How Standard Chartered Partnered With WeWork to Drive Innovation
10,000 sq ft innovation space in Hong Kong
In just three months, WeWork transformed the ninth floor of the Standard Chartered Tower in Hong Kong into a space that inspires creativity and collaboration.
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 startups, 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.
“We need to constantly innovate and improve, or risk being left behind.”
Reinventing an existing space for innovation
Standard Chartered partnered with WeWork to transform that floor, via the Powered by We process, 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 rooms, and even a large lounge to accommodate a wide range of events and day-to-day workshops. The design incorporates Standard Chartered’s brand colors, as well as nods to local Hong Kong culture.
- 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
- Personalized events and programming
“The word ‘eXellerator’ stems from two words: ‘acceleration’ in change and ‘excellence’ in client service.”
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 Powered by We 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 centers 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, fin-tech entrepreneurs, colleagues from the bank—together to enable innovation,” says Alex Manson, global head of SC Ventures, Standard Chartered.