The FORT Podcast: Sanjay Chandra

Sanjay Chandra serves as Principal and Managing Partner of Trinity Private Equity Group and its affiliated companies in a variety of roles. He also serves as a Board Member for American Leather, which he co-founded in 1990, and where he was formerly president and CFO. Chris and Sanjay discuss Sanjay’s life as a founder, his family’s immigration to the United States, pivoting into real estate, and his experience in the world of private equity.

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02:17 — Sanjay’s Story
05:53 — How did you turn your engineering background into founding American Leather?
09:28 — How does system and process design play into the company?
12:47 — How does process affect the growth of a business?
14:37 — How do you encourage people to take ownership and make processes better?
21:16 — Is there a weekly or monthly meeting where you continuously try to improve your processes?
23:02 — Sanjay’s Entry into Private Equity in 2006
31:20 — How get your start in the real estate community and convince people to do deals with you?
34:12 — Did you always want to focus on residential?
35:25 — How can you be a really good operator in multifamily?
41:19 — If I were a business looking to take on private equity, what things would you tell me to think about?
43:49 — Are your time horizons with private equity the same as your real estate deals?
45:42 — What is the mentality of a founder who takes on private equity? What does the transition to life with a board look like?
48:12 — What is it like to live under the guidance of a board?
49:04 — How does a business go from being founder-run to not?
50:45 — What would happen if you bought a business and realized the founder is the issue?
54:48 — What is a question you ask before investing in a business today that you wouldn’t have when you first started?
57:42 — What was the biggest challenge in your career?
59:37 — Advice to Your 21-Year-Old Self
1:04:54 — What will the world look like in 2030?
1:07:52 — Do you have a favorite interview question?

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