Asian Property Review talks to Morris Sim, Chief Marketing Officer for Next Story Group (NSG) which is spearheading Kafnu, an integrated co-working and co-living concept across Asia Pacific.
APR: Is Kafnu’s concept of integrating working, eating, exercising, socialising and sleeping a world’s first? Are there any similar concepts existing elsewhere?
MS: This concept is actually very Asian – when you think about villages that shaped much of Asian history, they had all the components of what we’re attempting to put in plus more. Kafnu is a vertical village very much inspired by our collective heritage.
APR: What is the inspiration behind Kafnu?
MS: We started by asking ourselves why the sharing economy has occurred. Why are there also so many freelancing jobs? Why are people disenchanted with what they have? There’s clearly a global need for both efficiency and greater good in communities, but property development and management mostly seem to be addressing needs from the past – which means futureproofing your asset is a risk. Kafnu is trying to reimagine what it means to build the right combination of spaces and services for people who yearn to be more than they are today: it’s the base camp you ascend from to achieve your personal aspirations.
APR: What is your business model for this new integrated sharing approach?
MS: Our mission is to create a global community of entrepreneurially-minded people who create new value. To support them, we will need to continually develop spaces and services that help them get there faster. The utilization of our spaces and services is the foundation of our business model.
APR: Why choose HK and Taiwan as your initial starting spaces? Why not Singapore?
MS: Hong Kong and Taipei are cities with active communities in the technology, media, and creative sectors. Based on our market research, there are lots of entrepreneurs who travel back and forth between the two cities who seek what we are offering. The 2 specific locations have active communities around them that we felt would be supportive of such a concept.
In Taipei, we have a new standalone building in a district at the heart of the city where residence, commerce, and retail intersect; the in-city airport is 1 subway stop away. Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong was as perfect of a partner as we could possibly have for our first outing; it opened in April, has fantastic facilities, and is already an integral part of the local Hung Hom Bay community where there are lots of crossborder merchants and techpreneurs.
We have a few deals in the pipeline in other parts of AsiaPacific, and would very much like to come into Singapore