G.S. Jaggi

Founder of Iridius Capital

G.S. Jaggi, known as “Jaggi”, is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of Iridius Capital, a real estate firm based in Tucson, Arizona. Iridius closely follows real estate trends and consumer behaviors to uncover acquisition and development opportunities. Under Jaggi’s leadership, Iridius Capital has brought over $1.5B of real estate projects to life across all major real estate asset classes since its founding in 2011.

While Iridius Capital is Jaggi’s primary focus, Jaggi also runs the Jaggi Family Office, which invests in a variety of real estate, financial services, and fintech companies. The Jaggi Family Offices’ portfolio includes NexMetro Communities, a leader in the fast-growing build-to-rent single family home real estate asset class, and Singularity Capital, a fintech fund focused on the mortgage industry. Jaggi was a founder of both companies and continues to serve as a board member of NexMetro Communities and General Partner of Singularity Capital.

Prior to founding Iridius Capital, Jaggi founded what became one of the largest privately owned mortgage companies in the United States, leading a team of over 6,500 employees in over 300 locations that were doing business in all 50 states. Jaggi began his career in the mortgage business in Tucson, Arizona where he relocated after finishing graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jaggi was born and raised in India, but after calling Tucson home for over 20 years, Jaggi is committed to giving back to local Tucson community organizations and the University of Arizona. Under Jaggi’s leadership, the Iridius Capital Philanthropy Committee prioritizes local organizations focused on the health and wellbeing of children, arts and entertainment, and downtown revitalization.

Where did the idea for Iridius Capital come from?

Since finishing graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, my career was fast-paced, building upon each success and constantly evaluating and giving rise to new opportunities. In 2010, after nearly two decades of non-stop growth, I committed to taking time between ventures to re-connect with my community of family, friends, and colleagues and prioritize a healthier work-life balance.

While contemplating my next endeavor, I continued to make personal investments in commercial real estate as I had for many years. My approach to real estate has always been to look more closely at the execution strategy of the investment and soon my real estate partners began to leverage my expertise to help guide the development and overall success of each project.

With the encouragement of my partners, I created my own real estate firm, Iridius Capital in 2011. Today, our Iridius Capital team serves as an extension of our operating and development partners’ strategy teams. We help to advise our partners as they consider the best debt and equity structure for each project in order to align interests and balance risk and return. We also closely follow consumer behaviors in order to uncover what we consider to be cycle-resistant real estate opportunities. Iridius Capital has brought over $1.5B of real estate projects to life across all major real estate asset classes since its founding in 2011.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day starts around 7:00 a.m. with a quick workout session before I come into the office between 9 and 10 a.m. In the office, I have many one-on-one and team meetings in addition to addressing immediate concerns better handled between 9 and 5 PM.

When not meeting with team members, investors, or operating partners my time is spent absorbing and reading as much as I can. I have sources for a wide variety of geopolitical, economic, and real estate news that allow me to make more informed decisions.

I seek patterns to aid in determining where to invest in things on a recurring basis versus stand-alone investments. For example, I’m currently of the opinion that consumers are more likely to rent in suburban areas than buy. In today’s economy, build to rent (b2r) communities are excellent value propositions.

We try to avoid real estate cycles and focus on niches that allow us to make programmatic investments over a longer period of time, which give our clients something they cannot normally access and saves the time and money cost of due diligence associated with new investments and partnerships.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I think flawless execution brings ideas to life. I don’t consider myself an “idea man”. In my business, it is more important to have impeccable execution than an innovative idea. We have high standards for our partners and our properties. We don’t believe in settling for less than best in class. We contribute our own capital to every one of our projects. We are committed to aligning the interests of all parties. We are always looking to the future, lining up relationships today that will help us to carry out our strategy tomorrow.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Honestly, what excites me is when market disruption creates opportunity for innovation.

I believe COVID-19 will be one of the most disruptive things that have happened to our generation. I do not want to minimize the devastation this pandemic has created, yet historically, the silver lining of market disruption is that it creates opportunity for smaller companies and entrepreneurs to break into otherwise impenetrable markets, and sometimes they even offer life-changing innovations.

For entrepreneurs like myself, our business does not change lives directly. Yet, there may be an opportunity to execute upon an idea that previously did not align with our investment thesis creating a path for new partnerships.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Without a doubt it’s delegation. I truly and genuinely believe in my team members. In the first few years, especially, I focused on hiring people with exceptional skill sets first and then built roles around them versus hiring the perfect candidate for a job. I let them grow into their natural talents and provide an environment that allows that to occur. The co-authorship of their permanent roles was guided by me but owned and executed by them.

I believe a controlled environment allowing for mistakes can lead to progress. We work to create an environment where team members are not afraid of making or sharing mistakes because we cannot learn from them if we bury them. We only learn from our mistakes when we evaluate what went wrong and how we can make it better. Often, this leads to innovation beyond our expectations.

What I need to see is motivation, desire, and attitude. Those character traits are far more important to me than being a perfectionist.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I probably would have taken my health more seriously. Unlike in business, the mistakes of your youth and neglecting your health have a delayed consequence. I am thankful that roughly ten years ago, I made a lifestyle change towards a more balanced life, which included a commitment to my overall health, working out, and managing stress.

As it turns out, when I prioritized those elements of my life, I also experienced more success professionally.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Intelligence is vastly overrated in achieving success. In business, sometimes having the drive and grit to keep going can outweigh intellect. Sometimes, when you’re too intelligent and can calculate odds better than most, one can give up too soon. Or, worse yet, start out too scared to even try and lead to death by paralysis. Often, being naïve to the possible outcomes can be a healthier mental place to make the choice to try something new and bold.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be an infinite learner, constantly adapt to new information, and look at the world from different angles.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

I said it before, but delegation and building a strong team. If you don’t have the ability to delegate, scalability becomes an impossible objective.

If you can delegate and provide an environment where your team members can grow, not only is it good for scaling the business, but it is critical for loyalty.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

As an entrepreneur, you take chances with the goal being to win more than you lose and give back more than you take. Looking back, my biggest failure was how I reacted to disappointing outcomes.

Until 2010 my inclination was to follow any disappointing outcomes by moving onto the next project in earnest and growing it as quickly as possible. While that often proved successful, one time I tried to create and grow a business too quickly for emotional reasons and ended up swimming against the current due to poor timing. That one, I could have avoided, and I do regret.

Some of the things I learned from that have helped me navigate my current situation very well. What I was reminded of is that timing is very important, as is being patient. The right time may not be as soon as you want it to be. I consider timing a major factor in determining risk and opportunity. Now, I focus on evaluating the risk more than focusing on the opportunity when making investment choices.

Most people don’t account for risk the same way I do. Because of my past experiences, we’ve always been very aware of risk – keeping enough reserves and cash in place so that we’ve been able to navigate whatever the current situation may be. Today, COVID is the current situation impacting our business, and tomorrow it will be something else.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I consider this more life advice, but I would say be an early adopter. I seek trends way in advance. I was buying Lululemon when they had one store. I bought Tesla before it became Tesla. I have a good sense of what will work and what won’t work based on following businesses’ journeys from the earliest stages.

Also, not a business idea, but I expect healthcare, genetics, and immunotherapy to grow in innovation and advancement equal to what the technology industry has done over the last forty years. That’s the space in the next 20 years, we’ll see a series of big advances, similar to what technology went through in the last 40 years. We’ll see a lot of advancement in that arena.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought an art piece for charity by Caleb Malis, a young artist and star of the HBO miniseries “Plot Against America.” And son of one of my oldest colleagues and friends. You can follow him @Caleb_Malis.

The drawing is a wonderful, detailed Baby Yoda in the foreground with a large looming shadow of master Yoda in the background. This speaks to my value of honoring the past, yet not getting stuck in it, instead focusing on the future for new opportunities.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

We are constantly experimenting and upgrading with new software solutions for our team. If I were to choose one, today I would choose Slack; I’m a big fan of Slack.

COVID-19 forced us to work remotely, and I think Slack was a big reason that we could make that happen and still not miss a beat. I think we should have implemented it years ago.

I appreciate that it captures the history of all of our conversations. It makes it so much easier to search for important information. Otherwise, I would spend hours toggling between calendar appointments, e-mails, our CRM, our real-estate software, etc.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

To be honest, I read and research so much for work, when I read for pleasure, I usually read fiction for escapism and entertainment. That being said, there is a self-improvement book that I read maybe three years ago that really connected with me. It’s probably old news now, but it’s called “The Happiness Curve” by Jonathan Rauch.

My interpretation of the book is that when you start off your life, your expectations are really high. And as you don’t achieve what you think you need to achieve by certain ages your happiness index declines. People tend to remember failures and not their successes as we know. So, even if you have a few failures and a lot of successes, you’re always going to remember those failures more vividly.

I was reading this around the time I turned 50 and I identified with some of the book’s assessment that around this age, your perspective can change. You may suddenly realize that you only have half of your life left to live and you immediately start looking at things from the perspective of the glass being half full instead of half empty. That perspective changes everything, and while you may have the same ratio of successes to failures, you start noticing the successes more than the failures, and your happiness index tends to go up.

What is your favorite quote?

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” -Linda Kaplan Thaler, Grit to Great

Key Learnings:

• Flawless execution brings ideas to life.
• In business, sometimes having the drive and grit to keep going can outweigh intellect.
• Be an infinite learner, constantly adapt to new information, and look at the world from different angles.