We place a very high emphasis on an independent, high-quality, senior judging panel. The jury will comprise maximum of 21 eminent professionals drawn from communications from APAC and India. The only representatives from Consultancy will be those who don't have India presence..
Director-Regulatory, External Affairs & CSR, Vodafone India Ltd
An Executive Committee member at Vodafone India, Balaji leads the company’s Regulatory, Public Policy & Government Relations activities. He spearheads the External Affairs function overseeing Corporate Communications and Reputation Management. He administers the Corporate Social Responsibility and the Vodafone Foundation in India. He leads a team focusing on advocacy for industry issues.
Prior to Vodafone, Balaji was in the mobile devices industry as Managing Director of Nokia and Sony Mobile Communications, India. He has extensive experience in telecom technology/equipment sector. He has held leadership roles in Ericsson India, was on the executive board of India operations and handled diverse roles in Marketing, Strategy, Sales, Technical Solutions, Communications, Corporate affairs and Business Development. He made significant contributions to the global strategy formulation for the group.
Balaji has over 24 years of experience in Telecom & IT, in diverse functions including sales, marketing, strategy, operations, and product management. He has been associated with start-up and turn-around ventures of TATA group, AT&T, Ericsson, Lucent and Sony during this period and has held senior leadership positions in these companies.
Balaji is the Chairman of ASSOCHAM National Council on Telecommunications and Convergence. He is member of the National Council of apex industry chambers like CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, AIMA and Telecom Sector Skill Council. He has been President of Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA), Northern Region Chairman of the Telecom Export promotion council and of the task force set up by government on policy matters.
An Electronics Engineer from IIT Roorkee, Balaji did his MBA from IIM-Ahmedabad in Marketing, Finance and Strategy. He was selected for the leadership program of Tata group and worked closely with senior leaders in the Tata group.
He loves travelling, tennis, singing and watching sports and movies.
Chief Communications Officer, Cairn India Ltd
A mechanical engineer and MBA (Marketing), Arun has additional qualification in Journalism (Mass Communications) and Hotel Management. He has a rich exposure of over 25 years in media relations, internal and external communications, brand management, marketing communications, advertising, web management, events, exhibitions and CSR.
His love for learning and sharing from his learning is well known. Arun’s grip on handling crisis situations make him an exceptional communication professional.
Principal, Signal Leadership Communication Incorporated
Having built award-winning public relations businesses based in the United States, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Canada – and with one of the largest social media communities in the PR world – Bob Pickard is a respected leader in the international communications business. He was listed as the only Canadian in PR Week’s 2015 ‘Global Power Book’ of the industry’s most influential executives.
Based at Toronto, Bob focuses on providing counsel to clients on image, issues, relationships and reputation. He is the founder and president of Signal Leadership Communication Inc., specialising in social media and PR counsel for executives and organisations dealing with digital disruption. He also serves as an Executive Fellow for the Center for the Future of Organization (CFFO), an independent think tank at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.
Bob has more than two decades of experience focused on providing counsel and creating communications campaigns for senior business leaders in North America and Asia-Pacific (including, over the years, coaching hundreds of executives and personally advising Bill Gates, Donald Trump, George Soros, and Nicky Oppenheimer). His clients have included Astra-Zeneca, Bayer, De Beers, Goldman Sachs, Government of Canada, GSK, Hewlett-Packard, Huawei, ING, Johnson & Johnson, Kia Motors, Merck, Microsoft, Nissan, Nomura, PayPal, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Senvion and Standard & Poor’s.
Prior to this Bob was Chairman for Asia-Pacific of The Huntsworth Group based at Singapore, with senior leadership of the regional business for global communications consultancies such as Citigate Dewe Rogerson, Grayling, and Huntsworth Health. Bob also served Burson-Marsteller as its Asia-Pacific CEO where, for three years until 2013, he led and expanded a 38-office network of owned and affiliate operations across 16 regional markets with more than 1,000 employees. From 2002 until fiscal year 2009, as Edelman’s Managing Director for Korea and later as North Asia President, Bob grew the firm’s business in the region ten times larger.
Bob first went to Asia after a successful 12-year career in North American public relations. He was Executive Vice President of Environics Communications. Before which, he was a Vice President at Hill & Knowlton Canada, where he founded the firm’s technology practice and captained international communications projects, including global media relations for Canada’s transfer of energy technology to the Republic of Korea.
Head - Communications, Facebook
Carson Dalton leads communications for Facebook and the family of apps which includes WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram across India and South Asia.
Prior to joining Facebook, Carson was at BT where he served in different roles in India, London and Singapore. It was during his time at BT he was awarded the ‘Young PR Professional of the Year’ by Campaign magazine at the Asia – Pacific PR Awards 2008 in Hong Kong and was recently recognised as an emerging leader in PR and Corporate Communications by Reputation Today magazine in its 40 under 40 for 2016.
Carson started the PR function at Idea Cellular in 2004 and began his career as a freelance journalist writing for the Indian Express, Mid-Day, Maharashtra Herald and JAM Magazine in Pune.
He holds an MBA from the Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies. Outside of work, he loves running and plays tennis.
Head - Public Affairs & Spokesperson, Tata Trusts
Debasis started his professional journey in communication in 1990-1991 and has more than 26 years of experience in Corporate Communications with mastery in skills like Marketing Communication, Crisis Management, Strategy Communications and Internal Employee Communications. Prior to Tata Trusts, Ray, for a brief period, was the Head - Corporate Brand Management & Communications, Larsen & Toubro.
He is not new to Tata as he was Chief - Group Corporate Communications at Tata Sons for almost five years and before this was heading the Corporate Communications at Tata Motors for 11 years.
Debasis started his PR journey with Hindustan Lever where his stint was for more than 14 years and under his guidance the company launched very successful brands and new divisions.
Head Communications, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
Deepa has a Masters degree in English Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She started as a journalist, contributing to The Economic Times in Kolkata, before moving to lead communications for India’s first collection of Boutique Hotels, The Park. During her career of over 20 years, she has worked in leadership positions both in-house and with a consultancy. She has worked in a range of industries including Hospitality (The Park), Retail (The Oxford Bookstore), Real Estate (APJ Business Center), Aviation (SpiceJet) and Telecom (Airtel). She has also led teams to support clients like Philips India (Ltd), Singapore Tourism Board, CNBC (India). Her last job was as the Vice President, Communications for India & South Asia with Bharti Airtel where she was responsible for Industry Orchestration, Media relations – Brand and Corporate, Online Reputation Management, Financial Communications, Issue Management and Employee Communications for India’s leading Telecom operator.
Deepa joined GSK in 2013 as Head Communications for India Sub Continent. In her current role she is leading the function for the second largest market outside of the US for the company. Her responsibility includes leadership messaging, policy communication, employer branding, corporate and financial communications for the region.
A member of the India Leadership Team, Deepa is also a part of the Communication Leadership Team of Asia Middle East & Africa and Global Communications Team of GSK Consumer Healthcare.
Head-Press Communication, Audi India
During the course of his 16+ years' of professional experience, Gaurav has steered several successful strategies for the organization, which have had strong and positive impact.
He has been part of the Volkswagen Group in India for the last 10 years and currently heads the Public Relations team for Audi India, a part of Volkswagen Group.
His team has been awarded the "Best PR Team" as well as "Most Innovative PR Team" by NDTV CNB Awards in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
A proactive thinker, his innovative and analytical approach to communications has delivered impactful communication campaigns with measurable results.
A team-player with strong project management skills with exposure to international and domestic audiences and media, Gaurav has shown proficiency in handling multiple projects with a strong management discipline.
Gaurav holds a Masters in Communication Management.
An avid sports follower, and a keen interest in current affairs keeps Gaurav busy in his non work hours.
Senior Vice President & Head PR & Corporate Communications, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN)
A communications specialist, Humsa Dhir has been driving the PR and Corporate Communications function at Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) since 2015. In her current role at SPN, she leads the organisation’s PR and Communications strategy and is focused on strengthening the network’s reputation amongst its multiple stakeholders.
Humsa brings with her a robust experience of over 20 years across different aspects of communications; including Advertising, Public Relations, Organisational trainings, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, having worked in the India, South Asia and Middle East markets.
Her forte lies in setting up and establishing the corporate communications function, which she has now done successfully for over 10 years. Her roles in various organisations have led her to interplay with investor relations, brand and marketing communications, media and industry associations, sustainability and CSR besides employee engagement.
Prior to joining SPN, Humsa has worked across industries such as automobiles, wind energy, paints & coatings and has been associated with companies such as AkzoNobel, Suzlon, Eicher group, RK Swamy BBDO and JWT, amongst others.
She holds a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry, with a specialisation in Immunology and Molecular Biology and a Master’s degree in Communications, specialising in media management and film studies. Humsa enjoys architectural photography and travelling.
Area Director of Marketing- South Asia, Marriott International
In her 13-year tenure with the company, Khushnooma has led the marketing and brand roadmap, as well as launched multiple new properties within the Marriott portfolio in India. Her perseverance for excellence has seen her grow from a manager at the JW Marriott Mumbai to handling the entire portfolio in the country
Khushnooma’s work impetus is focused on business excellence across every marketing vertical that drives brand Marriott and under her guidance Marriott has emerged as the No 2 hospitality brand in India, through an independent brand research commissioned in 2016. She manages 15 brands under the ‘Marriott International’ portfolio and is responsible for the strategic growth of these brands under the consortium. With 84 operating hotels and a pipeline of more than 100 hotels in India, she has a team of over 50 associates working with her. She has pioneered several campaigns which were ahead of their times and thereby gone beyond the otherwise traditional hospitality landscape.
In an impressive career spanning 19 years, Khushnooma has worked with renowned organisations both in the finance (Arthur Anderson) and communications sector (Good Relations Pvt Ltd). Articulate, intelligent and self-motivated, she encourages a healthy work-life balance and continues to reinvent, push boundaries and set new benchmarks in the business and marketing arena.
A University topper, Khushnooma has completed her MBA in management from the well-known Jamnalal Bajaj College in Mumbai. In her “me” time Khush, loves to spend time with her two adorable kids, she is an avid reader and when possible, takes time to indulge in her favourite creative indulgence, stained glass painting.
Some of the recognitions received:
• In 2014 she was awarded the ‘50 most talented CMOs’ for excellence in Branding and marketing in India. She was also on the cover of a leading magazine as one of the ‘Five most powerful public relations professionals’ in the country. She has been awarded the ‘Global Marketing Leader of the year’ by Marriott several times and has been nominated for this year’s award as well wherein entries would come in from professionals with outstanding contribution from all over the world .Khushnooma was awarded the “Women leadership Achievement award by the World Women Congress” for excellence
Director Corporate Communications, DELL
Mahesh leads communications for Dell in India as Director - Corporate Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in Public Relations, Sales & Marketing with growing responsibility in the area of Corporate Communications, having worked in marquee technology companies like Dell, IBM, British Telecom and GE Medical Systems. He is recognised for ‘big picture’ thinking, team building & strong industry relationships.
Primarily charged with shifting perception of Dell in India from a transactional business to a provider of end-to-end scalable technology solutions and services, he has been involved as a key strategist for message development, corporate positioning, thought leadership, business and trade media relations, analyst relations, and executive visibility.
He has also successfully led and managed communications around Change management and Digital Transformation, as Dell transitioned from being a public to a private company and then acquired EMC in one of the largest IT acquisitions in history.
Prior to this, Mahesh has held key communications roles in IBM’s Corporate marketing, Software, Enterprise and Personal Computing businesses and was involved in managing the Lenovo transition. He has also specialised in stakeholder communications in the telecom and healthcare sector with his earlier stints at British Telecom and GE Medical Systems.
Mahesh is a two-time winner of the prestigious Dell Circle of Excellence and the elite IBM’s Hundred Percent Club awarded for his consistent high-level performance and contributions towards enhancing the brands in India.
Mahesh’s passions include running to keep fit, calligraphy, sketching, collecting fountain pens and mechanical watches.
He is married to Babita and is blessed with a daughter, Maanya.
Director – Public Relations, Amazon India
Currently heading Amazon India PR, Minari has worked more than two decades across different aspects of communication. Her work experience straddles copy-writing, journalism, corporate communications and film writing. Working across brands and industries as well as across Asian markets, she is passionately convinced about the power of communications that is to make a difference for organisations in how they are perceived and the role they play in the business impact. Over the years, she feels that there has been a consistent increase in the role and sphere of influence of communications on business.
Minari Shah believes this is among the most exciting times in communication and what drives her is the dynamic industry where technology is bringing in disruptive changes. For her it is imperative to apply known insights while experimenting and growing into the new ways of communications to make it more effective, holistic and powerful. The other abiding interest for Minari, is to ensure that Communication experts nurture talent as this industry (in India) has grown too fast in recent years, causing excellence to sometimes take a back seat and to mentor for women leadership across companies.
Prior to Amazon, Minari was heading Tata Motors for three years and before that she was the Corporate Communications head at HSBC . She was for five years with Dell, where in her last role was as Corporate Communications Asia- Pacific.
She holds a Master Degree in International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and Bachelor of Arts in History from Stella Maris College, Madras University.
Moushumi has spent close to two decades of building her career in corporate communications. She has worked for global brands and been responsible for building and sustaining their brand and corporate reputation. She has a wide range of experience and at Philips she was involved with all the group businesses of Philips which includes Lighting, Healthcare, consumer lifestyle and healthcare manufacturing and healthcare research and innovation.
Her core expertise lies in her ability to drive integrated corporate communications to build brands, connect communication needs with business objectives, build new categories across technology, healthcare and consumer durables.
Prior to Philips, Moushumi worked with global brands like GE Money and Intel. At Intel she led and embarked on a large scale media awareness campaign titled “Project Parivartan”, which was all about unleashing the power of the Internet to a wide cross section of audience. For this campaign she went on to win the coveted Intel Achievement Award. She spent 6 years with Intel building the “Intel inside” brand image for Intel in India.
Her early PR experiences include working with the Australian High Commission and Mudra PR. Very recently she has started penning her PR memoirs, titled PR Parables, where she shares the learning she has had through her myriad experiences in PR.
Director& Head, Public Affairs, Abbott Healthcare
Nandini Goswami is Director & Head, Public Affairs for Abbott Healthcare.
With 25 years of communications experience, Nandini has worked across various sectors (FMCG, Healthcare, Finance, Energy & Telecom) in a number of companies including Kellogg India, GSK Pharmaceuticals, Bharti, Reliance Energy, JM Morgan Stanley/JM Financial and Nomura. Prior to working in the corporate sector, Nandini has worked in the South African High Commission followed by a couple of PR consultancies. She began her career as a journalist with The Hindustan Times and has worked extensively on reputation and issues management, media management, business & internal communications and corporate social responsibility.
Nandini is a speaker at various communication forums and communication & business schools. Besides, she has been a jury member for various Indian and international PR awards. Nandini is the recipient of The Women’s Leadership Achievement Award at the World Women’s Leadership Congress in 2016.
Director - Brand & Communication, Max Group
Nitin is a senior external affairs and communication professional with nearly two decades of experience. He is currently working in a leadership role at the USD 2 billion diversified Indian conglomerate, Max India Group. He was previously with Microsoft India, managing product advocacy and communications. In the past, he has also been in a consulting role, as a part of various communication agencies - advising leading brands across verticals such as Technology, Consumer Products, Financial Services, Healthcare.
He specializes in building and maintaining corporate reputation and building engagement and trust with influencers. A continuous learner by disposition, he is currently focused on gaining expertise in effective use of social media for building corporate reputation.
Nitin is married and has a 10 year old daughter. He is currently based in New Delhi.
Vice President – Communications & CSR, PepsiCo India
In her role as the Vice President Communications & CSR, Poonam is responsible for the image and reputation of all PepsiCo entities in India. She oversees Internal and External Communications, Leadership Communications, Crisis Management, Consumer Relations and CSR in PepsiCo’s India Region.
Poonam has over two decades of leadership experience of driving integrated communications to build brands, influence policy, shape perceptions and manage crisis. Prior to her appointment at PepsiCo India, Poonam was the Director Communications at Nokia and was responsible for India, Middle East and Africa. Poonam was with Nokia for eight years and was a Nokia Country Board Member.
She was also with Microsoft India for six and half years where she was heading advertising and public relations for all business units of Microsoft in India. She started her career with Mudra Public Relations managing an integrated advertising and public relations campaigns for clients across sectors.
Poonam is an MBA with specialisation in Marketing.
Head Group Corporate Communications, Bharati Group
Raza is a seasoned public relations professional with over 18 years of experience in diverse sectors. An expert in Corporate Reputation Management and Crisis Communication, he has handled some challenging assignments for leading corporates in the country. He started his career in public relations with India’s leading PR firm Perfect Relations. Within a short period of four years, he became the Branch Director overlooking the firm’s operations in North India (Delhi, Chandigarh and J&K), handling the PR mandate for leading Indian and global corporates including EADS (now Airbus Company), Coca-Cola, GAIL, Amex, Idea, Hindustan Motors, Pizza Hut, Rasna to name a few. He has also handled various Govt. sector accounts including the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Govt. of Himachal Pradesh. He later joined another leading PR consultancy, Genesis-Burnson Marsteller, as Partner in the Consumer and Entertainment division handling the mandate for leading corporates such as GSK Consumer Healthcare, BBC, NDDB, Mother Dairy, The History Channel, NGC etc.
He started his career in the corporate communications space with one of India’s leading business groups – Bharti Enterprises, and has handled the communications mandate for all Group companies including Bharti Airtel, Bharti Retail, FieldFresh, Bharti Realty, Beetel Teletech and Bharti Foundation (the philanthropy arm of Bharti). He has had a brief stint as the Head of Corporate Communications with another leading telecom infrastructure company Viom Networks (earlier Tata-Quippo) before shifting back to Bharti.
Raza is a chemical engineer by profession from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Raipur and holds a PG Diploma in communications from the Delhi School of Communication.
Vice President & Global Head of Communications, Biocon Limited, India
Seema Ahuja is a multifaceted Corporate Communications & Brand Management expert who has been in Senior Leadership roles in the Pharma & Life Sciences Sector for over a decade. During her over 25 years career she has played a critical role in reputation management and brand building for various leading public listed companies in the Hospitality, Pharma, Life Sciences and Biotech sectors; key ones being Ranbaxy, Lupin Pharma and Jubilant Life Sciences. As a brand communication specialist she has managed corporate brands across global markets. She has specialised in Marketing & Advertising, Communications & Brand Management, Media Relations & PR, Crisis Management, Internal Communication & Employee engagement, Digital & Social Media and CSR Communication.
Over the years Seema has been recognised for her PR, editorial, design and communication work and has been conferred with several awards from various professional bodies. Most recently she featured on the ‘India’s Top Ten Women in Corporate Communications’ - 2016 being the only one from Bangalore, and was conferred with Femina Women Leadership Awards – ‘Women Super Achiever’ 2017. She now aims to mentor the young professionals and help them shape into world class communicators and brand building experts.
Vice President & Global Group Head- Corporate Communications, Avantha Group
Shravani Dang is a senior communications and CSR leader with over two decades of quantifiable achievements. Her experience base spans multinational companies across Technology, Financial, Not-for-profit and Industrial sectors.
Previously, she has worked with Fidelity, CSC, HCL, and international relief and development organisation CARE. Shravani also headed the CSR portfolio at Fidelity, CSC and HCL. Trusted by CXOs and boards, Shravani is a media and external affairs advisor to leadership teams. Shravani has been invited to join multiple boards but has selected to be a member of the board of international NGO - Charities Aid Foundation (CAF India) and The CyberMedia Group. She is a founding board member of Asia Pacific Association of Communication Directors (APACD). Reputation Today magazine recently ranked Shravani as among the top ten corporate communications professionals in the country.
Founder at Rice Communications
Sonya has over 20 years of experience working in India and Singapore with clients across industry sectors. She set up Rice Communications in January 2009 to add value to her clients with her experience working at some of the largest consultancies in the world as well as with boutique firms. Sonya is deeply committed to building long-term relationships with the clients at Rice as well as to lead a team of highly energised and talented communications professionals. Under her guidance, Rice Communications has won a number of industry awards.
Country Head, Corporate Affairs,Standard Chartered Bank, India
Subhayu drives external, internal communications and staff engagement agenda, brand reputation, Sustainability, sponsorship and thought leadership initiatives for Standard Chartered Bank in India.
Subhayu has over 21 years of experience managing communications and CSR for leading Indian and multinational brands in banking, capital markets and financial services. In his previous roles, Subhayu headed Corporate Affairs at Barclays, India, and has handled similar roles in his career including heading Communications & Channel Marketing at Tata AIG & External Communications for the AIG Group in India.
Across his career, he has led large media initiatives for build-out / transition of brands, business & products, and set up globally benchmarked message house, documentation and process controls. He is experienced in cross leveraging communications, Sustainability and digital platforms.
His interests include literature and art, wildlife conservation and trekking.