Sonica Malhotra Kandhari: MBD’s group heiress

Sonica-Malhotra-kandharSonica Malhotra Kandhari walks in with an air of someone who owns the place. Of course, she owns the place. Eleven years ago, Sonica Malhotra Kandhari helped her father Ashok Kumar Malhotra, a big name in publishing, diversify into the hospitality business, starting with MBD Radisson, Noida’s first five-star hotel, where she is seated talking about her dream: further expansion.

Born in Jalandhar and brought up in Delhi since she was five, Kandhari studied BCom at Jesus and Mary College and went on to top the exams. Later, she pursued an MBA specializing in finance. “I looked after the construction of this [Noida] hotel. The decision on which brand to go ahead with, the mode of operations – I decided all of that with the blessings of my dad,” says the proud daughter who also oversaw the construction of the first ever five-star hotel in Ludhiana and a high-end mall in Jalandhar.

The Harvard Business School alumna believes that her sister Monica complements her in the businesses. Kandhari handles the finance and systems and, in the hospitality arm, she manages everything – from operations to finance to IT. Her sister is more creative and focuses on interior and designs at hotel properties, besides managing operations in publishing. “I am very systems-oriented and go into finer details. She is able to see much larger than I do,” says Kandhari.

Considering that their publishing house’s largest selling books have been math tutorials, her obsession with numbers is not surprising. She explains: “In this business you have to do your numbers very rigorously.” She knows only too well that if you can’t justify the spend on a room with the charge you are going to fix, it is a recipe for disaster. (Source:ET)