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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Shakti C’Ganti, Ashland Greene

The founder and CEO of the fast-growing multifamily investment firm talks about his business philosophies, background as a tennis player, working on Wall Street, and more.
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Shakti C'Ganti

During the past seven years or so, Shakti C’Ganti has grown Ashland Greene’s real estate portfolio from zero apartment units to 6,100, with more than $1.2 billion in transaction volume. He launched the multifamily investment company at the corner of Ashland Place in a Brooklyn neighborhood called Fort Greene.

“We don’t see multifamily investment and property management as a zero-sum game,” C’Ganti says of his business philosophy. “I firmly believe in the opposite, embracing the concept of win-win scenarios for both investors and residents. More long-term thinking, innovation, and a genuinely customer-centric approach can result in greater, more holistic community impact.” 

Looking ahead, the founder and CEO says he’s most excited about his company’s ability to adapt to future uncertainties. 

“We’ve already been through Covid, the Texas freeze, interest rate hikes, and recession,” C’Ganti says. “Those companies that make it through the next 18 months will have been through significant challenges, hopefully realizing tremendous personal, professional, and leadership growth. Under that type of pressure, you either become a diamond or dust.

“It’s the most challenging time since 2008,” he adds. “Companies that emerge in 2025 are going to be the next generation of commercial real estate giants.” 

Education:  Johns Hopkins University (MA), University of California, Berkeley (BA)

Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York

First Job: “When I was 15, I worked for Gallup Polls surveying people about their preferences between Skippy and Jif peanut butter. I learned that time moves slowly when you don’t enjoy what you are doing. Since then, I’ve learned it flies when you are doing something you love.”

Dinner Party: “If I could have dinner with any Dallas business leader, my first choice would undoubtedly be Mark Cuban. His hustle and determination are truly inspiring. It would be intriguing to delve into his brilliant mind and learn how he navigated the challenges and criticisms he faced on his path to success. The legacy he is building is something I deeply admire.”

Destinations of Choice: “Park City, Utah. It offers the perfect blend of breathtaking natural beauty and outdoor adventure. Any international travel where I can experience, first-hand, different cultures is also a favorite.”

Go-To Adviser: “Robin Pou is my business coach and mentor. He’s an excellent ‘thinking partner’ whose unbiased perspective has provided significant guidance in the growth and development of Ashland Greene and my personal growth. Robin’s well-rounded background in finance and launching tech start-ups, in addition to his successful entrepreneurial endeavors, provides excellent guidance. I respect his ability to manage to be an entrepreneur, husband, and father and his involvement with his church and community. He works with a select group of entrepreneurs, many of whom have faced similar challenges to mine, so he has plenty of data points and experiences from which he can draw to address the challenges I face.” 

Local Fare: “Georgie’s Turbot is by far the best fish I’ve ever had! Combining fish and cheese is typically a big no-no and sounds gross, but it’s surprisingly delightful and one of my favorite meals in Dallas.”

Fun Fact: “I was an avid tennis player growing up. At one point, I was a top 100-ranked tennis player in Southern California. I still enjoy playing.” 

Toughest Challenge: “We had just taken over property management when the DFW freeze hit. We were down 200 units. I was concerned about residents without water, so I personally delivered cases to our properties. Those days of living in the northeast prepared me to drive on ice. People had told me not to get into the property management side of the business, but I felt strongly that it was the best way to offer the type of living experiences that tenants should expect. It also gave us control over one of the most important aspects of the business plan that impacts investor returns. I don’t regret it at all. I believe it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.” 

First Car: “Jade Green (used and with slightly oxidized paint) 1989 Honda Accord with flip-up lights. I loved that car. It was all mine. With it came the freedom to go anywhere.” 

Proud Moment: “We’ve developed the expertise and added $200 million net assets to our portfolio value in the last eight months through tight property management and thoughtful capex plans that fit the location and asset. On the property management side of the business, we’re focused and have cracked the code. In DFW, rent growth was 0.6 percent across 1980’s properties. Ashland Greene’s rent growth was 9 percent. On the construction side, we have renovated 2,000 interior units and over 10 leasing offices over the last 12 months, which has been very important to growing our net operating income across our portfolio. Additionally, we’ve put in place a sharp-minded, dedicated, focused management team. We are built to weather the storm and positioned for long-term success.”

Turning Point: “In 2008, I was working on Wall Street at a private equity firm during the economic crisis. Suddenly out of work, I was hustling to determine what was next. I rented a loft in the building in which I was living in Brooklyn. I converted it into a six-bedroom property, added some Ikea furniture, and sublet five of the bedrooms. The rent was $5,000, and I collected $7,500. I covered my rent, drew a small salary, and I worked for two years doing this while I built my brokerage business.”

Spirit Animal: “I have been compared to a velociraptor. Known for ultra-fast learning, agility, intelligence, problem-solving, decision-making, resilience, and a competitive nature, velociraptors lived in a challenging and ever-changing environment, which required resilience to overcome obstacles and persevere through tough times. Fortunately—and unlike a velociraptor—as a human being I also practice empathy, ethical behavior, and a commitment to my employees’ and investors’ well-being.” 

Alternate Reality: “If not for real estate, I’d love to be a diplomat or professional tennis player. Both would involve world travel. One would have more uncertainty than the other (tennis). When I was 10 years old, I dreamed of one day becoming a professional tennis player. My degree and internships in my 20’s were focused on a career with the U.S. State Department. Ultimately, I am in the perfect role, geographic location, and industry for my temperament, passion, and experience.” 

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MiCaih Thomas

MiCaih Thomas

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