploring opportunities in new cities across the UK, and also across Europe.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d give fellow entrepreneurs?

Patience and perseverance will prevail. Timing is also very important. Think about when your audience will be most receptive to your offering and then communicate it in a way that speaks directly to them.

andCo.life/

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