Remembering the publishing icon– Ashok Kumar Malhotra!

Ashok Kumar Malhotra, the Founder of the MBD Group—a first-generation entrepreneur and one of the pioneers of the publishing industry in India—was recently honoured with the title of ‘Publishing Icon’ at the International Publishers Congress 2018. Here’s more about this publishing icon.

Ashok Kumar Malhotra, Founder, MBD Group
Ashok Kumar Malhotra, Founder, MBD Group

In 1956, at a very tender age of 13 years, Ashok Kumar Malhotra started his journey from a single bookstore in Jalandhar, Punjab. He not only became the youngest publisher in India but also changed the paradigm of Indian publishing industry. He brought forth premier self-study content in India and changed the way content was consumed in the country. Under his leadership, MBD group grew to be the leading publisher by publishing books for all classes, all subjects, major boards, in multiple languages; nationally and internationally.

From the humble bookstore in Jalandhar, today MBD has over 37 branch offices across India and international operations in South Africa, Sri Lanka and Middle East. MBD today prints more than 5,00,000 books a day and has 10 state-of-the-art printing presses for printing quality books in various colours, configurations and sizes, 3 notebook manufacturing units and a world-class premiere paper manufacturing unit to provide inimitable quality in print communication.

With technological advancements, MBD also kept evolving itself to compliment new age digital publishing and MBD’s digital contents have over 7 million users. Also, MBD Disha, the flagship teacher capacity building program for developing teaching skill and techniques focused on enhancing skills and knowledge,trains approximately 50,000 teachers annually.

Now, with the recent foray into AR, VR and Robotics, the MBD group has taken another giant step in its transformation from being a publisher to a world-class education solutions provider and now into a new-age digital edutainment company. On the traditional training front, MBD Skills division, with more than 20 skill centers across India, aims to train 100,000 youths by 2020.

From a publication house, MBD group has not only transformed itself into the largest education company in India but also diversified in the education sector, but the group is also a name to reckon with in hospitality and real estate sectors as well. The MBD Neopolis and the Radission Blu hotels have consistently been the trendsetters and an icon in their respective sectors.The group’s JV with the Steigenberger Hotels group of Germany has the potential to redefine and set new benchmarks in the hospitality sector.

The man behind MBD…

It was perhaps the conviction that made Ashok Kumar Malhotra publish a self authored book to become the youngest ever publisher at the age of 13 years. This feat epitomizes the vision, zeal for success and the innate business acumen and Malhotra, was a man with a mission to transform his book selling business unit into publishing and education conglomerate and a successful brand of all time. The dream and the larger goal was to assure that an MBD product is there for every literate person.

A self-made man, Malhotra was a true visionary who had envisioned the group’s diversification into the hospitality and real estate business. His dynamic vision, leadership style and ethics helped him in not only achieving his stated goal but has also left a lasting legacy that continues to act as a cornerstone, inspiring and guiding the group’s expansion and diversification to become a successful conglomerate

Keeping the mission & vision alive till date…

Malhotra firmly believed that leading is not only about striving to become better than we are today, but helping everything and everyone around us to become better too. He always encouraged people to think out of the box and take-up leadership roles in whichever field they work. Shri Kumar believed that any leader should be guided by basic values and ethics to inspire others too. By staying true to this spirit, he resolutely accentuated that people were not just another stakeholder in the business, but in fact the very existence of it. It is this vision and legacy that laid a solid foundation upon which the MBD Group stands today.

His people management skills and business acumen, not only have a profound impact on growth of MBD group but also on the present leadership in the group. His daughters Monica Malhotra Kandhari and Sonica Malhotra who today lead the group and have taken the MBD group to newer heights as MD and JMD respectively will forever remain true to his vision, his ideals, and his principles. For both of them he is the great pioneer of Indian Education remains the guiding force and eternal inspiration. True to their father’s motto of either being the ‘best or the biggest’ in the industry, the sisters continue to drive for excellence. Under the able guidance of Group Chairperson, Satish Bala Malhotra, either the publishing business or the hospitality and real estate verticals, Monica and Sonica endeavor for bringing the best in class offering for the end consumers. They also encourage the same in the other ranks in the group and encourage people to take the lead to bring in the best. Under the leadership of Monica, the publishing business has made international forays into South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Middle East markets as well.

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