Meet Daniel Nalesnik and Sundip Sodha.
Daniel is the founder of Hack Chinese; an online web application that lets English speaking students learn Mandarin in an intelligent and innovative way. Unlike other language learning applications, Hack Chinese connects students with qualified teachers, enriching their learning process. Daniel has been a dedicated desk member since January 2018.
Sundip is the founder of notjustanum9er; a Hong Kong-based creative consultancy that offers individuals, brands and businesses an array of services ranging from a simple website re-design to an entire company-wide rebrand. Sundip has been a dedicated desk member since June 2018.
Why did you end up joining theDesk?
D: The co-working market is booming right now and there’s a wide variety of co-working spaces to choose from. I had the chance to experience a number of shared offices before making my decision. In the end, it came down to theDesk’s environment and location, which is close to where I live.
S: As a designer, I really had three main motivators for finding a co-working space: getting out the house, meeting new people, and being outside my comfort zone. Situating myself at theDesk helped me achieve all three of those things. I also live just down the road, so that helps!
What is unique about theDesk that differentiates it from other co-working spaces?
D: What comes to my mind is the sense of attachment. The team here ensure that you always feel part of the community. They got to know me very well, where I come from, and what my businesses is about. Ultimately, this really helped me to fit in.
S: I enjoy the minimalist design of most of theDesk spaces that lets you concentrate and focus on work, which is funny because I’m a designer and you’d think trendy spaces would appeal to me but it’s actually the opposite. I often find the quirky designs of other co-working spaces highly distracting.
Can you give us an example of how your business has flourished since being a member?
D: I actually have one great example. About a year ago, I met a lady who happened to sit at the desk in front of mine and was interested in my App. Over the course of the summer, she ended up being heavily involved with the marketing and created lots of the promotional material that I’ve been using in local schools. Looking back, I’m not sure what I would’ve done without her.
S: I’m not sure I can narrow it down to one particular moment, it’s more of an ongoing process. By simply being situated at theDesk I’ve met 4 or 5 new clients, and that’s a great example of how the proximity amongst members facilitates connections and added business value. If anything, in particular, stands out, it’s the speed and the ease in which these connections have occurred.
theDesk prides itself on creating an inclusive community. What does the inclusive community mean to you?
D:. Alongside running the social activities and business events, the team here make a great effort to introduce members and bring the community together. By the end of my first day, I already knew all theDesk team by name, I was introduced to other members within the community, and over time I’ve developed numerous friendships and business connections here.
S: In principle it’s great but it does depend on the member and the industry they’re in. For me, being extroverted, it’s brilliant and I think theDesk community is a nice balance of work and play. However, I can’t speak for everyone and perhaps if you’re introverted or based at one of the other locations, your experiences may be slightly different.
How do you feel theDesk facilitates networking and business growth?
D: There are two aspects to it. Firstly, the informal stuff that involves social gatherings, like Wine down Fridays, that enable us to meet other members in a casual setting. Then there are the more formal events, such as the HSBC booth. At the HSBC booth, I had an opportunity to ask all manner of questions concerning finance and banking. This was really handy for a start-up like mine and I definitely picked up some helpful tips.
S: The biggest thing for me is the panel discussions such as ‘Millennials and Generation Z’ and ‘Born to be the Boss’. These gave me the opportunity to meet numerous people with very different professional journeys. Through them I realized that there were many different roads to success and this gave me the energy to take the first steps in bringing my idea to life.
Could you define theDesk culture in three words?
D: Inclusive. Caring. Resourceful.
S: Collaborative. Fun. Informative.
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