W Power 2024

Ananya Tripathi: From coder to real estate queen

In charge of Brookfield's vast 51 million square feet real estate portfolio, Ananya Tripathi's two goals are to deliver returns promised to investors and identify new growth areas

Samar Srivastava
Published: Mar 15, 2024 05:07:09 PM IST
Updated: Apr 1, 2024 12:41:03 PM IST

Ananya Tripathi: From coder to real estate queenAnanya Tripathi, MD, Brookfield Real Estate Group Image: Mexy Xavier; Outfit: Forsarees; Stylist: Karishma Chouksey; Assisted By: Virali Patel
Ananya Tripathi, an Army officer’s daughter, frequently shifted schools. This, she believes, made her adaptable and has held her in good stead. An engineering degree from the Army Institute of Technology in Pune resulted in her first job at TCS and her first career switch.

“I realised I didn’t want to be a coder all my life. I was looking for a holistic understanding of businesses,” she says. And so, an MBA from IIM-Kozhikode beckoned. At the recruitment stage, McKinsey wouldn’t visit their campus. Instead it would ask for students from the lesser-known IIMs to visit their Mumbai office. Tripathi was the only one to be selected that year, in part because she wasn’t expecting anything and was more authentic in her answers. She still remembers her celebratory dinner at the Zodiac Grill at the Taj, where McKinsey had put her up.

Her seven years at McKinsey proved to be transformational. She had great mentors and was constantly observing CXOs and how they work. While the firm taught her to be analytical and solving problems in a structured data-backed manner, it also taught her that one always has to take people along with whatever decision is made.

She remembers presenting to the management of a financial services firm only to be told that if they implemented what she was proposing, there would be no company left. It is a learning that has not left her since.

Ananya Tripathi: From coder to real estate queen“At McKinsey I was doing well as I was on track to make partner,” she says, but a call from Myntra changed the course of her career.

Remember that was the time when there were still question marks about the long-term viability of ecommerce. But she overcame her initial hesitation and joined as chief strategy officer.

In her three-and-a-half years at Myntra, gross merchandise value rose from $250 million to $1.7 billion. She also launched the Myntra brand accelerator that would take equity in fast growing brands and help them scale up.

By the time she left, she was in charge of 75 percent of Myntra’s business. In 2018, when Walmart acquired Flipkart, Tripathi received a lot of equity compensation to stay on, but having run a business from the inside, a new career opportunity beckoned from KKR Capstone where she worked with companies like Max Healthcare and Vini Cosmetics to help them turn around. Post KKR, a brief stint at Whitehat Jr saw her try and turn the business around.

Click here for W-Power List 2024

While on maternity break, Tripathi got a call from a headhunter asking if she would be interested in considering a role with Brookfield. She’d seen several companies lose interest once she told them she was on maternity leave, and she thought this one was no different. But Brookfield persisted and was willing to wait. “A big driver for me was the culture of the place and that they are living the talk on diversity in senior leadership, including being understanding of my needs as a new mother,” she says.

Also read: Inside Asia's power women: The women bending the rules

“Ananya brings vast experience in various consulting and transformation projects across several industries. She brings with her a diversity of experience as a strategy consultant, investment manager and as a CEO,” says Ankur Gupta, managing partner and head of real estate APAC, Brookfield. Tripathi is excited about this role as Brookfield is building the backbone of the Indian economy with its scale of operations. Its real estate portfolio in India is valued at $9 billion and it operates 51 million square feet of office space across seven cities. Brookfield REIT is valued at ₹11,000 crore. It also owns Leela Resorts that operates 13 hotels.

Tripathi believes that real estate in India is at an inflection point as globally, with the rise in interest rates, investors have once again discovered the need for cash-generating assets.

She dismisses talk of a slowdown in the Indian market for office spaces and says one cannot take the same approach as in the West where there has been talk of companies slowing down on office leasing.  Her role is to make sure that the vast Indian portfolio she is in charge of delivers the returns it has promised investors. That coupled with the fact that she has to be constantly on the lookout for new growth areas should keep her busy for the next several years.

(This story appears in the 22 March, 2024 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

Post Your Comment
Required, will not be published
All comments are moderated