On Purpose teams up with Rebuild India Fund to provide pro-bono support to 500 NGOs

The consultancy has signed an MoU to provide communications capacity-building support for the NGOs over the next five years

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Jan 10, 2023 12:32 PM  | 3 min read
rebuild india fund

ON PURPOSE, a creative communications consultancy with a mission to use communications for social change in India, has signed an MoU with The Rebuild India Fund to provide communications capacity-building support for 500 NGOs over the next five years on a pro-bono basis. The collaboration is focussed at achieving self-sufficiency within the organisations to be able to tell their story effectively and raise visibility for the causes they champion.

As part of the collaboration, ON PURPOSE will co-design training modules to deliver to multiple cohorts from across India on a quarterly basis. The design of these workshops will be tailored to the needs of the cohort and include areas such as Communications Planning Framework, Goal Setting and Measurement, Media and Digital Storytelling, the Power of Owned Media and How to Raise Founder visibility to generate goodwill and funds for these organisations.

The Rebuild India Fund was created to help marginalised communities overcome the negative impacts of COVID-19. It is dedicated to connecting the funding community with grassroots NGOs to empower the underserved communities to be more crisis-ready, resilient, and striding towards success, even in the face of setbacks. The Rebuild India Fund has been conceptualised and is managed by Dasra, globally recognized as one of India’s most trusted strategic philanthropy organizations. Dasra has a deep understanding of the Indian social sector, and has channelized more than $300 million to social causes, touching the lives of over 100 million Indians across the country.
Deval Sanghavi, Co-founder & Partner, Dasra, said, “In the last two decades, we have supported thousands of NGO leaders to scale their programs and create a lasting impact in the communities they serve. At this juncture, we are highly motivated to develop their internal capacity for effective communication to get them noticed and recognized for their commendable work. We are confident that ON PURPOSE with its extensive experience and remarkable work in the sector we operate in, is the right partner for this mission of enhancing, calibrating and amplifying grassroots NGOs’ self-sufficiency efforts.”

Girish Balachandran, Founder & Managing Director ON PURPOSE, said, “As we turned five years old earlier this year, this commitment is a reiteration of our mission to use the power of communications to drive social change in India. It’s why we started in the first place and our reason to exist. Partnering with The Rebuild India Fund allows us to scale our annual property, The Purpose Project (where we select a single NGO to provide pro bono communications capacity building every year), into something much bigger than we’d ever imagined, to be able to help the most vulnerable communities build resilience by supporting a vibrant group of locally led, community rooted NGOs across the country.”

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Concept PR wins communications mandate for Magniflex India

As part of the mandate, Concept PR will also provide professional daily news monitoring services

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 22, 2023 10:57 AM   |   1 min read

Magni

Concept Public Relations India Limited (Concept PR) has won the communications mandate of Magniflex India.

Commenting on the development, Anand Nichani, MD, Magniflex India, said, “We are very happy to appoint Concept PR as our communication partners. During the pitch process, we were delighted that their strategy and communications approach matched our vision, perfectly. Coupled with Concept PR’s deep domain knowledge gives us the confidence that together we will be able to make a mark in this sector. We look forward to a long and fruitful alliance.”

The mandate covers the entire gamut of strategic counselling, planning & programming, preparation of communication documents, maintenance & management of media relations and implementation.

“We are delighted to partner with Magniflex as their PR consultants. As Europe’s leading luxury mattress brand, Magniflex will allow Indian buyers to have one of the best comfort experiences. We look forward to partnering Magniflex in their brand building effort as they look to grow in the India market,” said Ms. Archana Jain, SVP and Branch Head - Bengaluru, Concept Public Relations India Limited.

As part of the mandate, Concept PR will also provide professional daily news monitoring services through Concept BIU, the media monitoring arm of Concept PR.

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We have to play an important role in pushing narratives that matter: Nandini Chatterjee

Chatterjee, chief marketing and communications officer, PwC India, talks about the company's focus on Women in Tech

By Ruchika Jha | Mar 21, 2023 3:25 PM   |   5 min read

Nandini Chatterjee

A woman's resolution is absolute. She can move mountains with sheer grit and determination. It is this unfaltering resilience that we celebrate annually on March 8 – International Women's Day. Honouring the contributions of women in the PR and Corp Comm sector, exchange4media PR & Corp Comm has been running a 'Women Achievers Series'. It will feature the journey, success and achievements of some of the top women leaders from the Public Relations and Corporate Communications fraternity.

Today we have Nandini Chatterjee, chief marketing and communications officer, PwC India.

Excerpts from the interview:

What are your thoughts about the theme for International Women's Day 2023 -  DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality? This is aligned with CSW—67 themes on gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls through education, innovation and technology in the digital age.

I have always believed in the African proverb which says, if you educate a girl, you educate a nation. While there is a lot more to be done in terms of access to tech for women and its role in bridging inequalities, I would like to focus on what we are doing at PwC - focusing on Women in Tech. We truly believe that Tech is changing the world. It is important to cultivate an inclusive tech world where all women have a role to play. We’re investing deeply in upskilling our talent. We are hiring stand-out technologists from every background to build products and technology-enabled services that will help redefine our firm and the industry. We are committed to achieving tech equity in our firm and empowering our women to help drive real change.  

A lot has been discussed on the influence of women and their leadership in PR. In your view, what has changed in these last few decades?

While in the past the comms function was perhaps perceived as a ‘softer’ profession, increasingly it is more aligned with business objectives and the leadership agenda. Having women steering communications in an organisation, bringing their unique insights to building the brand and a definite appreciation of their collaborative leadership style, is a positive indicator of the evolving ecosystem. 

Research has highlighted that only 20 per cent of women sit on board globally. What's your take on the value women leaders in PR bring to the boardroom?

With greater scrutiny and with ESG, etc. becoming mainstream, the emphasis on more women's participation/ presence in the boardroom is likely to see an uptick. My only concern is that this transition should not be owing to tokenism, or because it is a ‘good to do’. Irrespective of gender, both men and women need to reach the boardroom by sheer merit. 

Having said that, since women had not had it easy for decades, bridging the gap to bring fair play and equal opportunities to women may mean facilitating the foray for women a little more than what would be required for men. Also, we should bear in mind that how far a woman reaches in her career is not based on her competence alone. Most women have to navigate various social and physiological milestones which require them to rethink their priorities at various intervals and this may also mean their taking career breaks. There are many more troughs and crests in a woman's career than in a man’s. 

Many organisations are going the extra mile to create sponsorship/ mentorship opportunities for women, bringing them up to speed with what they may have missed on the career front owing to priority shifts, etc. These efforts will be the benchmark for fit-for-future organisations and responsible businesses that walk the talk on diversity and inclusion and truly want their women to perform to their true potential, as much as they want their men to succeed. 

Tell us about your journey. What inspired you and who has been your hero?

The last two decades at PwC enabled me to work like an entrepreneur. This opportunity to have a large PwC canvas for me to work on was indeed very gratifying. I was given the space to dream and the empowerment to go for it. The overall ecosystem at PwC India has been very inspiring. I have been blessed to have had many competent, empathetic leaders to report to in my over three decades of career span, who mentored and helped me grow. I owe a lot to all of them and continue to be well-connected with all.

Your message to future leaders?

Three important things:

1. Think big and think digital

2. Take risks and try new things. It is important to stay curious and adaptable, and always be willing to learn and grow

3. Think for your team

Apart from this, it is also equally important to understand the business objectives of your organisation/ client - we have to play an important role in pushing narratives that matter. Going forward, human connection is going to be of utmost importance - ensure that you meet more people and forge bonds.

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Adapt to the changing tides without losing your voice: Smita Khanna

Khanna, chief operating officer, Newton Consulting India, talks about breaking stereotypes and how her multi-cultural upbringing has shaped her

By Shrabasti Mallik | Mar 20, 2023 10:48 AM   |   6 min read

Newton Consulting India

A woman's resolution is absolute. She can move mountains with sheer grit and determination. It is this unfaltering resilience that we celebrate annually on March 8 – International Women's Day. Honouring the contributions of women in the PR and Corp Comm sector, exchange4media PR & Corp Comm has been running a 'Women Achievers Series'. It will feature the journey, success and achievements of some of the top women leaders from the Public Relations and Corporate Communications fraternity.

Today we have Smita Khanna, chief operating officer, Newton Consulting India.

Excerpts from the interview:

Please share your thoughts on the theme for International Women's Day 2023 -  DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. This is aligned with CSW—67 theme on gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls through education, innovation and technology in the digital age.

The country offering the most gender-equal conditions in the year 2022 was Iceland, as per the Global Gender Gap Index. India ranked 135 out of 146 countries in the same study. This fact itself highlights why we need to focus on technology and innovation in India to bridge the gender gaps and address the endemic structural inequalities. Some key areas, which have the potential to have an immense impact with the implementation of technology are:

  • Education: Technology can provide access to education for girls and women living in far-flung areas.

  • Healthcare: Access to healthcare for women has often been discriminatory. Thus, strengthening local healthcare infrastructure via innovation and technological inputs will go a long way in addressing this discrimination.

  • Empowerment: Digital transformation can provide new avenues for women's empowerment and foster a more inclusive world.

  • Technological Literacy: Access to digital tools, smartphones or digital financial services can offer a wider set of opportunities benefitting the lives of women and their families.

  • Gaps in Entrepreneurship: As per a recent OECD study, women-owned start-ups receive 23 per cent less funding and are 30 per cent less likely to have a positive exit – i.e. be acquired or issue an IPO compared to men-owned businesses. Access to technology can address this issue largely enabling women entrepreneurs to have a favourable entrepreneurial ecosystem.

A lot has been discussed on the influence of women and their leadership in PR. In your view, what has changed in these last few decades?

I think the influence of women and the role of leadership in PR has significantly changed over the years. For one, I think most women are quite vocal about how they want to be treated by their counterparts in a work environment and that, I feel, is a significant evolution.

There also has been a rise in women's leadership with many women holding prominent positions in the PR sector and winning accolades for themselves and their respective organisations. As more branches of PR have evolved, this has opened wider opportunities for new job roles that women have explored. For instance, at Newton we make it a regular phenomenon to offer guest lectures to communication or management students to apprise them of this industry and its benefits.

However, sometimes I do see certain biases on and off as gender inequality has been a pervasive issue present for decades and will not disappear overnight.

Research has highlighted that only 20 per cent of women sit on board globally. What's your take on the value women leaders in PR bring to the boardroom?

It is true that women have been significantly underrepresented in boardrooms globally and this scenario is changing at snail’s pace. But I think the bigger question is not just in having a seat in the boardroom but how much of your voice is being heard that will influence the high-stakes decisions being taken there. BoardEx Q1 2022 report stated France has 44 per cent of board seats being held by women and India stuttered at 18 percent.

I think some of the top women leaders I have known have been able to successfully advise the top management on key decisions and policies for strategic growth and influence the outcome. One big value that women leaders in PR have made in boardrooms is to have a differentiated voice thus avoiding the boardroom to become an echo chamber where everyone has the same opinion.

Tell us about your journey. What inspired you and who has been your hero?

I was born and brought up in Sikkim. I came to Delhi like any other Northeasterner to pursue my higher studies. With a Christian Nepali mother and a Hindu Punjabi father and growing up with Buddhist friends, I truly have imbibed the flavour of India.

I had my fair share of cultural discrimination, and episodes of male chauvinism but along the way, I also met some brilliant people who shaped my career one way or the other.

My mother has always been my inspiration and all the lessons of hard work, kindness, being true to one’s identity and perseverance, I have learnt from seeing her daily activities and the manner in which she leads her life. The other woman who had a huge impact on my life is Indra Jasuja, joint secretary, the Indian Cancer Society (ICS). Her relentless efforts towards creating awareness related to cancer and her untiring work in this field motivated me to join ICS as a volunteer around 12 years back and I continue to do so as part of my pro bono work.

Your message to future leaders.

My message to future leaders revolves around my BMW philosophy:

Believe: Everything starts with believing in yourself. And, of course, not listening to societal norms or stereotypes that will hold you back from pursuing your aspirations.

Mentorship: It is also important to seek out mentorship and support from other women and allies. Way back in a different organisation, I was reporting to the female CEO of that company. She was a tough taskmaster and gave me targets, which I thought were impossible. Some targets I achieved, and some I failed. Yet the failure taught me bigger lessons that I carry, always.

Willingness: The willingness to adapt to the changing tides without losing your voice and be fluid is an important trait. Advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion, and work to create spaces where everyone can thrive.

Remember that your unique perspective and experiences are valuable assets to your leadership and that your impact can extend far beyond yourself. Keep pushing forward and paving the way for the next generation of women leaders.

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ON PURPOSE and Vero forge agency alliance

Both are planning to build a pipeline of business between India and Southeast Asia, with a focus upon brands featuring sustainability initiatives

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 17, 2023 3:08 PM   |   3 min read

vero

Two of the first agencies to sign the Clean Creative pledge in Asia are banding together in a new alliance to boost business opportunities between India and Southeast Asia – and to raise awareness of the value that environmentally conscious agencies can deliver to brands seeking communications partners invested in sustainability. 

Today, Southeast Asian agency Vero and Indian agency ON PURPOSE announce a new alliance agreement. 

Vero is an integrated communications agency with offices in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Manila and Yangon, a presence throughout the ASEAN region, and over 200 full-time team members. 

ON PURPOSE is a consultancy that focuses on purpose-driven campaigns for social good. It is based in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and has over 60 employees.

The alliance agreement between On Purpose and Vero is forged upon shared cultural values, communications capabilities, and business practices.

One of these practices is a shared commitment: in 2022, both Vero and On Purpose signed the Clean Creatives pledge to refuse work with fossil fuel companies, making them among the first in their respective regions to do so.

Vero and ON PURPOSE are currently in the early stages of collaboration with Clean Creative agencies in New York, London, and South Africa to address client needs – along with the ON PURPOSE and Vero markets in Asia Pacific.

Both Vero and ON PURPOSE are also planning to build a pipeline of business between India and Southeast Asia, with a focus upon brands featuring sustainability initiatives. 

"As a fast-growing region, Southeast Asia presents a tremendous opportunity for Indian brands to expand their reach and gain a foothold in new markets,” said ON PURPOSE Founder and Managing Director Girish Balachandran. “With our alliance with Vero, we are excited to provide our clients with access to the region's diverse consumer landscape and help them create campaigns that resonate with local audiences. At the same time, we see tremendous potential for Southeast Asian brands to enter the Indian market, which is poised for rapid growth in the coming years. By leveraging our expertise and network in the region, we are confident that we can help brands on both sides of the partnership seize these opportunities and unlock their full potential."

A major pillar of the alliance agreement is an effort by Vero and ON PURPOSE to highlight the need for brands to provide partnership and procurement consideration to agencies on the Clean Creative roster. Both agencies also seek to highlight the contradiction in brands with sustainability goals by hiring agencies from the Clean Creative F List.  Clean Creatives developed an F list containing agencies that work for fossil fuel brands.  

The issue at the centre of the Clean Creative efforts to transform the way agencies engage with fossil fuel brands is a reverse correlation between the volume of fossil fuel brand communications about renewable energy versus the actual investments made in renewable energy by fossil fuel brands.  Studies show that 70 per cent of fossil fuel firm communications are about renewable energy initiatives, while only 30 per cent of actual investments are in renewables.   

"By choosing a Clean Creative agency, clients are choosing purpose-driven communications partners,” said Vero CEO Brian Griffin.  “We believe it is time for procurement teams at major brands to take steps to move agency procurement away from F-list agencies.  The result will be more agencies forsaking assignments from major fossil fuel companies that are little more than misdirection – and hopefully a growing roster of Clean Creative Agencies.”

Both agencies have recently won accolades from Provoke Media: Vero was named ASEAN Agency of the Year in 2021 and was runner-up in 2022, while ON PURPOSE ranked among the top five for South Asia in both 2021 and 2022.

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'If you want to improve your business, you must have diversity at the top'

Deepshikha Dharmaraj, CEO of BCW India Group, looks back at her 28-year journey in the industry, and shares her key learnings and views on women in leadership roles

By Shrabasti Mallik | Mar 17, 2023 2:41 PM   |   4 min read

Deepshikha Dharmaraj

A woman's resolution is absolute. She can move mountains with sheer grit and determination. It is this unfaltering resilience that we celebrate annually on March 8 – International Women's Day. 

Honouring the contributions of women in the PR and Corp Comm sector, exchange4media PR & Corp Comm has been running a 'Women Achievers Series'. It will feature the journey, success and achievements of some of the top women leaders from the Public Relations and Corporate Communications fraternity. 

Excerpts from the interview: 

Please share your thoughts on the theme for International Women's Day 2023 -  DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. This is aligned with CSW—67 theme on gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls through education, innovation and technology in the digital age.

There are two aspects to this. On one hand, we need to get more women to access technology and its benefits. Whether it is about the higher representation of women in tech or using it as an enabler for healthcare, education and overall progress, technology has a big role to play in bridging the gender gap. On the other hand, women are also much more vulnerable to abuse and threat in the online spaces they enter. They need to be made aware of and given support to address or counter that. For both these aspects, communications and advocacy can help immensely. This is also where companies, especially those in the technology sector, can look at their corporate social purpose and see how they can align these needs to their strategic vision. 

A lot has been discussed on the influence of women and their leadership in PR. In your view, what has changed in these last few decades.

In my view, there have been two major changes — one is how women are coming together and supporting each other and the second is how they are making their voice heard. 

In the 1990s and 2000s, public relations was still evolving and so were the women leaders in the industry. They didn’t have mentors or communities back then and had to pretty much do everything on their own and learn along the way. Today, as these women lead the industry, they have taken those learnings and are sharing them generously with those just starting out. There are several mentoring programmes for women in the industry. In WPP, for instance, the Stella initiative has women leaders from across WPP mentoring young women professionals. There are more groups and communities, like Global Women in PR (GWPR). And there is also more recognition and more celebration of women’s contribution in the industry. 

In terms of making women’s voices heard, as communicators, we are highlighting women’s issues and achievements more in our work and in our campaigns. 

Research has highlighted that only 20 per cent of women sit on boards globally. What's your take on the value women leaders in PR bring to the boardroom?

As an industry, public relations has a healthy representation of women in leadership positions. And in any industry, having women on the board translates into very real benefits — a broader perspective, balanced representation of gender, consumers and employee base, better collaboration, empathy and more. These lead to better a better culture and performance for the business. So if you want to improve your business, you must have diversity at the top.  

Tell us about your journey. What inspired you and who has been your hero

In my 28-year career, all of which have been in this industry, beginning with Genesis and then BCW India Group, I have been fortunate to have worked with and learnt from several women leaders. For inspiration, I didn’t have to look farther than Prema Sagar, founding chairperson, BCW India Group. The path she created is one that we walk on today. Not only did she build this firm, she also played a big role in building this industry. Many mentored by her are now at leading positions in the industry —whether at the helm of a firm or in high corporate communications roles across the world. And just as she inspires me, I actively share my learnings with emerging leaders and women professionals. 

Your message to future leaders.

There is a quote by Marissa Mayer, co-ounder, Lumi Labs: “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” When it comes to women who are leaders or aspire to be leaders, this quote fits perfectly.

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Weber Shandwick India strengthens leadership team with key hires

Deepak Kanulkar will be heading policy advocacy and public affairs of Powell Tate India and Subir Moitra will helm media relations of Weber Shandwick

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 17, 2023 1:05 PM   |   2 min read

weber shandwick

Weber Shandwick India, today, announced the appointment of industry veteran Deepak Kanulkar to head of policy advocacy and public affairs of Powell Tate, India and Subir Moitra, as head of media relations of Weber Shandwick, India.  

Commenting on the appointments, Valerie Pinto, CEO, of Weber Shandwick India stated, “Solving for business challenges closely aligned to C-Suite advisory is the next inflection for the future of the industry. With the appointment of Deepak and Subir, we have further solidified our India leadership team to consult and execute effective solutions for our clients. Being thoroughbred professionals, their expertise will definitely enhance our growth story in India and I am excited and looking forward to working with them.” 

Kanulkar’s extensive experience spans across organisations such as Cipla, Bombay Chamber of Commerce, Hinduja Group, Coca-Cola, Tata AIG, Arab Insurance Group, Good Relations, and Skeiron. An established leader in the domain, he has also played key roles in industry bodies and associations to enhance business prospects for the organizations he has represented. 

Moitra is a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in driving internal, and external marketing and corporate communications creating, and executing compelling communications strategies, and content management. He has a strong track record of managing communications leading brands in India, such as KPMG, United Technologies, and Pratt & Whitney. He has also been listed Exchange4Media's (e4m) Top 100 Influential Gamechangers in India's PR & Communications Industry.

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Gaurav Malhotra joins Edelman Smithfield as India Lead

Prior to this, he was with MobiKwik

By exchange4media Staff | Mar 17, 2023 11:48 AM   |   1 min read

Edelman Smithfield

Edelman Smithfield, Edelman’s specialised financial communications boutique offering, has appointed Gaurav Malhotra as its India Lead.

In his new role, Smithfield will advise clients on complex business development, including acquisitions and divestments, restructurings, IPOs, C-suite transitions, ESG, regulatory matters and investor relations functions across a range of sectors.

Prior to this, he worked with MobiKwik as VP – Strategy, Corporate Development and Investor Relations.

Malhotra brings nearly two decades of experience across investment banking, portfolio management and corporate development, investor relations, and strategy. He has also contributed to Pinpoint Asset Management Limited, Citi, Fitch Ratings and J.P. Morgan.

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