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Emerging asset classes capture investors’ interest

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First half of 2021 has already recorded a 33% increase in the investment in emerging asset classes YOY

GURGAON, INDIA, July 30, 2021- Colliers notes that the first half of 2021 has already recorded a 33% increase in the investment in emerging asset classes compared to the first half of previous year, led by data centres, as per its latest report - Unveiling the Potential of Emerging Real Assets, published in partnership with industry body FICCI. Increasing demand for the emerging asset classes such as data centres, flexible workspaces and co-living because of globalisation, higher disposable incomes, and greater digital penetration are transforming lifestyles and have given way to a shared economy in India.

Over the last three years, these new asset classes had started emerging, but the pandemic had somewhat dented demand of flexible workspaces and co-living assets. However, it further boosted demand for data centres due to increasing dependence on the internet and increasing digitization, which is estimated to still increase exponentially over the next few years.  Post Covid-19, Colliers expect to see growth in all these asset classes, hinging upon the re-opening of offices and educational institutes. Consequently, investors are taking notice and increasing their allocations, as they explore new avenues to diversify their portfolios and increase their returns.

Ramesh Nair, Chief Executive Officer, India & Managing Director, Market Development, Asia at Colliers, commented: “The millennial population will continue migrating to other towns and cities for education and employment despite the emergence of the work/study from home because it has become increasingly clear that these will not become permanent practices. We currently witness a muted demand for offices due to restrictions on operations for health and safety reasons. Most employees are keen on working from offices for at least some days a week. Similarly, not all forms of education can be imparted online, and, hence, students are increasingly looking at returning to their education campuses in other cities. Therefore, we foresee potential for well-planned and well-managed facilities that can cater to the work and housing needs of the Indian workforce that is no longer content with just well-equipped physical spaces but wants a nurturing, collaborative, and shared ecosystem.”

Data Centres stock to double by 2023

India has about 1.2 megawatt per user of co-location DC capacity compared to Europe’s 19.1 MW per user DC capacity, providing a huge opportunity for data centre operators in the country. Colliers expect total colocation data centre stock to reach 20 million square feet (1.8 million square meters) by 2023, led by local and global data centre developers, from 9.5 million square feet at present. Data centres can provide a net yield of about 17% per annum, which makes them an attractive investment alternative. 

Piyush Gupta, Managing Director, Capital Markets & Investment Services (India), Colliers, commented: “The emerging asset classes such as co-working, co-living, data centers within real estate are gaining significant traction and complimenting growth to the traditional office and residential assets. The demand in alternate assets is driven by fast-evolving customer preferences, technology penetration, digitization, and investors, as well as international players, are committing significant investments over the long term.”

Flexible workspaces to account for about 5% of total office stock by 2022 

As of 30 June 2021, the total flexible workspace stock in India stood at 30.7 million square feet (2.8 million square metres).  Given the continued effects of Covid-19, Colliers expects operators will expand at a slow pace and forecast flexible workspaces to lease around 3 million square feet (0.27 million square meters) in 2021, similar to 2020. Thereafter, as occupiers and their employees return to formal workspaces, the demand is expected to increase for well-located, high quality and efficient flexible workspaces resulting in their occupying 4.7% of the total commercial office stock by 2022.  

Attractiveness of co-living to revive post Covid-19

Colliers forecasts co-living inventory in India to rise 24% YOY to reach 400,000 beds by 2022, driven by investments from private equity players, developers and individual investors, who have invested around INR3.1 billion (USD415 million) in top co-living operators during 2018-2021, inclusive of all stages of funding. The asset class can generate rental yields as high as 4% to 6%, compared to 1% to 2.5% in traditional residential assets. We believe that investors are looking at these asset classes with greater rigour, as they look to build a comprehensive portfolio of assets across the sector.

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Sukanya Dasgupta

Director & Head, India Marketing & Communications

+91 9811867682/ 8826377335


About Colliers

Colliers (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) is a leading diversified professional services and investment management company. With operations in 67 countries, our more than 15,000 enterprising professionals work collaboratively to provide expert advice to real estate occupiers, owners and investors. For more than 25 years, our experienced leadership with significant insider ownership has delivered compound annual investment returns of almost 20% for shareholders. With annualized revenues of $3.0 billion ($3.3 billion including affiliates) and $40 billion of assets under management, we maximize the potential of property and accelerate the success of our clients and our people.

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Ramesh Nair

Chief Executive Officer | India

Managing Director, Market Development | Asia


With a diverse experience of over 24 years, Ramesh’s career has been focused on driving transformational change and delivering real estate solutions to domestic and multinational owners, investors and occupiers across India and South Asia.

As the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), India & Managing Director, Market Development, Asia, Ramesh is responsible for the overall direction, strategy, and growth of the India’s business. His key responsibilities include driving long-term sustainable and profitable growth for the company along with developing company’s short-term and long-term strategy.

He also drives business development and key relationship management across Asia to expand our client base and identify new service lines and opportunities to accelerate success.

Prior to joining Colliers, Ramesh was the CEO & Country Head of JLL India where he led a team of ~12,000 diverse professionals in India and South Asia. During his 21-year journey at JLL, Ramesh held numerous senior leadership roles and worked across asset classes such as office, land, retail, residential, warehousing and logistics, industrial, data centres and hotels.

While leading businesses through dynamic and changing growth cycles in the industry, Ramesh consistently produced stable revenue and profit growth backed by building cross-functional teams and capabilities that exceed expectations. Under his leadership, JLL India delivered steady revenues of over USD 600mn.

Over the years, Ramesh has conceptualized and successfully launched many new specializations and enhanced service offerings to clients to ensure maximum market penetration. His core capabilities include driving results, strategic thinking, leading people, leading change, and developing organisational capability.

A strong believer in the value of education, he has been a guest lecturer at prestigious institutes such as IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Kolkata and ISB Hyderabad.


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Piyush Gupta

Managing Director

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Piyush is responsible for developing Capital Markets Business in India.

Piyush is leading the Client acquisition, developing institutional relationships with Indian and Global Funds, Sovereign Funds, Banks, NBFCs, AIFs for Capital Markets Business   

With close to 19 years of experience, Piyush is an industry veteran with proven expertise in real estate investments, asset management and exit strategy, deployment and business development. With experience of investing of US$ 2 billion, Piyush is leading Colliers’ Capital Markets business in India and strengthen the market position of the organization with a clear focus on servicing our clients across the spectrum.

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