Social Offline: 11 People Share The Stories Of Their Creations At The Unique Workspace - Homegrown

Social Offline: 11 People Share The Stories Of Their Creations At The Unique Workspace



[The energy in a room is a tangible, real phenomenon, and when various individuals each with their own creative, entrepreneurial drive come under one roof - it can be positively electric. Social Offline is a restaurant and shared work space that was built to fuel exactly this kind of creatively stimulating atmosphere.]

Blending the office and the café, Social combines work and play in the best way possible while creating an ‘urban hangout designed to take you offline while still keeping you connected’. The workspace is the answer to every artist, innovator, and entrepreneur’s needs to work out of an environment that is flexible, thought-provoking and draws generously on the spirit of collaboration - and they do it shoulder-to-shoulder with a bar, with cubicles kept far at bay.

Start-ups mushrooming in urban areas definitely stand to gain the most of an atmosphere like this, shedding the restrictions of corporate structure to actually contribute to the atmosphere that entrepreneurship thrives on. Having spent a day working out of the newest Social Offline in town at Todi Mills recently, Homegrown reached out to 11 mavericks who have not only worked out of this collaborative workspace but created some really interesting projects along the way as well. These are their stories.

New Delhi

I. Satyarth Singh, Filmmaker

Screened his first fictional short film at AntiSocial. 

Satyarth is a Delhi-based filmmaker and photographer, and is also the founder of audiovisual production house Lights on Films.

On his experience working at The Social, Hauz Khas Village
Satyarth shares that Social has definitely been one of the first few places in Delhi to pull of the concept of a restaurant and a co-working space so well. “Personally, I think if you’re a freelancer or if you have your own start-up/studio, Social really does help you with reaching out to people,” he says. “That’s one place where you meet people from different backgrounds… be it an illustrator, designer, tech start up, musician, photographer and being a film maker myself, that’s sort of the ‘audience’ and the ‘crew’ I would look for later for any of my projects also. It’s been great as we have gotten a chance to meet people and collaborate with them on some small and even decent-sized projects.”

On his ‘Social’ Project
Last year, Satyarth finished his fictional short ‘Alfiya’ and decided to do the premiere screening at AntiSocial on 13th of November. The response was pretty solid, much better than what the team expected, something he attributes to the people they could reach out to because of Social. That’s when Lights On Films decided to start curating a monthly Film screening night, to get a small film community together to appreciate/watch Independent Short/Feature length films followed by a discussion with one of the members from the Film Crew. They eventually started with #PeepShow, the film screening event, in March with the first film as Spandan Banerjee’s BewareDogs. They are currently 3 events down and looking forward to their fourth one in June, where they are screening HolaVenky.

“The plan is to try and do this on a more regular basis, maybe make it fortnightly thing,” Satyarth shares. “I mean you can go out and listen to music and dance every week or sometimes even twice a week, so am sure if you have a good set up for a film screening where you can pay Rs 100 and get some unlimited popcorn, a nice film and a one on one interaction with the Director/writer/musician from the film, why would you not want to do that just twice in a month? I think you will.”

What makes working at The Social special?
“I think more than anything, it’s about the amalgamation of different type of people coming under one roof and trying to do everything in their capacity to make it happen, which is great… I think that’s one of the main source of inspiration for anyone who is working out of Social.”


II.           Jorge Gallegolizon, Writer

Currently working on the plot of his novel out of the Social.

On working at the Social, Hauz Khas Village
Jorge moved to Delhi seven months ago, when he decided to take a sabbatical to write a novel. After a few months, he started to look for work share spaces as working from home was getting a bit boring. “After checking a couple of places, I decided to go for Social in Hauz Khas Village as it has a nice informal atmosphere and you can feel the creativity buzz from other people always lingering on.”

Representational image, source: Sukanya Senapaty // Google Images
Representational image, source: Sukanya Senapaty // Google Images

On his ‘Social’ Project
“I had already conceptualised the structure of the novel but at Social, I have been able to get a few ideas regarding the actual plot of the book.”

What makes working at The Social special?
“Working at The Social has helped me get my inspiration back on track,” he muses. “Maybe my next novel can be based in a collaborative space, and the main characters will be people passionate about getting their start up moving up to the next level.”


III. Ashok Malik

Currently working on creating a ride-sharing app called ‘Covo’.

On working at The Social
“The work environment at Social is ideal for the creative field that we are in,” Ashok echoes the sentiments of other patrons of Social on this list. “There is such an interesting mix of people that come here from varied creative fields - you name it, they’re there. It is very vibrant and when you’re working in digital media and advertising like we are, it provides the perfect environment for our creative process to bloom.”

He remarks that there have been numerous opportunities there for collaboration with people from different disciplines, and the team has interacted with professionals from all over the world and had interesting and informative conversations with a view to future collaborations with them. “Social is truly where creative start-ups in India get a platform to cultivate and grow.”

On his ‘Social’ Project
“We are in the process of creating a ride-sharing app called ‘Covo’ and that project was conceived, designed and executed at Social,” he explains. “We’re not only promoting ride sharing as a means of economic and eco-friendly travel, but also wanting to actively promote a more connected society. Digital interactions like Facebook are actually disintegrating social connections, and this service will be a way for like-minded people to connect and build meaningful relationships over the course of their travel.”
He elaborates that the app was first conceptualized by understanding the needs of the market today and what is missing from similar services that are already prevalent, and they found a serious lack of meaningful social interaction which is leading to very insular, closed-off and unsafe societies. “Our project will revolutionize the ride-sharing industry and we are hopeful of taking it global,” he says. “The aim here is to create and promote safe, close-knit societies and to make travel more than just commuting from place A to place B.”

What makes working at The Social special?
“I feel that the community workspace added a lot of input to our project. It always helps when you get a chance to discuss and bounce ideas off other creative minds and being surrounded by people of such varied disciplines gives fresh perspectives to our own ideas. We were able to get constructive feedback which helped us refine and design our app better. Also the music, the great food, the friendly staff and just the whole vibe of the place helps us stay relaxed and energised and that is essential to creative work.”

Check out the website of webeasts, of which Ashok is the director, or drop him a mail


 IV.    Nav Chatterji, Founder, Principle Creative at Lazy Eight & Founder, Khoobh

Worked on a taxi/cab aggregating app out of The Social.

Nav has previously also been an early-stage technology entrepreneur, an executive creative director, digital media focussed investment banker and is an alumnus from the University of Pennsylvania.

On Working at The Social, Hauz Khas Village
“I was probably one of the first members at Social HKV, since back in July 5th, 2014,” Nav shares. “It’s been great. It’s a unique setting and an eclectic group of people. Working during the day is contagious as is hanging out and taking it easy during the evenings. I run an agency called Lazy Eight, and tinker around with digital products out of Khoobh. I hate cubicles, I believe they inhibit creativity – so I naturally love Social. I have met some of my closest friends and now, fellow colleagues, at Social since moving back to Delhi from the US 2.5 years ago.”

On his ‘Social’ Project
“A recent one is Ek (Ekapp.co) - it’s a Taxi/Cab aggregator for those that use app-enabled taxi services on a regular basis,” Nav explains. “We conceived it, designed it, built it (with help from our Bombay team) and beta tested it with other members at Social. Ek is a thought exercise out of Khoobh Labs. We just launched it (May 27th). We’ll see how people use it and work on it accordingly.”

What makes working at The Social special?
“The day staff is awesome. What makes it a great place is that the diversity of the type of people that work there ensures the place never turns into an ‘echo chamber’, and this is awesome.”

Follow Nav on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.


V. Sahil Rathore Rajvansh, Entrepreneur in the Art space

Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Sahil Rathore Rajvansh has studied and worked in the United States of America, Barcelona (Spain), Vienna (Austria) and South-East Asia. He has experience in investment banking, corporate finance and management consulting.

In March 2014, Sahil decided to move back to his hometown New Delhi to start a high-end art venture, Project Art Worm. He believes in the future of the online art space especially in the Indian sub-continent, and started Project Art Worm with a vision to use a combination of data, technology and financial information to increase the accessibility of art to all types of users. Sahil has also travelled to over 45 countries, is a certified deep sea scuba-diver, dog lover and is fluent in English, Hindi and Spanish.

On his experience working at the Social, Hauz Khas Village
“Social, an interactive and collaborative workspace with a self-explanatory name, has gained a reputation in New Delhi because it’s definitely a unique concept and establishment for India, which is why it attracts people working towards creating some amazing disruptive businesses,” Sahil says. “My personal experience with Social is one of flexibility, diversity and networking.”

Sahil mentions how Social gave him a chance to set up a last minute meeting without having to worry about getting a table or the other arrangements, and how a diverse range of feedback and suggestions for his business is literally on the same floor working alongside him. “Plus the casual/non-corporate atmosphere encourages me to focus on creating a quality product,” he summarises. “When it comes to running your own business, I feel that to create a unique product you have to displace yourself from traditional ideas and methods, and working out of Social a few days out of the week added to my network and the general vibe. Unbiased and diverse feedback is the catalyst to positive change and that is exactly what I get by working out of here.

On his ‘Social’ Project
When Project Art Worm was in its final stages of conceptualisation, Sahil was at a meet up with his team of designers and developers when he noticed how people loved the use of hashtags throughout Social’s branding - from the classic Indian-style glass chai cups to the printed toilet paper roll replacing the conventional tissues. “This is where the concept of browsing for high-end artworks with simple tags that everyone can associate with was born,” he says. “These features added flexibility and convenience for the user in our business model.”

Sahil recalls that they had been discussing the features to use on Project Art Worm’s web portal to make them as user-friendly for the Indian youth. Concluding the meeting, they called for the bill, which arrived in a mini tin storage box with #damage written on it, at which they all laughed. It struck them all instantly then, the importance of hashtags today for its mere convenience and uniqueness.

What makes working at The Social special?
“The shared workspace environment at Social gives you instant exposure to the outside world,” Sahil says. “If you spend enough time working on a concept or an idea by yourself or in a closed working environment, there is hardly any room for constructive criticism or out-of-the-box thinking. Working with and meeting the kind of people that you do at Social, you’re brought out of your comfort zone instantly when the first person asks you “So what do you do?” It gives you that reality and truth that is what you really need to move forward and do better!”

He also highlights that since one of Project Art Worm’s main initiatives is to break the existing norms of the art ecosystem, it is important that we understand not only the ‘collectors’ but also the ‘enthusiasts’ and the ‘novices’ – and since targeting the youth is a totally different ballgame, working out of the Social exposed him to the right people and the right environment for discussion so as to bridge the gap. He adds that it’s also important to not take yourself too seriously, and at the end of your working stint or meeting at Social, it’s always great to catch up with a few friends over a coffee or a drink. “I love the music that plays there and over the past few months, they’ve hosted some amazing events on the weekends.”

Follow Project Art Worm on their websiteFacebookTwitter & Instagram.


VI. Vikramjit Singh, Comedian & Writer

Vikramjit works on writing his stand-up comedy out of the Social.

Vikramjit is an ex-advertising guy, now a full-time comedian and writer. His time is spent between writing jokes, and performing them all over the country.

On his experience working at the Social, Defence Colony
“As someone whose job is to write a few hours a day, I like being in a place that has a mild buzz about it,” Vikramjit says. “Social has that. The music, the on-call servers, the other people working/chit-chatting all contribute to that vibe.

“I don’t know what this says about me, but my ’interesting experiences’ are all centred around food. (laughs) The menu is elaborate and I find I still haven’t tried everything on it. So that’s surely one kick I get every day. Then of course, almost everyone here has left their day jobs to do whatever their definition of ‘interesting’ is. So it’s always good to talk to those people and pick up on their energy.”

On his ‘Social’ Project
“That’s easy to answer,” Vikramjit says. “As a comedian, my projects are just, umm, jokes. Quite a few have been conjured up in this space, some even on unsuspecting people who’ll never know. But given how smart some people are, I’m hoping for some serendipity to happen and something working out with someone (still talking about work, by the way).”

What makes working at The Social special?
“For me, that formal-yet-not-formal vibe takes the cake. That keeps it serious enough to focus, and also easy enough to not feel like you’re working at an office with an HR department. JD also does a good job with the music, and the playlist changes every day, so it never really gets monotonous.
“Also, I’m sure the physical environment has a subliminal role to play. The design, the smart lines written on the walls and elsewhere do make it a good place to think. It kind of reminds me of my advertising days which is another fantastic feeling. And I don’t know if I’ve said it enough: the food, the food, the food!”

 Follow Vikramjit on his website, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube

VII.Abhimanyu Jamwal, Writer

Currently working on his second book out of the Social.

Abhimanyu Jamwal has authored a book titled ‘Beyond Three Words’ that he describes as a fiction/romantic thriller. His pen name is A. Jamwal and his ebooks are available at ‘Amazon.in’ and ‘Amazon.com’ for Kindle users. He is currently working on his second book from Social Offline.

On Working at The Social, Defence Colony
“A few days ago as I was working, I was sucked down into an intense twist that I had to pen down, hence draining a lot of energy. So I stretched and calmed my nerves on the mellow lounge music that was being played in the background. I felt thirsty so I left my desk and walked to the ‘Bar’ in my office and ordered a chilled beer. As I walked out to the smoking section with my refreshing drink, I found my colleagues sipping their drinks, having a cigarette, and one was even playing a guitar while others sang along and laughed. This is my every day office experience at ‘Social Offline’. How many people can say the same about theirs?”

On His ‘Social’ Project
“It’s been 20 days since I started working out of here and I’m currently working on my second book.”

What makes working at The Social special?
“I feel my potential jumping two folds every time I enter my office because Social provides a wall-less cubical that not only lets you dream, but sew them into reality as well,” Abhimanyu explains. “And of course...it is surrounded by all the beautiful things in life: beers, music, burgers and happy people.”

VIII. Nikhil Dugal, Social Entrepreneur

Currently working on his start-up Aadhan out of The Social, building infrastructure for the development sector.

Nikhil believes in using business to tackle problems at the bottom of the pyramid. Having graduated with a Bachelors in Economics from New York University, Nikhil worked as a Policy Outreach Associate for two years with IFMR LEAD, a development economics research centre in Chennai before moving to Delhi and starting his own start up, Aadhan. “I’ve previously worked in New York City, as well Ghana, and love to travel to strange countries whenever I can afford it!” he says.

On Working at The Social, Defence Colony
“Working at the Defence Colony social has been quite a stress buster,” he says. “I also have a home office but I look forward to going to Defence Colony twice a week so I can feel like I’m out in the world, meeting people and talking about my work.”

Nikhil recalls that on his first day there, he ran into Manu Mallikarjun, the Director of Amend Media and they spent an hour telling each other about what they do and he immediately initiated a plan to make a short film about Aadhan. “We’re planning to start next month! The next week, I ran into Vikramjit Singh who does some amazing stand-up comedy. I’d seen him on stage at Summerhouse Café a couple of times and I got to catch up on what he’s up to. It’s always a great place to meet people!”

On his ‘Social’ Project
Nikhil’s start up, Aadhan, builds cheap, movable infrastructure for the development sector using retired shipping containers (check out their Facebook to know more). “The whole idea is to repurpose and reuse available materials to make something that serves a great purpose,” Nikhil explains. “The Social actually does this a lot with its interior design. Over the past few months, we’ve been working with the Ministry of Rural Development to build a skill training facility for their implementation partners. Finally, after getting our first order, we got down to designing a prototype container which opens up once it reaches its location and forms a 500 square foot room. This required a lot of technical design, and a lot of work by our architect, Priyamwada Singh, who also has her own architecture firm, Common Ground Practice LLP.

“Coincidentally, she was also working on a project at TERI (The Energy Resources Institute), which has an office next to Defence Colony Market so we had a lot of lunch meetings over at the Social. We’re currently building the prototype, which will be set up in Mathura, while also developing a few other scalable designs such as waterless toilets for events!”

What makes working at The Social special?
“The shared working space helped me meet people from very diverse backgrounds, which helped me think outside the box in terms of how I could do outreach for our start up, while also giving me an idea as to how other people are working to get their businesses off the ground. I actually get a lot of suggestions for things we can do with containers every time I meet someone there.”

Nikhil believes that what really works for the social workspace is that it’s an informal atmosphere where the choice between working in complete privacy or socializing is completely up to you. “If you’re someone who can work out of anywhere, Social offers something more fun than a formal co-working space, while also letting you focus on the things you think are important.”

Follow Aadhan on Facebook & Nikhil on Instagram & LinkedIn.


Bangalore, Church Street Social

IX. Ram Shreyas Rao, Social Entrepreneur

Ram is on a mission to give millions of Indians at the base of the pyramid their first email addresses. “We have all seen what mobile phones have done to transform so many lives previously disconnected from the great changes that are shifting the ground beneath our feet, across the world,” he reflects. “Who knows how the Internet, starting with email, will transform these lives? What excites me most is the conversion of great ideas into tangible action - this process is at the heart of all things that gives me joy.”

On working at The Social
“The food is excellent, the playlist is groovy and there’s beer on tap to celebrate small victories - what’s not to like?” Ram, who works out of the Church Street Social in Mumbai, says. “My intern tells his friends his workplace has a great Zomato rating. We all know the workplace is transforming, but Social takes this to the next level, with an easy-going atmosphere and a clutch of interesting companies spanning a diverse range of business segments.”
On his ‘Social’ Project
Ram tells us about MyGram, a social venture that enables you to deliver rich, interactive notifications to low-income phone owners over SMS simply by sending them an email. “This is an attempt to bridge the digital divide by giving people at the ‘base of the pyramid’ an easy to use notification system tailor-made for them,” he explains. “To get a MyGram account, all you need to do is SMS ‘Mgm’ to 56677, after which you will receive an SMS with an activation URL. Click the URL to activate your account. Your new email address is <your phone number>@mygram.in. Any time somebody emails this address, you will get an SMS with a handy link to the email - it’s that simple.”
What makes working at The Social special?
“Social to me, most of all, is a great filter,” he shares. “It turns away the conformists and attracts the outliers - which is exactly who you want to be surrounded by when you are trying to make something new in the world. The team that run it include a musician and a photographer, and our fellow companies run the gamut of online ad agencies to people trying to revolutionize the health industry. Social lives up to its name, and truly provides a community of like-minded rebels who are challenging conventions and doing it in style!”

Follow Ram on Linkedin.


X. Anto Philip, Entrepreneur

Conceived of his ‘personal favourite’ project, Project Wanderlust, out of the Social. 

On working at the Social
Shreyans Jain and Anto Philip started working out of Social about a month back. “It has been absolutely insane,” Anto shares. “Well, the experience started back when we used to work out of the Church Street Social,” he explains. “We’ve had some of our best days as a start up at Social, and that adds to why we love it so much. We generally reach Social at about 11 and work all the way till about 4:30 every day.” Anto does confess that as much as they love to work though, they can often be found at the Fooseball table. “The fun part is meeting and working with other start-ups, also taking help from them regarding aspects which we know little about. The weekly sessions during the start-up month has helped all of us beyond doubt.”

On His ‘Social’ Project
Project Wanderlust is a project that they conceived at Social and they cite it as a ‘personal favourite’. “It’s a 40-day road trip which covers 7 cities spreading awareness about youth entrepreneurship and is completely documented,” Anto explains. “It’s launching in a few weeks and we are very kicked about it. Once we had the idea in place, I still remember we both went straight to the bar and picked up a beer each and I think that’s why Social is awesome.”

What makes working at The Social special?
Anto reflects that the most important thing for him has been the fact that it’s located at such a central location, making it easier for them to attend meetings, and also to be able to hold meetings in Social as well. “The staff is very friendly and more often than not, they end up playing around with you and also making sure you have everything you need. The people who work there are insanely talented, and hearing what they have to bring to the table is also a great insight. In my opinion, it’s the concept of Fun + Work that makes Social Offline what it is. It’s cool, it’s young and it’s fun.”


XI. Zach George Mathew, Graphic Designer

Worked on an innovative project for Tata Beverages out of the Social.

On his experience working at The Social
“I’ve had a great time working at Social… the most fun work experience ever. Music’s good, service is great, friendly people and the food’s great.”

On his ‘Social’ Project
“One project we had worked on was for Tata Beverages, where we represented their annual report in an interesting manner,” Zach recalls. “We decided to mix it up, and instead of graphs, we used tea powder and coffee beans!”
What makes working at The Social special?
“You get to meet a lot of different people working on different projects, and their way of thinking happens to be completely different form yours,” Zach summarises. “What makes Social great to work from is pretty much everything from the people, the employees of social, the music to the new friends you make.”

 Follow Zach on Facebook, and check out his portfolio here

Watch this video for a breakdown on what Social offline is all about:

Follow Social Offline on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and check out their website.

[If you’re interested in working out of the Social, you can drop in a call to 022 65110361, or drop in yourself at the newest one in Mumbai at 242, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Near Viva Centre, Todi Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013.]


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