Gone are the days when the term “Women’s Empowerment” had anything to do with women, and it invoked images of women crossing hurdles and breaking stereotypes. Today, women have created their own identity. They aren’t just travelling to space for science and humanity; they are leading countries, guiding teams and setting extraordinary benchmarks in every section of society. Meet Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Managing Director at MBD Group, a leading education solution providing company with a rich experience of over six decades.
Interestingly, MBD Group is the only publishing house in India with complete backward and forward integration which offers every facility right from the self-owned manufacturing unit to in-house pre-press facilities, in-house printing and binding units and a distribution network with 29 branches all across India. While playing a pioneering role in uplifting the educational sector, Monica guides her team to leverage its experience in developing the latest technology to set a benchmark in the industry.
Factors which place Monica beyond just an Entrepreneur
It would be wrong to call Monica just an entrepreneur; she is beyond that. Apart from being an influential business leader, she is an award-winning author, an exceptional writer who contributes majorly to numerous well-known media publications, and also a motivator who continuously inspires her team to innovate new products and business processes.
Describing herself Monica says, “I am a positively competitive person, where often people get jealous, I get motivated. I am always inclined to innovate newer products and business processes.”
Her contribution to the world of education have earned her numerous achievements including Outstanding Business Woman Award for the Year 2015 by PHD Chamber; the Global Punjabi Society Award in the field of publishing in 2013; the Naari Shakti Sammaan by the Adhaar Foundation in 2011; Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award 2007; Shiromani Award by the Noida Mahila Udyami Sansthan; Pride of Noida Award for the Most Inspirational Female Achiever; 18th Talented Ladies Awards by Bharat Nirman in May 2006; IMM Top Women Entrepreneur Awards by the Institute of Marketing Management and the Young Achiever Award of Year 2006. This extraordinary business woman has also been honoured by Femina Women Achievers Award for Excellence in Education & Coaching Sector.
A Journey which Turned Passion into Profession
Monica was born in Jalandhar, Punjab, and moved to Delhi when she was in class 9. She grew up in Delhi in an atmosphere that promoted simple living and high thinking and was encouraged to keep learning and follow her heart. It was then that she started following her dreams, and with her family’s support, especially her mother, her dreams became a reality.
Passion for job, hard work, sincerity and dedication are the ingredients guarantee success. Similarly, Monica, with her passion for singing, dancing and basketball, turned out her to be a district level basketball player, and a distinction holder in singing and a postgraduate degree in dancing. Soon she developed zeal and she joined the family business at the age of fifteen. There, worked on making books on the shop floor of the factory. As advised by her father, Ashok Kumar Malhotra, Founder of the MBD Group, she devoted herself to learning the trade rather than learning the tricks of the trade. That is what emerged as the turning point of her life and that is where her entrepreneurial journey began.
Monica has always been inclined towards developing new techniques in the e-learning field of education. She has guided the team of experts in her company to develop ‘MBD Alchemie’, a highly interactive e-learning platform which is aimed at providing affordable mass education to every learner through standardised content. Under her direction, the company has forayed into the Skill Development, Capacity Building, and Virtual Reality (VR) space in education and has launched other e-learning apps and educational content such as MBD Nytra (AR App), MBD Smartbooks, and MBD NYX (Collaborative Classrooms). Monica has even guided the team to introduce Robotics in school education system in line with STEM education to ignite the scientific spark in creative young minds.
About the Extraordinarily Innovative Company Creating Impact in the Education Industry
With the belief, determination and perseverance of her father, Monica involves herself in not only mentoring the team but also helping those innovating new things and opening new branches. Under her guidance, the company has spread its branches in various sectors including e-learning, hospitality, real estate, mall development and management, ICT infrastructure, skill development, capacity building, stationery, magazine and paper manufacturing. Now the company has ventured globally with the launch of its first publishing branch in South Africa (Cape Town). Interestingly, MBD turned out to be the only Indian origin publisher to be included in the National catalogue of South Africa. The company has its presence in the Middle East and other countries including Sri Lanka.
Along with such extraordinary achievements, the company has also introduced numerous other products including MBD Disha. Speaking about the programme, Monica said “Capacity Building Programme for Teachers, Principals and school Educators in India.”
Monica spoke about MBD Group’s unique learning and development curriculum called Management and Supervisory Development Programme in hospitality aiming to bring out the best in the leaders of tomorrow. Speaking about the programme, Monica said, “It aims to enlighten young and dynamic aspirants and make them achieve their goals. The programme focuses on core entrepreneurial competencies such as generating ideas, assessing viability, launch pad networking, management tools, business plans and fundraising as well as topics such as e-marketing, sustainability and work-life balance.”
Talking about the company’s current status and its future goals, Monica said, “So far the Skill Division has trained more than 8800 learners and aims to skill train one million learners by 2020. As an individual, I see myself in the pursuit of lifelong learning and helping MBD Group achieve greater heights and explore new avenues for growth. MBD group will continue to diversify and explore new avenues all the while taking along all stakeholders in the growth story.”
An Educator’s Vision
The visionary leader Monica shared her thoughts about a student’s life and said, “A student’s life is often fraught with challenges and distractions and the learnings and knowledge accumulated during this phase will lay the foundation for a successful life ahead. We at MBD would like to advise students to be confident of their abilities and be persistent and face the challenging times.”
Monica’s advice for the future of the nation, i.e., students is, “A career should ideally be based on a person’s aptitude and interest and not only on the compensation. What matters the most is the persistence and hard work which will eventually enable the person to succeed in any chosen field.”