Venkat Ramadoss – Fresh Perspectives: CBRE’s Emerging Leaders

May 11, 2023 3 Minute Read


After close to half a decade working in public equities Venkat Ramadoss wanted something more hands-on.

That’s when he turned to real estate.

Now the Director of Investment on CBRE Toronto’s National Investment Team, Ramadoss is responsible for underwriting and advising on development-land and income-producing property transactions.

We spoke to Ramadoss about what led him to a career in commercial real estate.

How did you get into commercial real estate?

I started my investments career in public equities and worked on both the sell side and the buy side. I’ve worked for a research analyst for a global bank and with a hedge fund. I’ve seen public equities from end to end, but I was missing something. I got an opportunity to pursue a career in real estate and found that it was more hands-on. I could come up with ideas and take them to execution, and that was very exciting. Since entering real estate, I’ve worked on the buy side with an investment company managing funds, acquiring properties, and managing developments. But executing on the sell side is my new passion. I’m thrilled about that.

What inspires you about commercial real estate in Toronto?

If you’re a real estate professional, the best place to be located is in an urban centre where there is a lot of immigration. Toronto is one of the most sought-after cities in North America for migrants within and outside of Canada. The real estate market is dynamic and there are always new challenges. That’s why if you’re a real estate professional, it’s a great city to work in.

How is your perspective unique and helpful to clients?

Having worked in public equities and moved across different countries, I’ve developed the ability to tackle challenges that aren’t typical. So, people come to me when they have big and unique problems. Some of my colleagues have even said to me, “Venkat, you know I don’t come to you unless I’ve got something really challenging.” I like to take on new types of deals and challenges. That’s what keeps me motivated and driven.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

The best advice I’ve received is just two words. But they have impacted my growth and the way I do things. Those words are: Don’t assume. This gave me a totally different perspective. It was like opening a new lane on the highway and being able to move at full speed after being stuck in traffic for so long. Anyone can benefit from this. If someone tells you not to assume, pay attention to that. Challenge your notions with the reality.

Do you have some tips for people starting their commercial real estate career?

Learning everything is fun. But as you learn – and this is something I’ve been trying to improve myself – you must become a smooth operator. In a people-oriented business like commercial real estate, being a smooth operator where you fit right in and make everything frictionless, goes a long way. Start working on that early by developing self-awareness and circumstantial awareness and understanding what you bring to the table.


What’s something your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?

I was inspired by Kay Locke’s answer to this question – I didn’t know her name was Katherine! My last name, Ramadoss, is actually my father’s first name. In South India, where I’m from, children get their surname from their father’s given name. So, when somebody calls me Mr. Ramadoss, I usually hesitate for a second because I’m thinking, “Why are they calling my father?”

If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?

Say I won a large sum of money and didn’t have to work, I’d still want to be doing something hands-on. Maybe I’d build a company. I’d want to do something that creates jobs and adds value. And of course, I’d have fun; that goes without saying.

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