Ex.Military Officers Transforming Global Corporate Real Estate (CRE) Industry

Major, Captain, Colonel, Wing Commodore, Flight Lieutenant, Brigadier… Well, I am not talking about military organization structure! These are the titles associated with every fifth corporate real estate leader globally. Perhaps the third CRE leader in India. Corporate Real Estate Industry has grown leaps and bounces in the last three decades as globalization started hitting the corners of the globe, and took the exponential momentum in the last two decades with the revolution of internet and telecom industries.

Today, CRE Industry is one of the most sought after career for aspiring students as well other industry professionals as a recession proof industry. As CRE industry started expanding during the early days, major challenge was getting the right leadership teams to take this industry forward. This is when the short service commissioned officers and retired rank officers took the batten to take the industry forward. This industry is indebted to the services offered by these officers during the vital time, and today it see the far fetching benefits.

What qualities these commissioned officers brought to one of the largest client facing industry, are

~ Drop dead discipline: Challenges in CRE industry is the involvement of various unorganized segments, and their integration to deliver services to the end customer. These officers with their exposure to diehard conditions, help tackling the issues easily. Handling multiple levels of people across various disciplines and creating an order in running smoother operations is another key, where they make a good fit.

~ Leadership traits: Taking bold decisions at a time when there is no support and ensuring the delivery of results, with the right amount of decision making & delegation is another great strength of these officers. Often CRE managers need to take calculated risks to ensure the deliverables. Due to the long project cycle times, indomitable support has to be provided till the projects are made ready for operations. This is another area, where the commissioned officers strength come into place.

~ Combat strategies: “CRE operations are a necessary evil”, this is how the top line looks at CRE function in some industries still! CRE is a cost center and is often the last leg of the value chain. Top line will always look at CRE to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, reduce operational risks and upkeep the firm’s image. What is important is the cost per sq ft and cost per head count at the end of the day! Unless a right strategy is put in place, many CRE managers fail to deliver viable results. Commissioned officers combat strategies help them to stand as strong leaders in this area.

~ Team management: Creating right teams and delegating right amount of works across the delivery chain is a key requirement for CRE industry. Commissioned officers are seasoned team players and handle the unforeseen events well.

In my personal opinion, if CRE industry do not get the support from these ex.military officers, it would have struggled to get right quality CRE managers! Today, CRE Industry is showing many opportunities for the newly retired officers from commissioned services and their inputs are a valuable input to take this industry to the next level.


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