Featured Alumni Entrepreneur: Chandini D P ’09 MBA

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IMG_1711 A 1Hailing from a family with diverse businesses, Chandini D P ’09 MBA helps run Classic Group, an entrepreneurial venture started by her father. Classic Group was founded over three decades ago and focuses on distribution of alcoholic beverages, modern trade outlets, property development and coffee estates, trading and retail. Chandini is a fifth generation coffee planter. The quality of the Classic Group’s coffee and estates have been recognized and awarded internationally for over a decade.

With coffee being a major part of the culture of the family, Classic Group was actively involved in founding the Specialty Coffee Association of India (Scai). Classic is also a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and America and an active participant in the World Barista Championship (WBC) and a founding member of the Women’s Coffee Alliance, India Chapter (WCAI), which conducts various activities to raise funds for the underprivileged women in the coffee industry and provide for their health and education. Find them at www.classicin.com.

Chandini’s creative streak and passion for design led her to start Mondocrea in 2012. Before which, she did freelance work in advertising. Initially working on only advertising, Mondocrea has now diversified into providing branding solutions and marketing strategies for its clients. In the future, Chandini hopes to make this a base to also fund and mentor disadvantaged entrepreneurs in the area.

Chandini’s latest venture is in the hospitality industry. In 2015, she opened a boutique home resort called Golden Wood. The resort is nestled deep inside the coffee estates of the Western Ghats of India. The resort aims to provide guests with the experience of a planter’s life and life in the countryside. Be it a relaxed, adventurous, educational or even a romantic getaway, there’s something for everyone with Golden Wood’s widespread greenery, constant streams of flowing water, mountain-esque landscape and plenty of history. It is home to over 200 birds and is part of the elephant corridor.

With a passion to conserve and protect the environment, the entire property is ecologically friendly; with power generated on the property and meals prepared from produce grown organically on the plantation. The resort also employs staff from the local villages, giving them an opportunity to grow, learn and provide better for their families. With just over a year of operations, the resort is already looking at occupancy rates over 40 percent. Starting with just 15 rooms, spread out across acres, Chandini aims to double them over the next couple of years, also adding a spa and rejuvenation center. Find more at www.goldenwood.in.

Other than Golden Wood (and her other endeavors), Chandini also has another resort is in the pipeline and under construction. She is working on a plan to take this brand to a global platform.

Chandini D P

Chandini D P

Chandini D P graduated from the Whitman School of Management in 2009 with an MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing. She is a fifth generation coffee planter from the South of India. While at Whitman, she actively participated in programs such as the D’Aniello Internship, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp as a mentor, EESA and other study abroad programs. Returning to India after a year of working in the US, Chandini joined her family business. While she continues doing this, she also started a design and marketing firm called Mondocrea in 2012 and ventured into the hospitality industry in 2014 under the name of Golden Wood with two resorts in the pipeline. She now lives in Bangalore, India, and loves to travel.
Chandini D P

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