In an unexpected development, Niira Radia, chairperson, Vaishnavi Group, has decided to exit from the communications consultancy business. Her group companies, Vaishnavi Corporate Communications used to handle Tata Group’s public relations, while sister-agency Neucom Consulting handled the mandate for Mukesh Ambabi-owned Reliance Industries.
In a statement issued by Radia, she said, “To give precedence to my personal priorities of family and health, I have decided against renewing any client mandates and to exit the business of communications consultancy. It is a painful decision which has been taken after much consideration and consultation with my family, doctors, clients and colleagues.”
“I thank our key clients for their understanding and mutual agreement to bring closure to this decision. I am also grateful to them for their support in taking my decision to its logical conclusion, offering assistance in mitigating the damages and thereby fulfilling all our existing contractual commitments,” she added.
Reacting to the development, Ratan N Tata, chairman, Tata Sons, said, “The Tata Group respects the personal wishes of Ms. Niira 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.”
Acknowledging the PR agency’s role for the group, Tata added, “Vaishnavi has had the PR mandate of the Tata Group since 2001 during which period Vaishnavi contributed significantly to the building of the Tata Brand. Their engagement with the Group has been ethical and satisfactory. The Tata Group would like to express its appreciation to Ms. Radia and all members of her staff for their commitment and service to the group over the years.”
A Reliance Industries spokesperson also acknowledged the agency’s contribution, informed that the company enjoyed a professional and fulfilling relationship with Ms. Radia and her team over the last three years. “Ms. Radia's commitment has been very impressive and she has always led her team in a manner that tactical developments do not lead to de-focus on the strategic issues. However, we do appreciate and respect her wishes for a compelling need to focus on her family and personal issues. Ms. Radia leaves behind a very capable team and an indelible mark on the communications consultancy business. We wish her the very best for the future,” added the spokesperson.
According to unconfirmed media reports, Tata Group has passed on their PR mandate to Diwan Arun Nanda’s Rediffusion Y&R, who in turn, is expected to partner Edelman for handling the business. Reliance Industries is reportedly planning to handle the PR activities internally.