PR has never been more relevant than it is today: Nikky Gupta

Gupta, co-founder and CEO, Teamwork Communications Group, was honoured with the 'Entrepreneur of the Year' award at the 3rd e4m PR & Corp Comm Women Achievers Awards 2022

e4m by Ruchika Jha
Published: Nov 23, 2022 3:19 PM  | 6 min read
nikky gupta

To recognise women leaders’ relentless pursuit of excellence in public relations and corporate communication, exchange4media PR & Corp Comm launched the Women Achievers Awards in 2020. The third edition of the awards in 2022 felicitated the women leaders who have been shaping the industry through their incredible work. The awards recognised women who not only achieved major milestones in their careers but also brought a dynamic change in the PR and corporate communications industry.

In this series, we feature some of the women leaders who were felicitated at the event. Today, we speak to Nikky Gupta, co-founder and CEO, Teamwork Communications Group. She was honoured in the category 'Entrepreneur of the Year.’  

Excerpts from the interview:  

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

I feels great to have been bestowed with the prestigious e4m PR & Corp Comm Women Achievers Awards 2022. I’m deeply honoured, overwhelmed and delighted.  

It is not easy for women to claim space in the business world and often their efforts go unnoticed. Thus, I feel receiving an award does go a really long way. I consider this award as an acknowledgement of a job well done and justification for the agony, the self-doubt, and the hard work that went into winning it. This validation will boost not only my confidence but also my colleagues’. It’s always a collective effort.  

With this recognition, I also hope to encourage other women and inspire them to follow their passion.  

What inspires you on your journey and endeavours?  

I am inspired by the fact that every day is a new day with new opportunities, especially when you’re building a business. You never know what is going to come.  

I love how the Teamwork family works together, with a commitment to each other and to excellence.  

Last but not least, our clients are a great source of inspiration. I specifically set aside time to go through every client feedback. Reading the positive comments, of course, is amazing but I also get a lot of value from the things that we can improve on. The fact that there’s a possibility of change motivates me to do things better.  

Like everyone else around, I too don’t always have great days. To be honest, I still continue to deal with rejections but I think I’ve developed an underlying belief system. That helps me cope with it very well.  

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?  

“Change is the only constant in life,” and PR and communications professionals perhaps know this better than anyone. Over the past ten years, we’ve seen new methods of communication take root and flourish. What used to be sending news releases, monitoring media and placing stories has morphed into an industry that touches almost every aspect of business and has reinvented communication as we know it.

The PR landscape has changed radically. Now the practice is defined in multiple ways — from branding to social media management to influencer and media relations; it has evolved with the ongoing advancements in both society and technology.

In my opinion, PR positively influences key stakeholders, including customers, partners and even employees. The last year has shown that the PR industry is resilient and as we continue to move forward, we must stay hungry for whatever the world throws our way. Adapting to changing episodes is essential to succeed.  

PR has never been more relevant than it is today. In India, PR organisations are doing more than just media relations; they’re creating and designing content, as well as delivering integrated marketing and communication strategies.

Content continues to remain the king and drive PR to a large extent. The adoption of the digital has led to a paradigm shift in the scenario. Social media is an obvious example, as are infographics that exploded in popularity over the past few years. Podcasting began to take off during the pandemic, when a lot of people were spending their time at home, going for walks and just trying to clear some headspace. Even now, it’s not showing any signs of slowing down, especially in the business realm.

ROI, which has traditionally been so difficult to track, has become table stakes. Inbound marketing and lead nurturing once would have been considered part of advertising but are now important tools in the PR toolbox. At Teamwork, we focus on the integrated marketing communications approach, which incorporates public relations, advertising and social media to interweave the brand message across several media channels.  

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

Nothing is forever. Adapting to changing conditions is an important part of running one’s life and business. If I want to be successful as an entrepreneur, I should have a constant thirst for new knowledge and be able to adapt. Also, having an empathetic approach is extremely essential; it can be a way to nurture more lasting and fulfilling relationships, even when they are professional in nature.  

The PR industry is growing back strongly – driven by the evolution of its services. Despite the challenges of the last year, the signs for the future are incredibly encouraging. Much like the rest of the Indian economy, the PR and Communications industry holds tremendous promise and excitement.

The subsequent entry of multinational companies has brought with them increased demand for high-quality public relations services and the need to “sell” the India story more effectively on the world stage will definitely further strengthen the growth of the industry.

Also, understanding local Indian markets is one reason most multinational public relations firms are now preferring to partner with local firms and which is why I feel Indian PR and Communications firms will continue to flourish even after an influx of global competitors.  

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

Never stop learning. Be intellectually curious. Read about topics you know nothing about. I always say that mistakes are the best teacher. When you learn from your mistakes, you move closer to success – even if you initially fail. Do not hesitate to seek help. Whether it’s little tasks like listening to your pitch or offering feedback on the product, there will always be generous people who would be more than happy to guide and support you. Most importantly, the only way you can be satisfied in your life is to do work that you truly believe in.

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