Change and learning are the only constants in the PR industry: Gunjan Batra

Batra, communications lead, Usha International, was honoured in the category 'Mentor of the Year Corp Comm' at the 3rd e4m PR& Corp Comm Women Achievers Awards

e4m by Shrabasti Mallik
Published: Nov 11, 2022 2:21 PM  | 5 min read
Gunjan Batra

As much as we celebrate the various roles women play in our lives, we do not laud her professional exploits enough. It is to honour the contribution of their relentless pursuit of excellence in the field of public relations and communication, e4m PR & Corp Comm launched the Women Achievers Awards in 2020. 

Through the third edition in 2022, exchange4media acknowledged and felicitated the women leaders who are shaping the industry through their incredible work.

In this series, we will feature some of the women leaders who were felicitated at the event. The first in the series is Gunjan Batra, communications lead, Usha International. She was honoured in the category 'Mentor of the Year Corp Comm'. 

1. Congratulations on your win at the e4m PR & Corp Comm Women Achievers Awards 2022. How do you feel?

Awards feel great at any age -- they make you feel appreciated and valued for the work you do. So, I definitely want to thank exchange4Media for this recognition. If you cast your eye around, today you will find that PR and communications is probably among the few industries where there are more women than men and, like in every other industry, we need to celebrate the women achievers. These awards are a great platform by e4m in its endeavour to recognise the contributions of others like me. I can say with pride that women are indispensable in the communications industry and their contributions have been critical to the success of creating some of the most iconic brand narratives in the country. 

2. What inspires you on your journey and endeavours?

My mantra in life is to ‘embrace change and do everything I do with a passion and honestly, I realised early on that it’s more than half the battle won if you adopt this attitude in every aspect of your life. Challenges fuel my fire and unconventional thinking is what excites me most. Life is transient and rather than looking into the rearview mirror and lamenting what could have been, I’d rather look ahead to accept and enjoy every adventure, every journey and every curveball that comes my way – for, in each is a lesson that will definitely stand one in good stead. Thus, I’m constantly challenging myself to raise the bar, find better and newer ways of doing things, exploring unconventional paths, chasing new passions and new skills, to keep my adrenaline pumping in pursuit of immersive experiences and wholesome journeys towards creatively satisfying solutions.  

I am inspired by people who have the ability to ‘think out of the box’ - from corporate tycoons and artist(e)s and chefs to wellness and spiritual experts – anyone who is comfortable about owning their space with pride and having no qualms about voicing their opinions, however unconventional they may be. 

3. In what ways have you witnessed the PR and corporate communications industry change and evolve over the years? What global practices would you see implemented in India?

Over the past decade, the communications sector has grown past its conventional trajectory and is now eagerly adopting new modes and mediums of brand building. In fact, post-pandemic, strategic communication has become even more integral for brands wanting to break through the clutter and sustain an identity amongst competitors, maintain relevance and stay ahead of the curve. Today, public relations plays a key role as one of the many strategic functions that lay the foundation of brands as they want to be perceived in the eyes of their audiences.  

Moreover, communications, conjoined with marketing, especially digital marketing, has opened up a multitude of avenues – creative ways of communicating the visual identity of brands, mapping and retaining potential consumers via experientials, safeguarding a brand’s image and enhancing its reputation. 

4. Tell us about your most valuable learning from the industry. Where do you foresee the PR and comms industry in the coming days?

As the communications industry continues to evolve rapidly, I believe that ‘change’ and ‘constant learning’ are the only constants. Given the tsunami of content that is generated everyday, we need to really be quick on the uptake, read the sign, evolve, adapt and, most importantly, act. Yes, we may not always win but at least we will never regret not having tried and as long as we learn the lessons from the loss, pick ourselves up and get right back up on the horse, we will constantly grow and thrive. As individuals, no one can afford to get complacent or stagnant. Life’s on a roll, changing constantly all around us and we must pivot along to do justice to our chosen purpose.

 5. What would be your message to the future generation of professionals?

Do not let failures scare you, learn the lesson, get up and get moving. Pick the battles worth fighting for. In fact, instead of hiding from challenges, seek them out and face them head on. Take the risks you’re most afraid of and they are bound to pay off. As long as your intent is honest and combined with positivity, hard work and dedication – and yes, this includes lots of prepping and attention to detail – no one can stop you from achieving success!

The content in this section is curated by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback kindly write to karan.bhatia@exchange4media.com.

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Intellectual capital is the new wealth of organizations: Dr Navneet Anand

In his keynote address at the e4m PR & Corp Comm’s 40 Under 40 Summit, Dr Anand, Founder & Director, GreyMatters Communications talks about his own experiences in the communications profession

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 2:59 PM   |   2 min read

Dr Navneet Anand

The world of PR and Corp Comm has evolved a lot over the years. It has become an integral part of a support system for brands. At the e4m PR & Corp Comm’s 40 Under 40 Summit, Dr Navneet Anand, Founder & Director, GreyMatters Communications & Consulting gave a keynote address and talked about the integrity and intricacies of being in the communications profession.

Through examples of his own experiences and how he began his journey in GreyMatters, he explained the challenges that come along in this profession and how you find meaning in what you do.

Anand talks about intellectual capital and how it is an extremely important part of the PR and Corp Comm industry. “The intellectual capital is the new wealth of organizations. There are many who look down upon our industry as something which is frivolous. We do come across many people questioning the integrity, the methodology, the ideas, and the campaigns. They think we only go to journalists, pay some money, and then come back and make merry with our partners (clients). That's not true."

"This gentleman called Carl Eric created a theory of knowledge capital, in which he spoke about customer capital, structural capital, and human capital. We have to realize that we are the human capital. It is our capital, our competence, our knowledge, our pride and our ideation, which will make organizations grow.”

He cited examples from his youth, his political campaigns and associations with companies like DuPont, which have shaped GreyMatters and brought in them a sense of integrity, confidence and pride for the communications profession.

Lastly, he says, “As millennials, you must understand, where we come from: starting with the classical PR, which was more people to people, personalized, defined audiences to conventional PR organization to organization and media-centric. And now today, in contemporary PR where your audiences are diverse, they want to communicate with the brand directly and so on and so forth. You have a huge challenge in front of you.”

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Kaizzen elevates Nikhil Pavithran and Prashant Subramanian

Pavithran has been promoted to Group President and Subramanian to the Head - North India

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 2, 2023 12:33 PM   |   3 min read

Kaizzen

In a bid to strengthen its leadership, Kaizzen, a leading integrated communications agency, announces the elevation of Nikhil Pavithran as Group President and Prashant Subramanian as the Head - North India. The announcement comes as the first step towards accomplishing the vision of expanding the agency’s national and international footprint. Earlier, Nikhil, based in Mumbai, was in-charge of operations in Western India while Prashant handled the Delhi market for Kaizzen. 

Nikhil and Prashant will continue to work closely with Vineet Handa, CEO, Kaizzen. Announcing the new leadership, Vineet Handa said, “I am delighted to announce the elevation of Nikhil Pavithran and Prashant Subramanian as Group President and Head North India, respectively. Both have been instrumental in Kaizzen’s meteoric rise, and I know that they will do everything in their power to grow Kaizzen to greater heights. I wish Nikhil and Prashant the very best for their new roles.” 

With Kaizzen for over 5 years, Nikhil joined the agency as Vice President in the Mumbai office and rose to the position of Group President in 2021 holding the global mandate for Kaizzen. 

Commenting on this development, Nikhil Pavithran said, “It is a matter of great honour for me to have been a part of Kaizzen’s growth over the last couple of years. I look forward to leading its talented team in increasing the company’s national and international footprint. As the Group President, I am excited to work towards Kaizzen’s holistic expansion, providing opportunities for its people, and diversification of the agency’s client portfolio across varied sectors.” With over 18 years of experience and working with various agencies across sectors, Nikhil brings with him a wide range of experience in brand communications and integrated marketing. 

On the other hand, Prashant joined Kaizzen in 2018 as Director Client Servicing and rose to become Vice President in 2021. In his current role, Prashant will hold the mandate for strengthening Kaizzen’s presence in Northern India. 

Speaking about this announcement, Prashant Subramanian said, “As the communication industry is subject to constant evolution, we aspire to leverage new-age technology and communication platforms to create newer opportunities Kaizzen’s Stakeholders. Their trust in us has been integral in this journey, and we look forward to their support in helping Kaizzen achieve greater heights in the future.” 

“It has been a privilege to be part of this journey with Kaizzen and I look forward to working closely with the management and team to expand our portfolio across North.”, Prashant added. 

Prashant has 17 years of experience in brand & product marketing and communications across various sectors.

The content in this section is curated by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback kindly write to karan.bhatia@exchange4media.com.

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Meet e4m PR & Corp Comm's Top 100 Influential Game Changers 2022

The achievers were chosen from over 250 nominations

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 1, 2023 9:30 PM   |   1 min read

e4m

The 4th edition of exchange4media’s ‘Top 100 Influential Game Changers 2022’ list was announced on February 1, 2023, in a grand event at The Leela Ambience Gurugram. The list recognised and honoured 100 + people from the PR and Corp Comm industry who have changed the dynamics of the industry through their hard work, vision, leadership skill and clout. 

The PR and corporate communications industry is an ever-evolving one. It navigates not only changing trends in communication and technology but also strives to roll out strategies that cater to a wide spectrum of audience. It is, therefore, only just to recognise and acknowledge how PR and corporate communication professionals have helped fire up brand images in the time of crisis, led by examples and are role models in their respective areas of expertise. 

The top 100 awardees were chosen and shortlisted from over 250 nominations received following a robust internal auditing process by exchange4media’s editorial team. 

This is a list and not a ranking. 

Here are the Top 100 Influential Game Changers:

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Announcing the trailblazers of e4m PR & Corp Comm’s 40 Under 40 2022

The winners were chosen from over 120+ nominations

By exchange4media Staff | Feb 1, 2023 9:30 PM   |   1 min read

40 under 40

Exchange4media group has unveiled the winners of the 4th edition of the e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 Awards. These awards identified the next-generation leaders (professionals, entrepreneurs, game changers, achievers) - under 40 years of age – in the communication industry who, with their undaunting zeal and unflinching dedication, overcame all odds to become trailblazers.

Braving the odds and rising above has been the mantra that Public Relations and Corporate Communications professionals have sworn by during time of crisis. This prestigious and elite award is an attempt to recognise the fundamental role played by communication professionals in order to firewall a brand’s image.

The winners were chosen from over 120+ nominations and were selected by the members of the jury based on a number of parameters, including leadership/ mentorship skills, such statements of accomplishments as growth and recognitions, future potential and proven contribution to the industry.

This is a list and not a ranking.

Here's the complete list:

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Gear up for the 4th edition of e4m PR and Corp Comm 40 Under 40 Summit & Awards 2022

The day-long summit will be followed by a glittering award ceremony on February 1, 2023

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 31, 2023 10:31 AM   |   2 min read

PR & Corporate Communications 30 Under 30

The wait is over! On February 1, 2023, over 40 professionals (under the age of 40) of the PR and Corp Comm industry will recognise and honour the next generation PR and Communication leaders, who are shaping the industry through their forward looking vision. The 4th edition of the annual e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 Summit and Awards 2022 that will be held on-ground at Leela Ambience, Gurugram, is going to be an event to remember.

The day-long summit will bring together stalwarts and experts from across the PR and Corp Comm fraternity to deliberate, discuss and engage in enlightening discussions and discourses on relevant topics, issues and subjects. The theme of this year's summit is “The Era of Millennials in PR” and the agenda features four panel sessions and five keynote addresses.

Adfactors PR is the event's 'Presenting Partner'. The 'Powered By' partners of the event are Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Kaizzen and Candour Communications, and 'Gold Partners' are Concept BIU, 80 dB Communications and Godrej.

 The panel sessions will delve into topical topics, like:

 

  1. Importance of Digital PR in brand promotion – Speakers: Anand Prakash, Senior Group Head, Adfactors PR; Akanksha Jain, Head- Public Relations & Corporate Communications, Bharatpe; Kritika Padhy, Account Director , 80 dB communications; Bhawna Gupta, Director, Client Relations, Hill+Knowlton Strategies; Moderator: Ruhail Amin, Sr. Editor BW Businessworld & Exchange4media

 

  1. What has been the success of PR agencies when they expand into regional market – Speakers: Nikita Nanda, Vice President, Adfactors PR; Karishma Sain, CEO, Goodword Media; Naina Jha, Associate Director, Grey Matters; Moderator: Rishu Singh, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Fortis Healthcare Limited

 

  1. How to make the youth industry ready? - Speakers: Ayushi Arora, CEO and Founder, Media Corridor; Madhvi Chaudhary, PR Manager, Media Mic; Neha Gupta, AVP, Value360Communication;

Moderator: Shrabasti Mallik, exchange4media

 

  1. Rules of engagement between PR and the brands, managing each other expectation – Speakers: Gehna Sawhney, Director - Communications, India & Europe, Pitney Bowes; Lovina Gujral, COO, Candour Communication; Tehseen Zaidi, Head Communications, Syngenta; Moderator: Ruchika Jha, exchange4media

 

The keynote speakers will include Dr Navneet Anand, Founder & Director, GreyMatters Communications & Consulting; Pooja Pathak, Co-Founder and Director, Media Mantra; Atul Raja, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing. Wadhwani Foundation; Sanjeev Handa, Sr. Vice President and Head of PR & Communications, Maruti Suzuki Ltd; and Atul Ahluwalia, Founding Partner, First Partners. There will also be a firside chat session featuring Rohit Bansal, Group Head of Communications, Reliance Industries Limited.

The event will simulcast on YouTube and exchange4media's social media handles.

The content in this section is curated by the PR and Communications team. For any feedback kindly write to karan.bhatia@exchange4media.com.

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Cuemath appoints Lipika Kapil as Director & Head of Global PR-Comm

Prior to this, Lipika managed communications for Koo

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 23, 2023 2:55 PM   |   2 min read

Lipika

Cuemath has announced the appointment of Lipika Kapil as Director and Head-Global PR & Communications. Based in Bengaluru, she will set up the communications function and lead the PR and communications efforts for Cuemath across key markets - India,  MENA and the US. She will report to Varun Jha, Chief Marketing Officer, Cuemath.

Prior to joining Cuemath, Lipika  managed communications for Koo.

On the appointment, she said, “EdTech is one of the exciting industries in the startup sector and I am thrilled to be part of a mission and vision driven brand like ‘Cuemath’. What excites me the most is Cuemath’s sharp focus on teaching math as a life skill, beyond academic excellence and its ‘student-centred’ learning approach which offers a unique opportunity for storytelling. Another exciting aspect of the role will be to anchor communications across international markets and power the brand’s marketing initiatives that aim to take Cuemath closer to our customers across the globe. It's my pleasure to join the business at this juncture and play a critical part as Cuemath commences the next phase of its journey.”

Varun Jha, Chief Marketing Officer, Cuemath said, “As Cuemath aims for global expansion, we see Marketing and Brand Communications as one of the important business pillars for the company. Therefore, the role of PR and communications becomes more important than ever. With Lipika’s experience of managing PR and communications for a variety of brands across industries, her role will be beneficial in designing and implementing PR strategies for Cuemath across markets. She, along with her team, will also support strategic brand and marketing initiatives as the organization expands further. I am delighted to have Lipika on board and wish her a fantastic stint at Cuemath.”

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Rozelle Laha joins HT Media as Head – Corp Comm and Corp Affairs

Prior to this, Laha was Associate Director – Corporate and Strategic Communications at CoinSwitch

By exchange4media Staff | Jan 20, 2023 11:55 AM   |   1 min read

Laha

Rozelle Laha has joined HT Media Ltd as Head – Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs. In this role, she will be leading communications and corporate affairs for the group.  

Laha is a business journalist turned communications specialist with over 12 years of industry experience. She has worked as a journalist with several publications, including Hindustan Times, Mint, The Ken, Fortune India, and others, and managed communications mandates across FMCG and emerging technology spaces.

Prior to this, Laha was Associate Director of Corporate and Strategic Communications at CoinSwitch.

 

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