GIRL’S POWER: Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director, MBD Group
Report by Santanu Ganguly, Noida: Exceptional success story of Monica Malhotra Kandhari sets her out as a paragon for all the talented, versatile and forward looking dynamic business women of India.
Monica Malhotra Kandhari started her entrepreneurial journey at a very young age of sixteen. Presently a Senior Director in MBD Group she learned her ropes in this very outfit at the shop floor. She has authored award winning books like “Children’s Picture Dictionary”, “Begin with A”, a unique English alphabet book amongst others. She has inherited her father’s skills in the publishing industry and is taking the MBD publishing to greater heights of success and achievements. Under her aegis MBD group has ventured globally with the launch its first publishing branch in South Africa (Cape Town). MBD is the only Indian origin publisher to be included in the National catalogue of South Africa. She has also been working towards creating synergies with leading international brands like Microsoft.
She is also the driving force behind MBD Skills Division is formed to provide skill development training in the field of IT, ITES & Hospitality, with the aim of bridging the gap between the supply and demand of skilled manpower. 20,000 pupils have been trained under the Capacity Building Program initiated by the company to train 1 million people by the year 2022. Also the group has recently launched a new initiative, MBD Disha – A teacher Capacity Building Program in collaboration with Imagine Education (UK) Ltd., designed around research-based practices to enhance the skill-set and knowledge base of the teachers.
MBD Alchemie- an e-learning company of MBD Group is another clinching proof of her undying enthusiasm, unlimited spirit of innovative and unbounded energy to keep pace with the times. MBD Alchemie a highly interactive e–learning platform aimed to provide affordable mass education to every learner through standardized content. Building on its rich pedagogy in publishing quality content, it has successfully implemented Ecademy Solution (Digital Classrooms) in 1500+ schools across India. Under her guidance MBD Alchemie has won three awards in World Schools Resources Expo 13′;Navikaran Award for Online Delivery of Education, Next Gen Learning and Integrated Digital Classroom Solution.
Under Malhotra’s direction, MBD has announced MBD Nytra an Augmented Reality app (watch books come alive), MBD smart books (educational tablets) and MBD Nyx (collaborative classrooms) for the end users. MBD Alchemie has won three awards in World Schools Resources Expo 13′ ; Navikaran Award for Online Delivery of Education, Next Gen Learning and Integrated Digital Classroom Solution.
Under the able leadership of Ms Monica Malhotra, MBD Group has published some award winning books like Punjabi Primer, Malyalam Padavali, and Picture Dictionary for Children. At the Delhi Book Fair 2014 three books of MBD Group (Learnwell social science VII, (English), Learnwell Hindi Surbhi Part 6, (Hindi) and Natural Science Grade 7 (English) received the Awards for excellence in Book Production 2014 organized by The Federation of Indian Publishers. Ms Malhotra is also the Managing Editor of “Democratic World” a monthly magazine published by the MBD Group
Along with education, publishing & printing family business Monica also ventured into the hospitality industry to pursue her father’s vision when MBD Group launched its first project ‘The Radisson Blu MBD Hotel’, Noida. Her creativity blossomed in the form of ‘Interiors with a difference’ at the Group’s offices hotels and malls. Her designs at the Radisson Blu Hotel MBD Ludhiana, the second hospitality venture of MBD Group redefines hospitality to create a sophisticated, comfortable environment through comprehensive and detailed coordination of interior finishes amidst stimulating design compositions and breath-taking interiors.
The versatility of her innovations is further reflected in the supervision of MBD Group’s latest ventures including MBD Neopolis Ludhiana and MBD Neopolis Jalandhar. . MBD Neopolis Ludhiana is the first of its kind Mixed Use Development Project, including the first 5 Star Deluxe Hotel in Ludhiana, a premium mega mall and Multiplex all in the same development.
For her exceptional work Ms Monica Malhotra has been honored with the Global Punjabi Society award in the field of publishing in 2013 and the Naari Shakti Sammaan by the Adhaar Foundation in 2011. Ms Malhotra is also the senate member of the Guru Nanakdev University Amritsar
The next category of Mixed Use Development designed by Monica Malhotra Kandhari is ‘MBD Zephyr’ in Bangalore which houses luxury hotel and luxury service apartment. A new allure based on a timeless concept of unparalleled beauty & perfection, MBD Zephyr, is a dream project of the Group interpreting luxury in the true sense of the word. With MBD Zephyr Ms. Monica Malhotra Kandhari aims to redefine luxury. The tired, oft-repeated glass and steel frontage of modern buildings gives way to a neo-classical look at MBD Zephyr, which is elegant, sophisticated and timeless in its appeal
Monica Malhotra Kandhari, along with her sister Sonica Malhotra Kandhari has been awarded the Prestigious “Trident Award for Young Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year” (2006) by The Ludhiana Management Association, one of the most distinguished management associations in North India. The Young Entrepreneur award marks the contributions made by young entrepreneurs in various fields in industry and commerce. She was recently honored with “LBF visionary award” in 2009 for her contributions in the field of hospitality.
In the past Monica’s accomplishments have received accolades and earned recognition and awards including the prestigious Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award 2007. Ms. Monica was also conferred with the “Shiromani Award” by the Noida Mahila Udyami Sansthan, “Pride of Noida” award for the “Most Inspirational Female Achiever”, The Prestigious 18th Talented Ladies Awards by Bharat Nirman in May 2006 and the “IMM Top Women Entrepreneur Awards” by the Institute of Marketing Management and the Young Achiever award of Year 2006. Most recently, the PHD Chamber honored Monica Malhotra Kandhari with the prestigious Outstanding Business Woman of the Year 2015 award.
Sonica Malhotra Joint Managing Director, MBD Group
Sonica Malhotra, presently the Joint Managing Director of MBD Group, is driving the Group by taking powerful strides into Hospitality, real estate, retail and mall development ventures. Being an energetic entrepreneur, she handles all the key projects from start to finish, right from project planning to pre-opening and post-opening of hotels and malls. She has been directing the Group’s strategy very meticulously and is also responsible for branding, positioning and assisting in the expansion plans of MBD Group. She works very closely with her sister Monica Malhotra Kandhari, the Managing Director of MBD Group, who takes care of education and publishing business of the group.
Under her aegis, MBD Group forayed into hospitality sector about 12 years ago when it entered into a franchise agreement with Radisson Hotels & Resorts and opened their first maiden venture The Radisson Blu MBD Hotel, Noida. After successfully establishing the hotel in Noida, Ms Malhotra helped in repeating the success story with Radisson Blu Hotel MBD, Ludhiana- the first five star hotel of Ludhiana. Ms Malhotra has also introduced premium and luxury brands in the state of Punjab with MBD Neopolis, Ludhiana and Jalandhar – mixed use developments entailing five star Hotel, premium and luxury retail mall and a multiplex. The next category of mixed use development is coming up in Whitefield, Bangalore- MBD Zephyr, which houses luxury hotel and luxury service apartments. A new allure based on a timeless concept of unparalleled beauty & perfection, MBD Zephyr, is a dream project of the Group interpreting luxury in the true sense of the word.
MBD Group’s dream project – MBD Zephyr – one of the largest luxury mixed-use land development projects of the country. Sonica Malhotra also spearheads the group’s foray into print media. She is the Group editor of first monthly magazine of the group “Democratic World”.
Born in Jalandhar and brought up in Delhi since she was five, Sonica Malhotra studied B.Com at Jesus and Mary College and pursued an MBA in Finance from the International Management Institute (IMI), Delhi. Further, she completed a programme in leadership development (PLD) from Harvard Business School, Boston. Inspired by her mother, Mrs. Satish Bala Malhotra, Malhotra has also completed a Post-graduate (Diploma) in Kathak from Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, in which she emerged as a scholarship holder. Malhotra spends her leisure time reading, listening to music or swimming in the summers.
A dynamic businesswoman and a highly educated strategic thinker is taking MBD Group’s hospitality business to greater heights of success and achievements.
For her exceptional work, Sonica Malhotra has been honored with the “Women Super achiever in Retail” award by the Asia Retail congress; “Amity Leadership Excellence Award”; “The Women Entrepreneur Of The Year” award by Franchise India; The CMO Council Marketing super achiever award; The GPS achievers award (2011); The Real estate world award for ‘Female Professional of the year 2011’; the Naari Shakti Sammaan by the Adhaar Foundation and the Kalpna Chawla award. She has also been awarded the Prestigious Trident Award for Young Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year (2006) by The Ludhiana Management Association; Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award 2007 and Lakshya Bharti Foundation visionary award in the field of Hospitality (2009); “Pride of Noida” award for the “Most Inspirational Female Achiever”; “Shiromani Award” by the Noida Mahila Udyami Sansthan; The Prestigious 18th Talented Ladies Awards by Bharat Nirman in May 2006 and the “IMM Top Women Entrepreneur Awards” by the Institute of Marketing Management; along with her sister Ms. Monica Malhotra Kandhari. She also got felicitated at THE ECONOMIC TIMES Business Knights – Punjab for her contribution to the Indian Economy.