The Five Minute Interview with Jatin Ondhia, CEO, Shojin Property Partners
Shojin Property Partners has been operating since 2009 and specialises in investment in property development projects. Unlike most other crowdfunding platforms, the company aligns itself with its investors by charging no upfront fees, but rather co-investing its own money alongside every investor on every project and then sharing profits at the end.
We speak to director, Jatin Ondhia:
What is the best thing about being in the property finance business?
Knowing that we are helping to develop the UK property market. There is a severe shortage in so many parts of the market, such as first time buyers, senior living, student accommodation, etc. In our small way, we are helping the UK to progress and grow into a country and cities fit for future generations.
What keeps you focused?
The daily challenges that face the business and, let’s be honest, in a young business there are always lots of challenges. I like the buzz of solving problems. Every problem is like a puzzle that just needs to be solved. And everything is eventually solvable if you just look at it the right way!
By focusing on the end goal, I am able to keep focused on the important things. With every business you can be pulled in so many directions, so it is important to know what is important and what is continuously driving the business forward.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
An entrepreneurial spirit – that’s it. I want a “can do” attitude and I like people that just get on with it and work things out for themselves. Whether junior or senior, I like people that take ownership of their own work and input into the organisation. That’s how great businesses grow. Its very important when recruiting team members that they have the right mindset and attitude as skills can always be taught. If everyone in the company has an entrepreneurial spirit we will be best positioned to provide innovative solutions to problems and continually drive the business forward.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
Probably too much of an optimist, but then my business partner is more of a pessimist so we even out! I believe that by being optimistic you can do whatever you set your mind to. My optimistic mindset influences the way I deal with life and helped me achieve everything I have today.
What did you want to be as a child?
At first, an engineer, but then an entrepreneur. There something about the challenge and the way the numbers work in different business deals. I was selling sweets in school at the age of 11 and have done numerous ventures ever since. Some have been successful, others have not, but it has always been fun!
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging finance industry in the coming months?
With so many new entrants in the market there is a lot of people chasing deals. As a result, standards are already dropping and bad deals are being done. I expect default rates to increase over the next 6-12 months, especially without a rising market to support poor investments.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Human nature – people make me laugh with the things they do or say when they are not intending to be funny. It’s even more funny when they don’t realise why I’m in hysterics!
Do you dread Monday mornings?
Never. While I love weekends and spending time with the family, I look forward to Monday’s when I switch gear and get excited about the possibilities to continue growing our business.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wouldn’t mind being half a foot taller, but then I enjoy the fact that I have plenty of room on an economy flight! So I guess there’s nothing I would change really! Ok, that’s a lie, I wouldn’t mind having a 6-pack.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
Right now, Theresa May. She has a tough job right now and I think people are a bit harsh to her. She could probably use a friend and maybe help her solve a few problems. I have considered going into politics but, frankly, it’s too much hard work. I think I prefer to make suggestions to help the politicians make the right decisions. A bit like a back-seat driver.