Rediffusion Y&R has announced the appointment of Rahul Sharma as President of Rediffusion Communications, its public relations and public affairs arm. He takes charge from May 19, 2014.
Sharma, currently President, Public Affairs (India and South Asia) at Genesis Burson-Marsteller (GBM), will be the overall head of the business and will lead the Tata mandate, which Rediffusion has managed since November 2011. He will be based in Mumbai.
A columnist and a former newspaper editor, Sharma has spent the last four years engaging with and advising a large portfolio of multinational and Indian clients at Genesis Burson-Marsteller across various industry sectors.
Commenting on Sharma’s appointment, Diwan Arun Nanda, Chairman, Rediffusion Y&R said, “Rahul brings on board three decades of experience and expertise across India, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE in media, policy, regulatory and corporate issues, and political affairs. His experience and expertise will add value to our clients in public relations and public affairs.”
Starting out as a journalist in the 1980's, Sharma worked with various publications, including Business India and The Economic Times, before joining Reuters and leaving India in the mid-1990s.
After stints in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Singapore, which included reporting and editing political and economic stories, he returned to India several years later as Editor, Delhi, Hindustan Times. He then moved to Dubai as Editor of Khaleej Times, the Gulf region’s oldest English-language newspaper.
He joined Genesis Burson-Marsteller on his return to India in 2010 and has taken the firm’s public affairs business into newer areas.
“The switch from journalism to public affairs was not easy, but GBM gave me the opportunity to use my skills and international experience and make a positive difference to clients. I am very excited by this new opportunity and looking forward to working with the team to strengthen and deepen our existing relationship with the Tatas,” Sharma said.
A founding member of the Public Affairs Forum of India (PAFI), he is currently Secretary of the organisation of public affairs professionals.