PRAXIS 2013 launches this Friday

The second edition of India’s premier Public Relations and Corporate Communications Summit – PRAXIS (which means to ‘act’ or ‘to do’ and is an acronym for PR
and Corp Comm India Summit) will be held at the hill city of Lavasa near Pune between 27th and 29th September 2013. After the success of the first edition held in Pondicherry in 2012, The PRomise Foundation decided to make the annual signature event better, bigger and bolder.

Better by getting five international PR leaders and a line-up of excellent speakers, bigger by adding an additional night and bolder by doubling the segments. The forthcoming summit will have two keynote addresses, three small BIG talks, four panel discussions and three break-out master classes. The event will assemble an array of over 35 speakers including at least one each from USA and UK – pioneering markets for public relations. The uniqueness of the event is that not a single speaker is repeated from the first edition barring one editor and no organisation gets more than one speaking slot.

This is the only 'National Public Relations Weekend Summit' of its kind as it is organised by full-time professionals who devote spare time to put the event together on a voluntary basis. Each of the 20 professionals represent a different organisation thus bringing diversity to the thought process. It is a carefully designed event of learning and sharing that brings together professionals engaged in the business of Public Relations from diverse firms and from in-house corporate communications departments across organisations.

The inaugural keynote will be delivered by Lord Chadlington, the CEO of the Huntsworth Group who is flying all the way from the United Kingdom for a few hours to be at PRAXIS 2013. The second keynote is by Dr Mukund Rajan who wears four hats at the Tata Group. He is the Tata brand custodian and chief ethics officer of Tata Sons. He is also the spokesperson of the group and the chairman of the Tata Council for Community Initiatives (TCCI). The keynotes will focus on 'Communicating in Changing Times' with an impetus on ethics. David Rockland, Chairman of AMEC - the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication is leading a masterclass and delivering a special address. He leads a division of Ketchum Public Relations and is coming all the way from New York on his debut India visit.

There will be five panel discussions with specific themes, with leaders in the respective fields discussing a topic. These will each be moderated by an editor, a senior communicator and three PR firm leaders. The inaugural panel consists of four editors – R. Sukumar of Mint, Sachin Kalbag of Mid-Day, Shaili Chopra of Tehelka and Indrajit Gupta who is the Founding Editor of Forbes India. This panel will be moderated by Nandita Lakshmanan of The PRactice.

The second day starts off with a panel on Asia where three PR firm leaders who are based in different parts of the Asia-Pacific region will discuss the Asia story and how India fits in. The three include Glenn Osaki, President – MSL Group Asia; Anne Costello, Regional Director – Asia Pacific at Text 100 Global Communications and Sconaid McGeachin, (pronounced Shona) President & CEO India, Middle East, Africa & Turkey. This panel will be moderated by Shivnath Thukral, Group President - Corporate Branding & Strategic Initiatives, Essar.

The third panel comprises chief marketing officers of leading Indian companies in diverse sectors of technology, finance, retail and real estate. The panelists are Ajay Kakar, Chief Marketing Officer, Aditya Birla Group Financial Services; Suvodeep Das, Marketing Director, Reliance Brands; Anuradha Paraskar, Senior Vice President – Marketing, Lavasa Corp Ltd and Ashok Lalla, Global Head, Digital Marketing, Infosys. This session will be moderated by Max Hegerman, Managing Director - EdelmanDigital.

The fourth panel discussion has communications leaders from four Indian multinational companies discussing a wide variety of topics. The four communicators are Roma Balwani, Chief Group Communications Officer, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd; Chhavi Leekha, Group President - Brand & Corporate Communications at Spice Global, Seema Ahuja, Head-Corporate Communications, Biocon and Sujit Patil, Head - Corporate Communications, Godrej Industries.This session will be moderated by Nikhil Dey, President (Public Relations), Genesis Burson Marsteller.

The final panel consists younger consulting firm leaders which will be moderated by Ben Smith of PRmoment. The panel that will discuss the 'Future of Public Relations' will have Rishi Seth of Six Degrees, Atul Takle of Adfactors PR, Sonali Madbhavi of Gutenberg Communications and Dilip Yadav of Weber Shandwick.

The highlight of this year’s edition is the break out session where participants will attend one of three masterclasses including one on Measurement. The Public Affairs master class will have presentations by Ashwani Singla, Chief Executive Officer, Asia, Penn Schoen Berland and Varsha Chainani, Director, Public Affairs at Abbott Laboratories. The Internal Communications Workshop will have presentations from Aniisu K Verghese, Internal Communications Lead, Sapient and Ranjana Sabu, Internal Communications Lead, ABB. The Measurement workshop will be presented by David Rockland. The main performance at this year’s gala is by singing sensation Ambili Menon on the inaugural evening and BayBeat Collective will provide entertainment on the second evening.

A breakfast discussion on the future of Public Relations Education is planned with leaders from PR firms discussing the relevancy of academia in preparing professionals for the future. Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication is the academic partner of the summit and will curate this discussion along with Pradyuman Maheshwari, Editor of MxM India.Com This is a by-invitation event.

The Media Partners are The Holmes Report, PR Moment, MxM India and Avignyata. The other event partners are – Platinum sponsor: Edelman India; Gold sponsors: MSL Group India and SIMC, Pune; Silver Sponsors: Text 100 India, Adfactors PR, IPAN H+K Strategies, Impact Research and Measurement, CARMA India, Eikona PR Measurement, Esha News Monitoring, Avian Media, SIMULATIONS India and The PRactice. Brand partners include, Sab Miller, Pernod Ricard and Red Bull.

The event venue is a three hour drive on the expressway from Mumbai and a one hour drive from Pune city or two hours from Pune airport. (Pune Airport is the closest airport to the venue).  Lavasa hill city offers plenty of greenery to unwind and relax to delegates, who lead busy lives in the metros. The Mercure Hotel is the official summit hotel. Delegates can choose to stay in any of the nearby hotels that include Ekaant, Waterfrontshaw Apartments and Fortune Select Dasave. The main events take place at the Lavasa International Convention Centre. It promises to be a power packed weekend of learning and sharing.  More information is available at or on email by contacting promisefoundationforpr at gmail or by following the organisation on Twitter at @PromiseFdn

See you there as Change is in the Air, in every sense. Here’s to a better, bigger and bolder summit.