When naming his latest endeavor, founder Sonny Kakar only had to turn to the Punjabi word that’s given him inspiration multiple times before: Seva.
“‘Seva’ is a word from my language, and it means serving a higher purpose,” Kakar told Technical.ly.
The serial entrepreneur has pulled from the word for several of his creations. He’s also the founder of Sevatec, which was sold to Octo, and SevaTruck, a food truck aiming to tackle food insecurity. Now, he’s using the phrase for a new Northern Virginia venture: SevaSpaces, a new coworking facility he founded in Fairfax.
While he admits that people have clung to work-from-home settings in the wake of the pandemic, he still wanted to create a space that replicates the camaraderie of an office. Offices, he said, have a level of creativity, brainstorming and innovation, which leads to productivity that he just doesn’t find in remote work.
“When I built my company and other organizations, so much of it was about the relationships you have with people and how they had your back, and that only happened when you knew their highs and lows and their life,” Kakar said. “You knew their children, and their spouses and their family and you got to know them and you built this amazing friendship and bond with these teams. I always found those to be the most productive times of my career.”
Kakar doesn’t expect companies to return to the office full-time, but as hybrid work continues to remain popular, he hopes to reinstall some of that socially-led productivity.
The Fairfax space is located in the Mosaic District and is approximately 22,000 square feet with 42 offices, plus some flexible desks and spaces. It also includes underground parking, a wellness room and a gym, and Kakar said it fits about 125 people at max capacity. Simultaneously, the space is also an art gallery, with over 50 paintings from local artist Kiril Jelizkov to fuel workers’ creative juices.
Kakar hopes that SevaSpaces members will be a mix of established businesses and new founders. He also aspires for SevaSpaces to facilitate mentorship and advising to help grow the ecosystem.
“Knowing that it’s not going to go fully back into a 100% office scenario for most professionals, I think some sort of a hybrid is healthy both mentally as well as from an innovation standpoint and being relevant,” Kakar said. “[It creates] a distinction for companies as they continue to try to grow and compete.”
Kakar is also working on a second SevaSpace in Tysons, set to open in August with about 18,000 square feet.
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