Steering family business to new heights

Monica Malhotra Kandhari — Senior Director, MBD Group

Monica Malhotra Kandhari started her entrepreneurial journey at the very young age of sixteen years. Presently a Senior Director in the MBD Group, she learned her ropes in this very outfit at the shop floor. Having inherited her father’s skills in the publishing industry and she is today poised to take MBD Publishing to greater heights. Under her leadership, 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 has authored award winning books like “Children’s Picture Dictionary”, “Begin with A”, a unique English alphabet book amongst others.

Monica, along with her sister Sonica have been the recipients of the prestigious “Trident Award for Young Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year” by The Ludhiana Management Association, one of the most distinguished management associations in North India. She was recently honored with “LBF visionary award” in 2009 for her contributions in the field of hospitality. She has also been a recipient of many national awards.

Monica was brought up in a simple and humble atmosphere where she was encouraged to learn and follow her heart whether in sports or in arts. Her mother left no stone unturned to provide her with the best of opportunities to learn everything. She believes that performing with passion and clubbing it with hard work is the ultimate success mantra. From an early age, she developed this craving to learn each day which kept her focused in life.  Monica says she does not remember if she had any lazy young age of carelessness. When her classmates bunked classes at times for a movie or so, she did it for work and office!

High point in career

“I was always inclined towards the education sector and wanted to bring in new techniques in the area of e-learning. MBD Alchemie, a highly interactive e—learning platform aimed to provide affordable mass education to every learner through standardized content was my aim. Building on its rich pedagogy in publishing quality content, it has successfully implemented this Academy Solution (Digital Classrooms) in 1500+ schools across India.

I ventured into the hospitality industry to pursue my father’s vision when MBD Group launched its first project ‘The Radisson Blu MBD Hotel’, Noida.

Most challenging assignment so far

“MBD Group is the leading and trusted name in the publishing industry and since its inception our aim has been to provide quality educational textbooks. Today we publish books for all subjects, all classes, all major boards in India and in major regional languages apart from Hindi and English. Transforming the Group from a publishing house to an Education Service Provider has been a great learning experience. Today, our products and services are being consumed by more than 50 million learners across the globe.”

“The transformation took place in the last one decade and it was one of the most challenging assignment. However, as the saying goes – “Journey is more beautiful than destination”, we learned a lot during the interaction with our end customers while conceptualizing the products and services.”

Greatest inspiration

“My dad, Ashok Kumar Malhotra is my icon. He was always there with us, anywhere we wanted him to be. His time management was excellent. He made best use of all the opportunities with utmost hard work.”

“He was a people’s person. He provided vision, put people in charge gave them authority and responsibility and above all trust and gave them free hand to work. My style of working has emerged from his style. I truly believe I am as good as my team.”

“Motivation, belief and determination were the key strengths that my father Ashok Kumar Malhotra has built the MBD Empire on.  My father firmly believed that the best things in life find their own place in course of time; all you need to make this happen with motivation backed by belief and determination. His dynamism has made him an extremely successful businessman, one who has been shouldering multi-business responsibilities with ease and huge success.”

Most important milestone in life

“Each achievement, big or small is important to me and my team. I recognize and appreciate every step towards achievement as my team has put their heart and soul to achieve it.”

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

“I do not believe in “halves”, we all, whether men or women, are complete in ourselves. Thus we should stop the discrimination and strike to become human.”