Sonia A Mahendran
Sonia A. Mahendran co-founded and was CEO of Asian World Summit , a company devoted to making Asia the power base of global change. She has also been a Business Development Director at Malaysia's leading independent private think tank the Asian Strategic Leadership Institute, and a groundbreaking Director in the Asian Pacific and Middle Eastern operations at British global summit promotion firm Marcus Evans.
In 2008, at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI), Sonia helped organize ex-President Bill Clinton’s first visit to Malaysia since his election as president of the United States.
Mahendran also partnered with India’s most powerful business organization, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), to facilitate a strategic, round-table dialogue between top corporate conglomerates from India and Malaysia. As a result of these dialogues, the Asian Strategic Leadership Institute tabled a white paper on bilateral agreements to then Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on potential collaboration and investment opportunities between India and Malaysia.
Mahendran’s signature Corporate Governance Summits have featured the likes of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia for 22 years; Raja Nazrin Shah, Crown Prince of Malaysia’s second largest state, Perak; Lim Eng Guan Chief Minister of Malaysia’s economically crucial Penang State; high-profile Australian attorney David Galbally; and Michael Hershman, Co-Founder of Transparency International.
Mahendran collaborated with the Mayor of Kuala Lumpur on the Asian Metrocity Summit 2010 which brought Mayors from all around Asia and Europe to discuss sustainability.
Mahendran’s 2010 Women of Influence Summit, co-hosted by Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah binti Mansor, the wife of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, featured Kiran Bedi, former Director General of India’s Bureau of Police Research and Development, founder of two NGOs, star of her own TV show, Your Court, and the subject of two films and two books. It’s rumored that Bedi is on the short list to become the next Prime Minister of India.
Mahendran and Howard Bloom tested the Asian space waters by initiating a space-industry conference in Bangalore co-sponsored by India’s NASA--the Indian Satellite Research Organisation (ISRO)--and the Confederation of Indian Industries: SpaceBiz 2008, which took place in November of that year.
And Mahendran promoted a two-day Reperceiving Leadership Masterclass with Howard Bloom that attracted CEOs and Senior General Managers from some of Malaysia’s most important companies
During her six-year rise to Director of Asia Pacific/Middle East at London-based Marcus Evans (2000-2006), Sonia was part of a team of three senior members sent to Hong Kong to set up operations and establish a branch office which was eventually to be the main Marcus Evans hub in North Asia.