Ministry of New was born out of a need to work in a more inspiring, collaborative work environment. Co-founders Marlies Bloemendaal and Natascha Chadha – both Dutch nationals — individually found it a challenge to find an inspiring work environment when they moved to India more than 7 years ago.
“Newcomers, both foreign and local, often approach me about ‘where, who and how’ in this hectic, eclectic city,” says Marlies. “As a creative and curious person with an entrepreneurial spirit, I can totally understand where these questions come from as I started as a newcomer in Mumbai myself many years ago.”
In 2013, in an effort to create a more inspiring work environment lead Marlies to renovate an old factory in Lalbaug, Mumbai, convert it into a photo studio / work / event space, and call it “Ministry of New”. The space organically grew from there into one of the first collaborative workspaces in Mumbai.
Natascha produced a Web series as well as performed at an event in the space after a Dutch designer friend introduced the two women. She was brand consulting by day and performing comedy by night at the time. Strongly believing in the power of an inspiring work culture, Natascha became a member of the Ministry of New and – eventually – a co-founder.
With new funding, Ministry of New in Fort is a flagship compared to the original, but still stays true to the same values of being welcoming, professional, collaborative, creative and relaxed.
“Our ultimate aim is not to build a space but a community– ,” says Natascha, “one that adds value to our members by offering different work environments and experiences. Desk rentals are only the hardware. The real magic is in the network and exposure you receive working here.”