At Berkadia, our success is built upon the talent and hard work of a broad, diversely skilled team. From graphic designers to loan closing specialists to product designers, each of our people brings a unique background, perspective and expertise. Their work allows Berkadia to remain a leader in the commercial real estate industry.
Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Praveen Polavaram, Senior Vice President, Finance, Accounting and Facilities, who sits in our Hyderabad, India office, to learn more about what he finds most exciting about CRE, how he’s learned to adapt in the face of challenges and what he’s learned in his time with Berkadia.
How would you describe your role at Berkadia?
I lead the Finance, Accounting and Facilities functions for Berkadia Hyderabad. In my line of work, understanding needs, objectives and challenges of stake holders and customers is imperative to ensure that we meet desired results and customer experience. We are entrusted with ensuring compliances are met for the organization and audits are closed smoothly for Berkadia India. We also support the Invoice Submission, Accounts Payable and Risk Management activities for US teams every day.
Did you choose CRE or did CRE choose you? What drew you to Berkadia?
CRE chose me. It was all very novel for me entering the commercial real estate industry. Today I feel a sense of satisfaction as well as gratitude that I embraced this industry and that I manage to contribute to helping people in it in some shape or form. But there is still so much to learn. We have been able to build a customer-focused and competent Finance, Risk Management and Facilities team who genuinely believes in giving their best to employees and customers.
What excites you most about CRE?
This is something that has been so dynamic for me. There is never a dull moment. I can clearly recall the days when the recession had hit. It warms my heart and makes me feel so thankful for how we have evolved today. We are extremely fortunate to have such a passionate CEO and Management Committee who have made colossal strides in building the great organization that Berkadia is today. Their vision serves a guiding star for us to follow.
What is the biggest current challenge (or sense of uncertainty) for CRE professionals in your sphere, and where are you seeing opportunities right now?
I am thankful that we have emerged from the uncertainty that the pandemic has caused over the last couple of years. We have learned valuable lessons and we have become resilient. My teams were called to play an integral role to ensure we contribute to business continuity. We took it in stride and challenged ourselves to travel unchartered territories when arranging for teams in Hyderabad to work remotely. I think as professionals, we have pushed the boundaries of adaptation and these learnings will surely hold us in good stead for the future. We have clearly witnessed the power of collaboration and we realize that essence of the indomitable human spirit, above all. This experience will be etched in my memory for years to come.
What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself coming into the CRE industry? What is the best advice you have received?
The advice I would give my younger version is to ensure the basics are strong. Continue to keep yourself apprised of industry knowledge that is vast and ever growing.
The best advice I have received is to continue to learn at every stage of your career and life–don’t get complacent with what we may achieve. Reinventing yourself is a never-ending process.
How has your time at Berkadia helped to accelerate your personal or professional development?
I am blessed that new opportunities and challenges have been presented to me at Berkadia. This has helped me push my boundaries and improve my skills. I believe these have stood me in good stead for my professional development. The Berkadia Way culture has greatly improved my thought processes and molded my mind set. An everyday endeavor of striving to be outward is invaluable. This has helped in both personal and professional areas of my life. I am also extremely appreciative for the mentorship and guidance I have received from my colleagues Jack Fioravanti, Sudipto Mukherjee, Randy Jenson and Mark McCool through these years.