Sanjay Khanna '85
Sanjay Khanna brings over thirty years of corporate, entrepreneurial, and some social sector experience across India and South Asia, the United States, and Europe, having been associated with some of the world’s most recognized quality brands.
Mr. Khanna started his career with Time Magazine in New York in 1985, moved to Europe, and shortly thereafter managed seven of Time Inc.’s magazines at the retail level in the United States and Canada, based in New York. He returned to New Delhi, India in 1989 as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman and MD, and also as Director Diversification of the Oberoi Group of Hotels. In 1990, when India first opened its doors to foreign investment, he was on the core team that negotiated with Pepsi Cola to earn a franchise for the Oberoi Group and specifically help set up two bottling plants in South India; other diversification projects included joint ventures with the Accor Group of hotels, flight catering with Lufthansa LSG, transmission of CNN news to its hotels, and hotel projects/land in Vietnam and Cambodia, etc.
From 1992 to 1995, Mr. Khanna struggled as an entrepreneur, manufacturing garments for export to Japan, consulting for Indian companies for projects in Vietnam and Cambodia, and small trading activities.
In 1995, Mr. Khanna was instrumental in setting up (and was later responsible for the Network Development and Distribution) Discovery Channel & Animal Planet across India and South Asia. In 6 years, he established the channel as a recognized brand name in more than 25 million homes in the region. Mr. Khanna was known to have recruited the best, most motivated, and efficient team in Indian media, establishing leadership and a number of ‘firsts’ in the industry. He left Discovery Channel as Regional Director - India and South Asia for Discovery Communications India and as Vice President Discovery Communications Inc., USA.
Mr. Khanna has been involved in restructuring a couple of known Indian brands and endeavoring to take them to private equity, the conceptualization and marketing of real estate projects, and various deal structuring and consulting assignments. Presently, he manages his own capital market and real estate portfolio and is a senior strategic advisor with SNG Partners, a medium sized Indian law firm. He is well-networked and connected.
Mr. Khanna’s forte lies in translating advanced world systems in India’s difficult business and regulatory environment, and describes himself as, ‘Entrepreneurial in the corporate world and corporate in the entrepreneurial world.’ He is acknowledged to have exceptional negotiating, legal, and financial skills, in addition to being deemed a Level 5 Manager.
Mr. Khanna was educated at the Cathedral & John Connon School in Bombay, India (where he excelled in sports and extracurricular activities), and later in the United States at Grinnell College (where he was involved with many student activities), graduating with a double major in General Science and Political Science in 1985.
Mr. Khanna remains involved advising Indian students on the value of a US education and in placing and advising young executives as well as people of modest backgrounds. He also works on the rehabilitation and care of street dogs and enjoys a good workout and golf.