CBRE CIO fosters a tech-driven culture

Capital One alum Chandra Dhandapani infused the real estate company with progressive leadership at a time when the industry is turning to cutting-edge technology.

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When Chandra Dhandapani joined CBRE Group as chief digital and technology officer in July 2016, she didn’t just start a new job: she entered something of a parallel universe.

She had climbed the ladder during her 18-year-career at Capital One, one of the most technologically progressive companies in financial services. In fact, many of her friends and family were surprised to learn Dhandapani was considering leaving for CBRE, a $13 billion corporate real estate company with global reach.

But where many saw a challenge, Dhandapani was intrigued by the opportunity to test her skills in an industry that was “relatively untouched by technology.”

“It fascinated me,” Dhandapani told recently. “I thought this could be a neat opportunity to come in on the ground floor of the transformation that is starting to happen in the industry.”

Despite heavily outsourcing IT for years, CBRE had cultivated a solid track record in technology. It was the first in the industry to unveil an iPhone app, and was acclaimed for its market analytics. It also pioneered several client-facing tools, including software for managing key performance indicators at properties. But the sector is experiencing an even more radical transformation.  

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