Tata Group shifts PR business to Rediffusion following the decision by the high-profile corporate lobbyist to quit the communications consultancy business
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | October 31, 2011
In a sudden and unexpected development on Sunday, corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, the owner of PR firm Vaishnavi, which has the Tata Group and Reliance Industries as its top clients, has decided to exit from the communication consultancy business.
Soon after, the Tata Group announced that it had appointed Redifussion to manage the conglomerate's public relations in place of Vaishnavi. "The Tata Group has appointed Rediffusion, led by Arun Nanda, to manage public relations and public relations affairs for the Tata Group of Companies from November 1, 2011,” the group said in a statement.
The high-profile, 51-year-old Radia has been in the eye of the storm since last year over the controversial “Radia tapes” in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation. She cited "personal priorities" of family and health behind her "painful" decision to close down Vaishnavi. Although there was no charge against her, she was named as a witness by CBI.
Radia said in a prepared statement, “For many years, a few with vested interests have been trying to cause harm to Vaishnavi and me personally. Till the recent past, I would fight back, survive and probably react. However, today, I want to give them their victory and let them savour it. If that makes them better human beings, then I am happy to have brought in a positive change in them.”
Vaishnavi had held the Tata account ever since it was established in 2001 but the relationship came under intense scrutiny when Radia became embroiled in the 2G controversy. Transcripts of Radia’s phone conversations appeared in the media, and she was eventually questioned by the country’s Enforcement Directorate.
Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata said in a statement, "The Tata Group respects the personal wishes of Nira Radia in not renewing any client mandates. She has built Vaishnavi from scratch into the company it is today, often subordinating her personal and family interests in favour of her clients' priorities."
It may be recalled that Ratan Tata had even filed a case in the Supreme Court against the Radia tapes being made public which he claimed was tantamount to violation of a citizen’s privacy rights.
Radia’s decision also means the end of Vaishnavi’s relationship with Reliance Industries. It is learnt that around 30 of Vaishnavi executives will be placed in Reliance to form its internal communications team.
I hope Niira Radia is paying the employees she is laying off at least 6 months salary with a decent apology letter so they can get on with their careers.... this is her responsibility since she did not plan the shutdown well & did not do it in phases... is she not legally bound to?