Announcing winners of the first ClanConnect – PRmoment India Digital 20 Awards for 2021

PRmoment India is very pleased to announce the winners of the first edition for 2021

The winners represent a range of companies including Medtronic, PepsiCo, Walmart and Egis as well as individual podcasters on issues ranging from stroke awareness and communication strategies.

PR firms were also represented with winners from Adfactors PR, Genesis BCW, Avian WE, The PRactice and Ruder Finn.

Our distinguished jury, drawn from the top echelon of C-suite members, AI products and services entrepreneurs’ and communicators in India, spent weeks scanning and identifying the winners.

PRmoment thanks them for their effort, time and support.

Last but not the least, Team PRmoment would like to thank our sponsors ClanConnect without whom it would not have been possible to keep this list free of application fees and make it a true merit-based platform.

Here they are, meet the ClanConnect Digital Creators 20 winners for 2021!

Message from the Digital Creators 20 partners

Dear Digital Creators 20,

Congratulations on your win!

Empowering and enabling the links of the communication chain is the strongest way to build memorable brands.

And you have shown us the very high standard of digital communication that exists in India. Through these awards we hope to honour every year the leading digital talent in the communication, influencers and marketing communication space in India.”

Congratulations and enjoy your win!

Kunal Kishore Sinha, co-founder, ClanConnect.

I am struck by the high quality of the entries for the ClanConnect PRmoment Digital Creators 20 awards. On behalf of the jury I would like to congratulate the winners of the first edition of these awards.

These awards will help in recognising leading digital professionals in communications in India and turn the spotlight on their contribution.

I have had the privilege of seeing the evolution of the digital world at close quarters during my time at AOL, IPG Media brands, Mindshare and Cheil. Seeing the entries this year, it was inspiring to see how far India’s digital creators have come.

Congratulations winners!

Sagar Pushp, CEO and co-founder, Clan Connect


Meet the Winners

Abhishank Babbar  
Director, Digital Lead- North 
Genesis
BCW

@ABsolutBabbar

Leading a mixed multi-disciplinary team of over 20 people, Abhishank Babbar says, “I believe my professional journey is an ideal example of how the communications industry has been evolving over the years – from traditional PR to Digital-first integrated communications.”

Showcasing his work across consumer campaigns, internal communications and campaigns during Covid Abhishank work with the launch of the Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar launch, and the NASSCOM ‘Back to Business’ outreach, impressed his clients and the judges.

Judge’s comment
“A good offline and online mix of activities around the launch of AMBEO - Soundbar, and good amount of focus on ground/experiential marketing to make an impact”.

Abhishek Pathak
Assistant Manager – Digital Marketing
PR Professionals
@abpathk

Abhishek Pathak had a difficult challenge in the middle of Covid. Beginning work for the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) in August 2020 Abhishek immediately noticed that due to lack of accurate information for students and parents, “ Widespread use of fake social media accounts was spreading misinformation.”

To resolve this, Abhishek built a dedicated network of people on social media to ensure that BSEB media accounts be verified on social media platforms.

His other breakout campaign was for IRSDC (Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation) #NayeBharatKaNayaStation to highlight the launch of the redeveloped Gandhinagar railway station launch. The campaign was liked and shared by the Minister of Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw and the Minister of State for Railways, Darshana Jardosh.

Judge’s comments
“Created credibility in a difficult segment prone to fake news. Very important grassroot level movement.”

Abhoy Chattopadhyay
Podcaster
Sportanatic’s Sports This Week
@Sportanatic1, @ayesee29

Just one conversation with Abhoy Chattopadhyay is enough to understand his deep passion for getting sports its due recognition in India.

A passion project resulting from his experience as a PR professional in order to increase sports conversations, 'Sports This Week' aims to inform and educate sports enthusiasts and fanatics about the most important news from the world of sports, Indian sports, and business of sports in 30 minutes every Friday @6PM.

It also gives you a heads-up on games to watch over the weekend.

Impact

Sports this Week, Has been the Top 3 Sports News Podcast India on apple charts every day since its launch in April 2020 till January 2021, while also entering the Top 20 in sports News Podcast UK twice and top 100 sports news podcast in the USA market twice as well.


Judge’s Comment
“His passion comes out in the way he talks and presents his thinking and POVs.”

Amit Nanchahal  
Associate Director – Corporate Communications
PepsiCo India
@thecorpcommguy

FMCG Digital Marketing Communications

Amit is part of PepsiCo’s global digital programme representing India and regards himself as a digital and influencer first communications professional.

One of his key career milestones has been creating a micro-influencer driven organic model for campaigns for brands like Lay’s, Kurkure, Doritos and Quaker.

Apart from that Amit says that his most; “memorable projects continue to be two of the marquee campaigns for Lay’s – Lay’s Smile campaign and Lay’s Heartwork."

While the later expressed gratitude to supply chain professionals during Covid, the now iconic LAY’S Smile Deke Dekho packs were shared with over 1,450 influencers organically across the country by matching their smiles to the different flavour variants.


Aniisu K Verghese Ph.D.  
Blogger Intraskope
https://www.youtube.com/user/Aniisu

Internal Communications using Digital

A seasoned internal communication expert Aniisu Verghese has over the years, consistently sharing relevant content to bridge the gap between theory and practice for communicators.

His blog Intraskope has been featured on leading global internal communication forums like Simply-Communicate, IC Kollectif and International Association of Business Communicators

In fact 55% of the traffic on his blog come from referrals pointing to his high engagement rate.

Ayushi Anand   
Senior Account Executive
The Practice Strategic Communications
@smiletrain_india

Ayushi Anand in her own words has, “Always sought association with the development sector. The ripple effect of changes at the rural and underprivileged areas, that accounts for the country’s major population, can be immense.”

One of Ayushi’s major achievements has been for Smile Train India, a not for profit organization working for children with clefts. India is currently home to more than 37,000 cleft births every year, which remains a health concern unknown to most households as a medically resolvable birth difference. Therefore awareness is key.

In the middle of Covid, Ayushi helped virtually launch India’s first cleft leadership centre in Karnataka catering to children with cleft needs.

The Smile Train India campaign during  Cleft Awareness Month in India in July touched an engagement rate of 11,000 on Twitter alone from 45 posts. 

Judge’s Comment
“Great social engagement for a difficult subject.”

Bhaskar Majumdar  
Head - Corporate Affairs,
Communication & Digital for India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan, Egis India
@bhaskar_majumdar

Internal Communications using Digital

Bhaskar Majumdar had to explore multiple digital and offline channels to ensure that the engineering teams and staff of Egis spread across the country, often in fairly remote terrains, were safe, connected and engaged during Covid-19.

Therefore, Bhaskar and his team created an umbrella campaign that had multiple brand campaigns built around mental health.

Virtual tools such as Cyclothons, Walkathons, Virtual Yoga and Meditation sessions were used. Under the campaign #NoRoomForOrdinary, there were many other supporting campaigns, but the one’s that Bhaskar found especially meaningful are:

  • The Virtual Wellness Challenge 
         &
  • Creating COVID IT centre for Gurgaon CMO’s (Chief Medical Officer).

Judges’ Comments
Excellent thought, campaign and execution. A very unique problem solved which can help mass TG. Good use of owned and social media platforms which gave much better reach and engagement with their internal and external stakeholders.”

Dalip Singh  
Senior Creative Director,
ArtAdfactors PR
Use of Creativity in Digital Content Creation and FMCG

During Covid-19, with restrictions on eating out, snacks were a source of delight for many of us. Which is Adfactors PR’s Dalip Singh worked on the Snack O'Clock campaign, where consumption moments were used to offer snack solution.

Judge’s Comment
“Good articulation of impact of the campaign on the business. Creative idea and good execution."

Debjeet Kundu 
Account Director- Content
Avian WE hungry_monk_official
Consumer Tech Digital Creator

When you have Amitabh Bachchan writing a blog for your brand newsroom, you know that you must have done something right.

And that is exactly the feeling for Debjeet. Starting his career as a journalist, and a filmmaker with a short film titled, ‘Truancy’. He has also worked with organisations such as Times of India, Hindustan Times, NDTV and Outlook to name a few, and understands the power of great and timely content.

Which is why the Samsung India Newsroom struck a strong chord with the judges. In the 16 weeks from March to June 2020, Samsung India Newsroom was the No.1 newsroom amongst all Samsung global newsrooms for 14 straight weeks in terms of pageviews and traffic generated.

The Samsung Newsroom prompted the jury to remark “Excellent use of content. Loved how they utilized different stakeholders - leaders, journalists, and their brand ambassadors - to talk about the brand.”

Judge’s Comment
“The Samsung Newsroom emerged as a hub for news on Samsung - with celebrities', leaders, customers sharing stories."

Diksha Sethi 
Podcaster
Different Strokes

A life altering adversity inspired Diksha Sethi to launch her podcast, Different Strokes, which marked its first anniversary in August 2021. Different Strokes, where a collection of 25+ extraordinary stories of not so ordinary people sends a powerful reminder to the world that life is beautiful and worth every shot. From the impact on children during lockdown to stories of personal grit, Diksha covered it all.

Listen in to this powerful take on body shaming of young women in India.

Different Strokes also ran a special series to highlight the contribution of Covid heroes #thevoicesofcovidHeroes. 

One such episode interviews a child psychologist, Nupur Paiva who talks about a disturbing new reality of a parallel pandemic that is affecting the most vulnerable in our society. Children and adolescents who have no natural outlets anymore are experiencing bouts of anxiety, aggression, and depression with an underlined risk of long-term behaviour change. The podcast also touches upon other ugly facets of the lockdown where children are at greater risks of domestic abuse and PTSD from losing a parent(s). 

Different Strokes has an average 100+ organic listeners per episode and enjoys a global audience with 65% listeners from India, followed by USA.

Judge’s Comment
It's always great to see a fresh approach, or doing things the different ways, and "Different Strokes" strikes the cord in the right way! While the numbers may not seem to be huge to support her work, but the quality of work is great and covers a diverse spectrum of life. Also, taking on Podcasts as a medium is a great way of storytelling. 

Homith Bakshi  
Assistant Managing Editor
Current Global Mumbai
Community networker and aggregator, Consumer Digital Campaign
Consumer Tech Digital

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the professional landscape, LinkedIn was a major platform for people looking for work. Research showed that working women and Gen Z professionals (aged 18-24) have been among the hardest hit communities during these testing times.

Determined to fix a spotlight on the various barriers that are keeping these communities from professional progress and economic opportunities, Homith helped LinkedIn India use data, moment marketing, and content creator partnerships to develop 2 digital PR campaigns – Diaries of a Working Woman and #NextGenCareerSeries.

He also worked closely with the company’s research agency to conceptualize the ‘Career Aspirations Gen Z India’ study, which was soon launched across the Indian mediaverse to deep dive into the second wave’s economic impact on Gen Z careers.

To build awareness around their professional dilemma, the conversation was taken online by partnering with leading entrepreneur and content creator, Ankur Warikoo. LinkedIn and Ankur Warikoo curate a 5-part video series titled ‘#NextGenCareerSeries’. ( Top 5 skills for the next 5 years).

The video series features professional hacks, bundled with LinkedIn’s survey data, to help Gen Z Indians navigate their careers and academic plans effectively in these dynamic times.

NEXTGEN CAREER SERIES

The NextGen Career Series scored a total of 400K+ views in 4 weeks, and sparked 12.5K+ reactions and comments, led by LinkedIn’s Gen Z members on the professional networking platform.

Judge’s Comment
“Both projects have been carefully crafted with right use of media amplification to drive the impact."

Jai Bahal  
Account Director Co-Founder,
NAVIC Creativity in Digital Content
storyofsaamus

When an entry includes the biography of a spoon in poetry format, and an NFT project, you know it’s going to be a fun read.

Jai Bahal runs an AI driven poetry handle that chronicles poetry from the point of view of a spoon and The 50/50 Project – An NFT (Non-Fungible token) art store on Mintable where Jai and his mother (Pseudonym: A+J) collaborate on an art project where 50% of all proceeds go to charity via TheGivingBlock.com

He has also been digital strategist with Adfactors before NAVIC.

Judge’s Comment
"Bite-sized content format is very tactical and well thought through. Very creative and out of box hooks."

Malavika Surendra  
Senior Specialist, Corporate Communications
Walmart Global Tech India
Internal communication digital creator

An internal communications specialist, Malavika Surendra worked overtime to make Workplace the Facebook platform for Walmart employees. As a result over a period of 10 months the Walmart Workplace membership jumped from 700 to 7500.

This was possible as a result of initiatives such as A virtual ‘Treasure Hunt’. This approach used meme marketing to catch attention.  Also, a sending appreciation programme called Badgify and a ‘Tag your Academy squad’ drive to encourage employees to make use of the Global Tech Academy, for upskilling; added to the engagement with employees.

Team Lead’s endorsement

Team Lead Thumbs Up
“Malavika’s ideas under the banner of ‘Fun Fridays’ and many more such well-ideated campaigns created a virality factor for employees to tag each other and create excitement/buzz on the platform. We were able to garner great attention as well as build connect amongst employees, particularly when they are working virtually. This, in turn, had an outstanding impact on our business.”

Sharbari Chakraborty, Lead – Internal Communications at Walmart Global Tech India and Malavika’s manager

Nidhi Acharya  
miragedamsel
Manager, Digital & Social
Medtronic India Healthcare Digital Communications

In India, young surgeons who begin their medical practice are on their own and rely on themselves to develop their knowledge around the latest medical technology.

To help address this gap and align with Govt. of India’s Skill India initiative, Nidhi Acharya worked on a unique digital engagement program ‘India’s Next Sushruta’, a multi-stage academic contest with a strong academia focus and the winners were recognized with the 'International Clinical Immersion Program'.

The program was among the first in the MedTech industry to cater to young post-graduate medical students.

Judge’s Comment
“Love the innovative idea and the potential business impact. Great use of social media tools for a very targeted audience."

Nikhil Chawla 
https://nikhilchawla.com/
Founder and Executive Editor
The Unbiased Blog

Short form digital Video

For a long form article writer, Nikhil Chawla initially found it disheartening to see comments like ‘these 15000-20000 words could have been a 5 minutes’ video'.

So Nikhil decided that either he joined the 15 seconds of fame tribe or perished.

So he started creating not only 5-10 mins YouTube videos but also 60 seconds Instagram videos and 15-30 seconds IG Reels.

This was not was easy when it comes to reviewing cars. The way he resolved it is to try and build a story even in 15 seconds.

Nikhil says, “Our most recent reel of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, we tried to depict a First Class Travel experience. And for this 10-15 seconds video we took both Mercedes-Benz GLC300 and the S-Class to the Delhi Airport. I enacted as if I have a flight to catch and got off my car and sat in the first class experience S-Class.”

Judge’s Comment
“Nice examples of digital branding.”

Pooja Trehan  
Director – Marketing Communications
SugarBox Networks
Internal communication digital creator

Designing the brand or organization's voice, is what drives Pooja Trehan.

At SugarBox Networks, Pooja is planning the communication approach for B2B route and effectively using digital platforms – owned and earned – in order to distinguish the brand’s identity and build impactful conversations. This industry or category (an access platform that allows you to use mobile apps without using internet) is not well understood by many, outside of the specific environment. Pooja has focused on internal & external digital conversations to solve that.

Judge’s Comment
“Pooja has been instrumental in planning the communication approach to go the B2B route and effectively using digital platforms – owned and earned – in order to distinguish the brand’s identity and build impactful conversations."

Shrey Kapoor  
Techphile Blog
Team lead- Emerging Technologies, Ruder Finn 
Creativity in Digital Creation

The youngest emerging technology lead in Ruder Finn, Shrey Kapoor’s passion is also founder of Techphlie.com, that is amongst the leading technology blogs in India touching more than 5,00,000+ visits monthly. It is now an authorised publisher on Google News platform. 

Notably, the Emerging Technologies team also developed ALEXA/VOICE for CEO Ruder Finn, Kathy Bloomgarden, where she shares her views with Ruder Finn employees.

Additionally, The ET team created an Alexa Skill for for a leading healthcare firm to engage with young stakeholders. 

Judge’s Comment
“Commendable use of Alexa."

Sumit Jamwal  
@jamwal_saaaab
Senior Account Director
Adfactors
Financial services digital creator

Sumit Jamwal is currently growing the BFSI and Fintech vertical for Adfactors PR in North India. He has also created a travel and hospitality firm -Escape Route (www.escaperoute.co.in) with online and offline integration. Apart from customized tours, he also launched a 60 seater Traveller’s Café.

At Adfactors PR, Sumit has worked for ICRIER- while it is a major think offering policy recommendations basis its research, a majority of communication was routed through traditional media only. In the past 8 months, ICRIER is now sharing its views across traditional as well as digital media.

As a result its traction with new media and participants has gone up. The overall perception about ICRIER as an age-old think-tank is also changing towards a modern, digital-savvy consultant like the BIG 4.

Tarunjeet Rattan  
All About PR Podcast Podcaster, All About PR, Co-Founder-PR POI and Managing Partner,
Nucleus PR

Use of Audio and Community Aggregator

Writing why the judges’ picked Tarunjeet Rattan for this list, means describing the many hats she wears. First, bang in the middle of the pandemic, she launched the ‘All About PR”, podcast which has since received over 1000 plays.

Impact

While the podcast has created more unique conversations in the space, the objective was also to leverage this podcast as a marketing tool. Tarunjeet says every season she saw a 25-30% uptick in new business leads and also landed 2-3 plum assignments with every season.

Additionally, Tarunjeet co-founded PRPOI and also with her co-founders Sonali Sokhal and Pooja Trehan has built a strong community over 9679+ national. Sessions conducted by PRPOI enjoy strong traction.

On LinkedIn, PRPOI posts reach an average of 5.5 k post impressions and an average reach of 20 % & content interaction of 90% on Instagram.

Judge’s Comment
“Good impact - a community of 10K and excellent engagement on social media Average reach of 20 % & content interaction."

Varghese Thomas 
@vmthomas2071

Vice President & Global Head – Corporate Communication
TVS Motor Company Auto Digital Creator

A seasoned corporate communication hand, Varghese Thomas leveraged his experience to spectacular effect by spearheading the digital communication plan for India’s first Bluetooth enabled scooter, TVS NTORQ 125, and by creating an aspirational narrative for Gen Z. Key social media campaigns ran under his guidance for NTORQ 125 SuperSquad Edition inspired by Marvel's Avengers. This saw great social engagement and record-breaking number of new followers for a scooter brand.

The TVS NTORQ 125 SuperSquad Launch

Three years after TVS NTORQ’s launch, with many me-too offerings in the market, the brand decided to evolve with the expectations of Gen Z. The company associated with Disney India’s consumer products business to introduce TVS NTORQ 125 SuperSquad edition, inspired by the iconic Marvel Super Heroes.

Varghese strategized two social media live streams with popular Gen Z platforms to launch the product. For Facebook it was Motoroids and on Instagram, EVO India. The plan included virtual and actual walkabouts as the lockdown eased.

Judge’s Comment
“Interesting idea to engage using with GenZ using a bunch of engagement hooks - From a Call of Design co-creation contest to a Marvel-themed Super Squad edition. Really like how they have clearly mapped the PR and social campaign's impact on business."

Thanks to our sponsors ClanConnect for their support.