Nanak Malhotra

A personal website sharing my experience and thoughts as they relate to business, leadership, and life.


Nanak Malhotra

Hi!  I'm Nanak Malhotra (pronounced Non-ick Mal-ho-tra).  I am husband to my lovely wife, Sarah, and father to my two adorable children, Lauren and Aaron. I am a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Regent University.  I've spent the last 13 years working at the Princeton Club generating huge revenues, being a brand ambassador, and developing high performing teams. 

I love anything business related, reading leadership biographies, pursuing excellence, and helping my team win.  My ideal free day is pickleball in the morning, playing with my kids in the afternoon, and taking my wife out in the evening.

Thanks for visiting my website.  Check out my blog to learn more about me and my thoughts on leadership, business, and life.




I am a value-driven business leader with 14 years of sales, sales management, and general management experience. I have successfully managed the sales and P&L for South Central Wisconsin's largest fitness chain. I have an engineering degree and an MBA.  I am experienced in creating sales processes, sales strategies, and employee development programs to increase revenue.  I am skilled in prospecting, relationship building, and closing.  I am knowledgeable in human resources, operations, and customer service.

Sales Manager/General Manager, Princeton Club East (120k sq.ft. fitness center)

September 2010-Present

•Increased profitability by 20% as a first-year sales manager
•Individually produced $1.5MM worth of new and renewal business (2019)
•Direct day to day operations of a 120,000 sq.ft. facility that averages 2,000 customer visits per day
•Oversee 7 direct reports and 110 indirect reports
•Shortened sales cycle by 30% by improving sales processes and implementing new training methods
•Led sales department to achieve and maintain an average closing of 75%
•Developed a sales training curriculum for new hires that generated a 10% increase in gross annual sales
•Increased profitability of company’s advertising service by 400% through the development of business partnerships and cost reductions
•Pioneered an event venue service that supported a 17% net profit margin
•Manage the engagement and experience of 10,000+ customers
•Increased customer engagement by 15% by creating new services that capitalized on industry trends
•Increased employee engagement and retention by incorporating behavioral science in management methods
•Selected as one of three presenters to speak at a company-wide sales training event
•Manage multiple profit centers simultaneously to support company earnings goals
•Analyzed brand performance, brand competitiveness, and product trends to support company marketing objectives
•Created and implemented a social media marketing plan to increase customer engagement and brand awareness

Membership Sales, Princeton Club East

April 2006-September 2010

•Exceeded personal sales goals by 40% in the first year
•Increased customer retention by 10% through relationship building
•Built a strong network of referrals from professional customer service and consistent follow through

Water Resource Engineer, Gannett Fleming

July 2005-April 2006

•Completed safety inspections of hydroelectric dams
•Analyzed data and wrote technical papers summarizing findings of hydroelectric dam safety inspections
•Designed flood plain maps for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources



I am naturally inquisitive and love to be challenged.  I successfully completed my undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a competitive and nationally ranked program.  My undergrad provided an excellent foundation for analytical thinking and problem-solving.  It was rigorous, demanding, and allowed my disciplined nature to shine.

Post-graduation I sought to leverage my engineering degree in the world of business.  My education continued at the Princeton Club, where I grew in responsibility, salesmanship, and developed my entrepreneurial abilities.  I also had the great privilege of being mentored by one of the company's founding owners.

Most recently, I completed an MBA from Regent University, a program that teaches business leaders to use their influence to bring positive change in the world through creativity, integrity, and excellence.

University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.S. Civil Engineering, 3.5 GPA

September 2000 to December 2004

•Dean’s Honor List recipient for 8 semesters

Regent University, MBA-General Management, 4.0 GPA

August 2016 to December 2018

•Dean's Scholarship recipient awarded for academic excellence
•Long Award Scholarship recipient awarded for academic achievement and moral character



A perfect balance between hard and soft skills~

The balanced combination of my education and work experience has given me a good mix of interpersonal, strategic, and analytical skills.  My decade plus of customer-focused work has given me tremendous insight into understanding customer needs and delivering solutions that work.

My natural strength mix according to Strength Finders 2.0 includes Focus, Discipline, Achiever, Individualization, and Learner.  This means I am not easily distracted, can be trusted to get the job done, love to go above and beyond, seek to draw out the best in individuals, and have a ferocious appetite for learning.

My skills in action...

•I interview, hire, train, and coach all sales employees

•I lead weekly team building and goal setting meetings​

•I oversee 10,000 customer accounts

•I have prospected, sold, negotiated, and closed thousands of sales contracts

•I am good at public speaking, listening, and problem-solving

•I am knowledgable in MS Excel (Pivot Tables, Data, and Regression Analysis), MS Access (creating and modifying databases, tables, queries, and forms; reports), and MS Word.

•I am proficient in Spanish (writing and speaking)

•I regularly work cross-functionally with other business departments to achieve company objectives.

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  • nanakmalhotra

Employee character: A key to hiring all-star employees and creating a competitive advantage

Updated: Jan 18, 2019

We have all heard and shared stories about the woes of hiring employees. It can be a daunting and unsuccessful task. Many would agree that great employees are the backbone of a company and can be an owner’s secret sauce in differentiating from the competition. Sadly, however, what you often see in the interview is not what is observed six months after hiring. Candidates who appear to be all-stars on paper do not produce the results that you need, and worse leave or have to be let go. The latter creates an increase in expenses and time in hiring, training, and onboarding your next hire. Many employers try to select employees solely based on ability, skills, and experience. To solve the employee conundrum and cook up that secret sauce for your competitive advantage, the key is to place a greater emphasis on the character of your future employee.

The importance of character

A mentor likened a person’s character to the foundation of a skyscraper. Early in a career, we’re building, and like a skyscraper, we start building with our foundation. Many don’t spend much time here and quickly focus on what’s on the surface — the part others can visibly see. However, as one’s “skyscraper” grows, if the foundation isn’t deep enough to sustain what is built, there is the all-too-common crashing down experience. We have all witnessed leaders and those in the public eye collapse. The reason is they did not have the character to support what they grew. Thus, if you are making your hiring decision solely based on what your next hire can do and not on who they are, you could be the one cleaning up the next demolition site.

What does a solid foundation and character look like? Character encompasses a person’s values, attitude, integrity, commitment, and the overall substance of who he or she is. Our character can be seen in how we treat others, how easily we can admit our mistakes, how flexible we are, and who we are when no one is looking.

Practically, what do you get when you hire based on character? You get what everyone wants! One survey of 1,200 of the world’s largest companies showed the following most desirable traits in prospective employees:

•86% said they desire professionalism

•78% said they desire high energy and enthusiasm

•61% said they desire confidence

•58% said they desire self-motivated attitudes

•57% said they desire intellectual curiosity

Furthermore, research shows that most employers seek the following traits in their next hire:

•Hard working

•Honest and self-aware

•Ambitious, goal oriented, and self-motivated



•Self-reliant, confident, and proactive

•Positive and upbeat

Character equates to attitude

When employees are selected based on their character, employers have the potential to experience the blending of all of these qualities. The results are a strong, high-performing staff. A driver to these traits is the attitude of your next hire. Hiring experts agree that attitude is a large determiner of success and how well someone will perform on the job. Our attitudes influence our actions and stems from core convictions, beliefs, and values similar to our character.  

Human resource consultant Carol Quinn aligns attitude with motivation and grit, the traits that separate high performers from mediocre employees. Quinn encourages employers to not just rely on skills if you want strong performance, but rather on if the employee has an “I can” attitude in the face of challenges. Quinn asks, “What does your interviewee do when facing an obstacle?” Do they climb over it, go through it, work around it, or choose defeat with an excuse? Those with the “I can” attitude are those who fall into the camp of high performance. They are the ones who are optimistic, action-oriented, solution focused, and determined to succeed.  

Character success story

A hire-for-character success story can be seen in the operations of fast food giant Chick-fil-A. Currently, Chick-fil-A is poised to be the largest fast food operation in terms of sales by 2020. In 2017, according to QSR magazine, the company regularly led the way in generating the most revenue per location compared to any other restaurant. For example, a typical Chick-fil-A grosses $4.4 million in revenue per location compared to the $2.5 million of a McDonalds and $1.1 million of a Starbucks. 

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Chick-fil-A scored the highest rating for the last three years compared to all other fast food and full-service restaurants. Their strategy is to offer an elevated service experience, which starts with their employees. Chick-fil-A owners are known to hire based on the 3 Cs — character, chemistry, and competency. Chick-fil-A Training Director Shannon Leidy says, “We don’t care about a person’s prior experience as much as we care about who they are … we believe we can teach people just about anything to do a job, but if their character and chemistry isn’t good, we can’t do much. We can’t teach them to be a nice person.”

On average, hiring the wrong employee costs employers 21% of the departing worker’s salary. Some say that hiring the wrong employee can cost as much as a full year of that employee’s wages. To reduce turnover and make your business stand out from the rest, build a team of all-stars who will be committed to your cause and have the right essence to help you succeed. 

Remember, skills can be taught much easier than character. When the cement of someone’s foundation is dry, it is a lot harder to start rebuilding. Hiring based on an individual’s character will give you the bedrock to develop the high-performing team that others will envy. Think of your next hiring decision as a proposal for a lifelong relationship. Even though the person you could be “marrying” is a good provider, he or she may still be impossible to live with and that’s what matters!

#reduceturnover #employeecharacter #businessexcellence





The following speaks to what inspires, motivates, and contributes to who I am today and who I will be tomorrow.  I'd love to tell you why.  Drop me a message to start a conversation.


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