The biggest PR mandate in the country, estimated at Rs. 60 crores annually has gone to India’s largest firm, Adfactors PR ending weeks of speculation. In November 2017, Tata ended its contract with Rediffusion Edelman, putting the agency on notice till end of January 2018.
According to reliable sources, Adfactors PR had been interviewing personnel and also looking at smaller agencies to acquire since the end of November last year.
The mandate covers strategic counsel and planning, media relations, issues and crisis management, investor relations, advocacy, and integrated campaign development for some of the Tata group’s largest companies including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages and Titan, as well as Tata Sons and Tata Trusts, across India.
“We are pleased to partner with Adfactors PR, India’s largest PR agency, to drive the TATA communications strategy and make the brand engaging and relevant to all our stakeholders,” said Mr Pradipta Bagchi, Group Communications Officer, Tata Group.
Madan Bahal, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Adfactors PR, said “The opportunity to work for an iconic institution like the Tata Group that is India’s best known and most trusted brand represents an exciting opportunity for the Adfactors family. The Tata Group is at an inflection point in terms of reinforcing its leadership and growth. We look forward to adding value to its efforts in engaging with a rapidly transforming nation.”
The mandate will come into effect from February 01, 2018.
Adfactors will service the Tata Group mandate out of its 16 wholly-owned offices across the country, supported by a network of 24 support offices covering all state capitals and principal markets. Dedicated sector and market-specialist teams will be established to lead the account in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore where most Group companies are headquartered.
Impact on PR industry
The Tata Group account has been described by insiders as a “beast of an account”, due to its sheer size. Edelman India, could see a sharp fall in both it’s revenues and staff. Analysts say that this could result in as much as a 30 percent fall in its revenue.
Rakesh Thukral, managing director, Edelman India told PRmoment India that, "It has been a privilege and an enriching experience working for the Tatas. We take pride in our association, our work and our partnership. We continue to be committed to the growth of our people, quality work for our vast client base in India."
Thukral also told PRmoment India that there will be only marginal rightsizing of the teams at Edelman India and that Edelman will maintain both it's geographical and industry expertise footprint.
Such a shakeout, will however affect the PR market at large pricing down rates of talent. While younger talent may be snapped up, senior staff will find it tougher to seek a job. But, Subhash Pais, MD, i9 Communications, points out that talent will also not be easy to find, looking at the sheer number of people needed to service Tata.