Sandhya Mendonca is an Indian writer, editor and publisher. Born in Bengaluru (Bangalore) in the state of Karnataka, India, she gained a BA in Economics, Political Science & Sociology from St. Joseph's College of Arts & Science, and an MA in Political Science specialising in International Relations from Bangalore University. She has a Diploma in Public Relations from the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. She lives in Bengaluru.
Sandhya Mendonca worked as a journalist  for over sixteen years before co-founding a media company with her husband and veteran journalist Allen Mendonca (1960 - 2009), Raintree Media, of which she is the Managing Director & Editor-in-Chief. She is also the mentor at TheGoodCity.in, a web and mobile based curated content platform, and the Festival Director of Under The Raintree women's cultural festival, India's first multi-arts festival curated by women.
A native Kannadiga, Mendonca is a chronicler of the cultural history of the state of Karnataka through books published by Raintree Media such as Karnataka - A Cultural Odyssey, Raj Bhavan Bangalore - Through the Ages, Marvels of Karnataka & more and many others. She is the co-author of Marvels of Mysore & More, published in 2012. This book has been hailed by author Shashi Deshpande, and editor-in-chief of Outlook, Krishna Prasad. In 2015, Marvels of Karnataka & More was translated into Kannada as Karnatakada Vismayagalu (ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ವಿಸ್ಮಯಗಳು).
Her latest book Disrupt and Conquer - How TTK Prestige Became A Billion Dollar Company co-authored with Mr. TT Jaggannathan (Chairman of TTK Group), has been published by Penguin Random House in 2018. Random House also published her earlier book on the REVA electric car Reva EV - India's Green Gift to the World (co-authored with Dr. SK Maini), in 2013. Her autobiographical stories are published in the Chicken Soup for the Indian Couples' Soul & Chicken Soup for the Indian Singles' Soul series, both a part of the international Chicken Soup for the Soul series, published in India by Tata Westland in 2012.
In 2019, she edited and published the Augmented Reality embedded Innovate Bengaluru, which features the top 100 innovators and enablers in Bengaluru's ecosystem. The book was launched in April 2019 at the Innovate Bengaluru Festival, which brought together over 300 Icons, Inventors, Entrepreneurs, Emerging Leaders, Enablers and Investors.
Mendonca is an amateur actor and has acted in an original play about child sexual abuse Shadows on the Wall written and directed by Vijay Nair, and a comedy about golf Sliced Balls written by Poile Sengupta. She most recently acted in Robi's Garden directed by veteran director Vijay Padaki of Bangalore Little Theatre.
In 2009, Mendonca started an informal initiative in memory of her husband, Under the Raintree, that hosted play readings, artistic interactions, and concerts. Starting with the dramatised reading of Anita Nair's Nine faces of being when it was a work in progress to concerts and talks, this initiative engages artistes with audiences in informal, intimate settings.
In 2015, Mendonca was inspired to form the SHE Collective Hub, giving expression to the voices of women through poetry and art for social good. In sync with artists like Shan Re and Romicon Revola, poets Poile Sengupta & Kavita Rajshekar, among others, she offered the forum of SHE Collective Hub to The Casa Foundation, the House of Hope and the Dream India Network. The House of Hope provides 24-hour care to over a hundred AIDS affected orphans and their siblings. Dream India Network nurtures the most vulnerable and socially excluded children and provides them a safe haven.
In 2017, both these initiatives coalesced, and Mendonca created Under The Raintree women's cultural festival. Held over three days in Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bengaluru, the festival had more than 200 participating artistes. More than 6000 people attended the festival. The 2nd edition in Nov 2017, was registered at the United Nations Partnerships for SDGs, and provided the stage for 42 events across 7 stages, featuring the voices of over 150 Writers, Poets, Musicians, Artists and Scientists.
A past member of the Rotary Club of Bangalore, Mendonca is also a Paul Harris Fellow of the International Rotary fellowship. She frequently speaks at literary, industry and corporate events.
Awards and recognition
- Sandhya Mendonca was conferred the Desha Snehi award from the India Development Foundation for qualitative journalism and humanitarian concern in November 2015.
- She received the Global Achievers Foundation award for outstanding contribution to national unity & economic growth in February 2016.
- The Institution of Engineers, Karnataka State Centre, felicitated her for yeoman service to society in March 2016.
- She received the Shrama Saadhana Shining Star award for achieving success through professional excellence from the ISBR, ELCIA & PRCI in May 2016.
- Garden City University honoured her as an inspirational woman on International Women's Day, 2019.
Mendonca is invited to speak at events such as:
- The inaugural session of Dell Women Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) on: "Innovation through Collaboration"
- "Are we truly winning in this rat race", a panel discussion organised by GoFloaters in 2019
- "Is this the easiest time to be a woman?", a panel discussion organised by the Inner Wheel Club, Bengaluru, in 2019
- TEDx Ramaiah Medical College, speaking about "Culture as a Change Agent" in 2018
- (WO)Manifesto, a discussion about women's representation in politics in 2018
- The release of Lingayata Philosophy, authored by Basrur Subba Rao in 2016
- "U25 LIT Fest", organised by the Under25 Club in 2016
- "Forging Links, Leveraging Networks - An International Business Convention for Entrepreneurial Women", organised by eMERGE in 2016
- "Celebrating International Women's Day", hosted by Accenture in 2015
- The release of A Lifetime in Choreography, the autobiography of Maya Rao in 2014 
- "Checking out election campaigning at Ulsoor Lake -". Banglaore.citizenmatters.in. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Female Entrepreneur: Sandhya Mendonca – MD & Editor in Chief of Raintree Media - WeAreTheCity India - Events, Network, Advice for Women in India". Wearethecity.in. 14 November 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Arts festival that's all about women". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
- "Snapshots of a Historic State". Newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "'Marvels of Karnataka' Released". Newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Jagannathan, T. T.; Mendonca, Sandhya (16 May 2018). Disrupt and Conquer: How TTK Prestige Became a Billion-Dollar Company. Penguin Portfolio. ISBN 9780670090174.
- "Disrupt and Conquer - Buy Disrupt and Conquer Online at Best Prices in India - Flipkart.com". Flipkart.com. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "7 Reasons Why a Business Degree is Not Important to Run a Business". UpGrad Blog. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "Sandhya Mendonca unveils the story of Reva". Banglore.explocity.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "AR-embedded book on Bengaluru innovators". Deccan Herald. 14 April 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "Deccan Herald E-Paper". www.deccanheraldepaper.com. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "Series of comedies - Bangalore Mirror -". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
- "Under the Raintree: Teased by teen taal, held in trance by Bhairavi". Newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Claiming her space - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "A cultural festival by women, for women, will be hosted in Bengaluru". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- R, Shilpa Sebastian (15 November 2017). "Attend a festival, curated by women, about women, but open to all". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Under The Raintree Women's Cultural Festival - United Nations Partnerships for SDGs platform". sustainabledevelopment.un.org. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- "Clipping of Express Publications - The New Indian Express-Bengaluru". epaper.newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- "Cultural festival to empower women - The Times Of India - Bangalore, 10/18/2019". epaper.timesgroup.com. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- "Feminism and a fest - Bangalore Mirror, 10/23/2019". epaper.timesgroup.com. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- #undertheraintree Festival 2019 After movie - women's cultural festival, retrieved 9 December 2019
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2017. Retrieved 28 March 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Dell Technologies Announces the Launch of Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) Chapter in India". www.businesswireindia.com. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
- TEDx Talks (20 August 2018), Culture- A Change Agent | Sandhya Mendonca | TEDxRamaiahMedicalCollege, retrieved 23 May 2019
- "Women come together in Bengaluru to prepare manifesto with gender lens |". Citizen Matters, Bengaluru. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "Women for the win". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- Narayan, Shoba (26 July 2014). "How Kathak breached the north-south divide". Livemint.com. Retrieved 14 December 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)