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Wednesday, 05 February, 2014, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

Arun K Nanda, Chairman, Mahindra Holidays

Arun Nanda is a person whose outstanding career achievements have been recognised with several awards, including Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur from President Sarkozy and 2010 Golden Star Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Hospitality Industry. He was also bestowed with Aatithya Ratna Award at HIFI 2014 recently. Shweta Ramsay goes behind the scenes to unveil details about the man who transformed from being an accountant to one of India’s biggest business tycoons
dayinlife_arun_k_nanda_1.jpgHailing from Patna, Bihar, the 64 year old stalwart has been working with the Mahindra group for over 40 years in a series of key positions in finance, compliance, corporate governance, investments, strategic planning, corporate communications, and identifying new business opportunities.

Nanda holds a degree in Law from the University of Calcutta and is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (FCA) and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (FCS). He has also participated in a Senior Executive Program at the London Business School.

Nanda joined the Mahindra Board in 1992. Nanda’s entrepreneurial instincts have guided Mahindra Holiday & Resorts India Ltd’s (MHRIL) success as India’s leading vacation experience provider. He also serves as Founder and Chairman of MHRIL, Mahindra Lifespace Developers, Owens Corning India, Mahindra Consulting Engineers, and Mahindra World City Developers, and Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, Mahindra Water Utilities, Mahindra World City (Jaipur), Mumbai Mantra Media and Union Bank of India.

dayinlife_arun_k_nanda_2.jpgNanda is also Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Western Region, Chairman Emeritus of the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce, Member of the governing Boards of the council of EU Chambers of Commerce in India and Bombay First. Having resigned in 2010 as Executive Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, Nanda currently serves as Chairman of Mahindra Holidays.

Early Years
Nanda says, “While my first job was as that of an accountant at Gillanders Arbuthnot in Kolkata; my first real exposure to hospitality industry came when I was appointed the Founder and Chairman of MHRIL.”

As Nanda had the qualifications of a law graduate, chartered accountant and company secretary, his early years with the Mahindra group’s businesses entailed functional roles. After moving to Mumbai, however, he began spearheading businesses.

“The Mahindra Group wanted to get into the services sector and given my passion for travel, good life and food, I was instantly drawn to set my foot into the Hospitality Industry,” exclaims Nanda.

Fast Five
Favourite Drink: None
Favourite cuisine: Lebanese
Favourite destination: Tirol area in Australia
Favourite restaurant: Flower Drum in Melbourne
Favourite Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio

Following the group’s stated intent to move into the service sector, Nanda identified holiday time-shares as a growth prospect, leading to a quasi-entrepreneurial role as the founder of the MHRIL venture, the group’s hospitality business. He nurtured the business from inception.

Commenting on his daily routine Nanda says, “I normally have a long day.  I go for a walk at 7 am. I reach office by 10 am. By about 6.30 pm or 7 pm I’ am out of office. Each day I have some social commitments and before going to bed I catch up on my mails.”

Being a workaholic, Nanda has a hectic schedule everyday. He attends several social events and meetings; and is involved with national initiatives on skill development and water management.

Family man
Nanda lives in Mumbai with his wife, Neeraja.  They have two children - Pooja and Uday.

Nanda says, “We, as a family like to travel a lot. To us spending quality time together is much more important. One of our favourite things to do is to watch sporting events such as Olympics, FIFA, Wimbledon, etc.” In his spare time, Nanda enjoys playing Golf.
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SHAREEF 2014-02-06 15:54:12
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