IPA Congress 2018: Ashok Kumar Malhotra honoured as ‘Publishing Icon’

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 honoured with the title ‘Publishing Icon’ at the International Publishers Congress 2018. International Publishers Congress 2018 was hosted by the International Publishers Association (IPA) with the Indian member, Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP), in New Delhi after 26 years.

15 Feb 2018 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

Perhaps the youngest publisher ever to publish a self-authored book, at the age of 13, Malhotra dreamt of creating an MBD product for every literate person. He was a force in shaping the publishing sector in India and elsewhere; not only did he understand the significance of creative learning, he was also instrumental in modernising the publishing business and introducing contemporary learning practices, among other things. Malhotra was a man with a mission to transform a book-selling business unit into a financial giant and a successful brand.

Today, MBD Group is one of the leading education companies in India with over six decades of domain experience. It is the only company which has complete backward and forward integration with ten printing units, fully equipped with state-of-the-art pre-press, press and post-press facilities, producing about 5,00,000 books per day. The group has 34 branch offices, a large number of employees and a wide network of distributors and booksellers across the country.

Satish Bala Malhotra, chairperson, and Monica Malhotra Kandhari, managing director of MBD Group, received the award conferred by Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog, at the International Publishers Congress 2018.

Under Malhotra’s futuristic vision, the group has diversified into a vast portfolio comprising eLearning, capacity building, stationery, mLearning, skill development, eco-friendly notebooks, paper manufacturing and ICT Infrastructure. An entrepreneur par excellence, Malhotra had also envisioned the group’s diversification into hospitality, real estate and mall development and management. His enduring vision and laudable legacy have been ably realised and cultivated by his two daughters, Monica Malhotra Kandhari and Sonica Malhotra.

Malhotra Kandhari said, “I am overwhelmed by this recognition accorded to my father whose vision and legacy had laid the solid foundation upon which the MBD Group stands today. As a father, he is the perfect role model and whatever we have achieved today is solely because of his guidance and life lessons we have learned from him.”