A transformed space inspires innovation at Standard Chartered

In just three months, WeWork designed and built out a dynamic, new ‘eXellerator Lab’ for the financial services company

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The challenge: pressure to stay on the cutting edge of innovation

Every company must innovate to survive – a reality that Standard Chartered knows quite well.

“As clients become more digital and expect more seamless, timely and user-friendly access to banking services, we need to constantly innovate and improve, or risk being left behind,” says Mary Huen, CEO at Standard Chartered Hong Kong.

That’s why, in January 2018, Standard Chartered launched SC Ventures. This business unit was charged with driving digital innovation, investing in fin-tech and start-ups, and piloting new business models – all with the goal of improving the customer banking experience.

The company had space on the ninth floor of their Standard Chartered Tower in Hong Kong, but it needed a complete overhaul. For SC Ventures to be an agent of change within the company, they needed a bright, modern space that would inspire innovation and creativity, foster collaboration, and increase team efficiency – as soon as possible.

The solution: reinventing an existing space for innovation

Standard Chartered partnered with WeWork to transform that floor into an innovation hub and collaborative workspace dubbed the ‘eXellerator Lab’.

Dr Michael Gorriz, Group Chief Information Officer at Standard Chartered, explains: “The word ‘eXellerator’ stems from two words: ‘acceleration’ in change and ‘excellence’ in client service.”

The eXellerator Lab includes flexible classrooms, different types of meeting room, and even a large lounge to accommodate a wide range of events and day-to-day workshops. The design incorporates Standard Chartered’s brand colours, as well as nods to local Hong Kong culture.

The results: a collaborative workspace that fuels acceleration and excellence

The eXellerator space took just three months to complete. Liam Gilligan, head of the eXellerator Lab, was impressed with WeWork’s speed and dedication to the project: “The timeframe that we asked WeWork to operate to was really tight. Everyone was impressed at the ability to deliver within that.”

More importantly, a vibrant community now exists within the eXellerator Lab. The space inspires collaboration and has proved to be a place where SC Ventures employees are proud to work with clients and industry partners.

Standard Chartered has taken full advantage of the new space, hosting events and working cross-functionally to develop new products. From revamping their call centres to developing a web chatbot and relaunching their mobile app, the eXellerator Lab is already generating returns for Standard Chartered.

‘The eXellerator in Hong Kong lets us bring ideas, skills and, importantly, individuals – clients, fintech entrepreneurs, colleagues from the bank – together to enable innovation,’ says Alex Manson, global head of SC Ventures, Standard Chartered.

Key highlights

  • 10,000 square foot space owned by Standard Chartered but designed, built and operated by WeWork
  • Flexible space built to spec to encourage innovation
  • Speedy delivery with the entire project taking three months to complete
  • Interior design aligned with Standard Chartered’s brand
  • Personalised events and programming

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