Outlook Business Initiative

Breaking The Stereotype Like Father, Like Daughter

In 2020 when Mandhira Kapur took the helm of SMPL, the company was going through the pandemic and company’s growth was stagnated. Just like her father, Mandhira dealt with the challenges with grits of steel and steered around the fortunes for SMPL. In the male dominated automotive aftermarket space, Mandhira Kapur’s story is no less than a odyssey. 

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Published 2 months ago on Aug 18, 2021 4 minutes Read
Mandhira Kapur Managing Director, Sona Mandhira Pvt. Ltd., (SMPL)

A recent UN report recognizes pre-existing and new constraints to women’s participation and leadership and advocates measures to facilitate women’s influence over decision-making processes.

The report also highlights the work done by women in leadership positions to demonstrate the opportunity to “build back better”.  By including and supporting women in the decision-making processes, the organizations and networks will ultimately be able to better shape the post-pandemic future.

Mandhira Kapur, Managing Director, Sona Mandhira Private Limited (SMPL), an automotive ancillary company, is a fine example of how efforts and commitment can help achieve new heights of business success in a post-pandemic scenario. A fit study for a B-School, as a woman leader in the automobile industry, Kapur has already proven the success of new perspectives and a strong value system that she has brought along. Today, the SMPL brand represents choice and confidence to its customers.

SMPL was set up in 2012 by Late Dr. Surinder Kapur, the founder and chairman of the Sona Group of companies. From 2020, Mandhira Kapur, the second-generation entrepreneur, meticulously positioned SMPL as a brand that offers unmatched value to its consumers. While Kapur has marked her debut in automotive aftermarket segment with a bang, she is playing a vital role in transforming the company by making sure that the core values of her father remains intact and yet making sure the company accomplishes the vision that Late Dr. Kapur had for the group.

Over the years, Kapur has strived to retain the same working culture, approach and attitude in business as her father, who has remained her biggest inspiration. Her goal remains to fulfil her father’s vision for the company and Group.

A seasoned professional with a career spanning over 15 years, Kapur has achieved and learnt a lot in all her entrepreneurial endeavours. She has been the creative force behind many national and global brands, curating various marketing and branding strategies. She has been instrumental in bringing the SMPL brand to the forefront and making it a household name. Her perseverance to bring about change in the aftermarket industry, she has opened doors for many women in mid and upper management in SMPL. This change in perspective has proven to be fruitful for the company.

Understanding the importance of retaining and expanding SMPL’s current hold in the aftermarket space, Kapur is currently spearheading transformative initiatives to ensure it not only retains but also emerges as a leader in its chosen field. Initially, the brand started as a manufacturer and supplier of aftermarket suspension and steering components but now SMPL has also expanded its product portfolio within the existing segments.

SMPL operates in a B2B format in the aftermarket automotive segment. The firm works through a distribution network catering to tier 1, 2 and 3 cities. SMPL ensures that the Group remains relevant and innovative in the entire information technology gamut. Keeping itself abreast with digital technologies, the brand has updated itself with many technological advancements to reduce manual intervention.

Being an industry leader, SMPL’s prime focus is on serving the automotive aftermarket that manufactures innovative products designed and engineered for efficiency and reliability. The brand adheres to the most stringent quality standards of benchmark set by highly skilled and experienced professionals.

Kapur has been working with the SMPL team to ensure that their products are reliable and of superior quality by adhering to best practices.  The checking process involves multiple steps to ensure the product is genuine and durable. The brand ensures focused quality control across all the processes. The processes are viewed in the light of how a step might be done faster and better to improve the overall efficiency. The Quality Management System (QMS) at SMPL uses different tools for continual improvement, defect prevention and reduction of variation and waste in the supply chain.

The employees take pride in calling themselves Sona Mandhira Parivaar, and share in the responsibility of creating a great team experience. Much of the credit goes to Kapur for developing this culture, which has helped to develop the highest standards of work ethics and teamwork.

A strong proponent of open-door philosophy, Kapur strives to ensure that everyone is as approachable as possible. “We take time for people; we ask questions, listen, and make ourselves accessible. This creates personal connections with our employees that we believe is critical to our organizational success and the happiness of our workforce,” says Kapur.

She points that the pandemic had a major impact on employees. To minimise any adverse impact, Kapur took the initiative to ensure that every SMPL employee is vaccinated. The firm recently hosted a vaccination drive at its office to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all its employees.
Besides work, Mandhira is an avid traveller and mother of two children - son JaieVeer and daughter Nyna Kapur. She likes to spend her free time with her family and friends. She handles her work with great passion and believes in hands-on involvement.