Public Relations industry veterans Atul Ahluwalia and Dilip Yadav have announced that they have joined hands to launch an independent communications consulting firm, First Partners. Ahluwalia, with over 25 years of public relations and communications experience was the erstwhile Vice Chairman of Weber Shandwick India, part of the Interpublic Group. Yadav, with over 22 years of public relations and marketing experience was earlier the Managing Director, Client Services for Weber Shandwick India and Managing Director for Creation, both part of the Interpublic Group.
Together, the two have been behind some of the most defining public relations campaigns from India which have won global recognition and accolades. Headquartered in the national capital region, First Partners will be a full service communications firm, providing end-to-end services to clients seeking senior counsel, creative media agnostic solutions with an all India reach.
Announcing the launch, Ahluwalia said, “Today’s boardroom priorities require the communication function to be served by senior experts who can bring both business perspective and communications expertise to the table. We believe that there is room for a new consultancy with the senior depth and width to become clients’ first port of call for providing solutions which drive business results. As a new brand, we will stand for an unmatched combination of senior talent associated with large consultancies with the agility of a start-up. We want to be our clients’ First Partners.”
Yadav, added, “First Partners will be a premier communications firm, providing solutions based on deep insights, strategic media agnostic results and a strong influencer connect, delivered by best of the talent in the industry. We are building ourselves as a new kind of a people-centric open platform for senior talent who would like to enjoy the scale of a big firm, with the flexibility of an entrepreneurial set-up.”
First Partners also announced that it is acquiring the business of Go2Media a 16 month old media specialist advisory set up by Santanu Gogoi, earlier Vice President of the Corporate Practice for Weber Shandwick India.
Speaking on the occasion, Gogoi remarked, “In a short span, Go2Media has got a great response for its proposition as a media specialist consultancy, vindicated by our roster of clients which includes names like HCL Infosystems, Apollo Tyres and Hero Group companies Hero Electronix and Rockman Industries, among others. I am delighted that we will now be able to extend our media insights across a larger landscape.”
Nitin Yadav, who had collaborated with Santanu to launch Go2Media also comes on board as a partner. He was earlier General Manager, Corporate Communications with PepsiCo India.
Other senior members of First Partner’s consulting team comprise of Poonam Tibrewal, consultant, brand communications & PR with Cargill India; Param Shobhit, ex digital practices Edelman and MSL as the lead for digital and Gopika Kaul, ex Time Warner Inc, New York and Indiatimes, New Delhi as the lead for content. First Partners will have a delivery footprint in 15 cities across India. Two offices would be in Noida and Gurgaon in NCR, an office each in Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad and an associate network in 11 other cities.