Monday, October 19, 2015

Concept PR wins multiple new mandates, ramps up teams across verticals

·          Clients encompass genomics, sports, realty and BFSI

MUMBAI, October 16, 2015: Concept PR, part of India’s largest independent communication group Concept, is on a high growth path and has signed up a series of new clients and has started ramping up operations.
The agency’s new client acquisitions, in the face of multi-agency pitches, include the sports portfolio of IDBI Federal Life Insurance, spanning cricket, grassroots football and distance running, realty giants, K Raheja Corp, Sheth Corp and Century Real Estate, India’s first e-ticketing company Kyazoonga, telecom major Matrix Cellular that provides telecom solutions for Indian travellers going abroad, and MedGenome & Manipal Hospital in the healthcare sector.
Aggressive growth - Ashish Jalan
“We are happy that our teams have been doing well and winning businesses across verticals, from genomics, e-commerce, telecom to healthcare to sports and BFSI. These wins underline the core strength of our consultancy, which is to craft strategies that enhance a client’s desired image while delivering quantifiable benchmarks. We are on road to aggressive growth and are ramping up our teams across cities,” said Ashish Jalan, Director and CEO, Concept PR.
Some other companies who signed up contracts with Concept PR in the recent past include - India’s leading adult health and wellness e-commerce site, Groupe SEB -  world leader in small household equipment, Tookitaki - a decision support system ( DSS ) company head-quartered in Singapore, and SciGenom Research Foundation, a not-for-profit organization working to promote science in India through research and education.
Concept PR, with 10 owned offices and effective service network covering the length and breadth of the country, services clients across verticals such as BFSI, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Healthcare and Pharma, Sports and Lifestyle, IT, Telecom, Legal and Tax, apart from handling pre-IPO build up, IPOs and road shows.
The company also has dedicated Digital Communication and Investor Relations teams.

Concept PR is a part of India’s largest communication group: Concept. The much awarded public relations consultancy is powered by over 250 professionals having offices in 10 cities and an associate network of 36 representatives.
The consultancy is a major player in BFSI, Infrastructure & Real Estate, Engineering Power, Oil & Gas, IT & Telecom, Media, Entertainment & Sports, Education, Healthcare and Diversified Corporates.
Concept PR also has a full-fledged Digital Communications and Investor Relations practices with a sizable and growing clientele.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

IDBI Federal ties up with Cricket Association of Bengal

IDBI Federal Life Insurance will sponsor all age group teams from the CAB for various domestic cricket tournaments, including Ranji matches.  

Kolkata, 14th October 2015: IDBI Federal Life Insurance has announced its partnership with the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to strengthen state’s cricket endeavors. Sourav Ganguly at the helm of affairs as the youngest ever president and taking charge of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), has already created a roadmap to reinvigorate the state’s cricket dynamics. And with this association, the Vision 2020 project will establish to hone meritorious talent and develop them into high-class players to play for the national side.
Speaking on this association, Sourav GangulyPresident - the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) said, “Bengal cricket in the last couple of years has been making steady efforts to build a supply line of national team players. The most significant of these projects is the ‘Vision 2020’ which has in its fold eminent cricketers like VVS Laxman, Muttiah Muralitharan, TA Sekhar to change the face of Bengal cricket. We are glad that IDBI Federal Life Insurance understands the importance of such initiatives. Like us, they too believe, the assurance and support it needs to hone upcoming cricketers. I would like to thank IDBI Federal Life Insurance for coming forward and partnering with us to continue making this a grand success.”

On this occasion, Vighnesh Shahane, CEO of IDBI Federal Life Insurance said,Sports has always been a force for good. IDBI Federal Life Insurance’s vision is to inspire positive change that helps people shape a better future and live their best lives. Bengal cricket is going through dynamic changes and the different projects that the association has undertaken just add to the vibrant spirit of the game. We are happy to be a part of the CAB’s ambitious journey- it promises to bring about positive changes for the game of cricket at the national as well as international levels. I am confident that this association will be a stepping stone for the stars of tomorrow. We are truly excited about this collaboration and would like to thank the CAB for selecting us as their partners in this journey.”

IDBI Federal Life Insurance will sponsor all age group teams from the CAB for various domestic cricket tournaments, including Ranji matches.  

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Born reporter Olga Tellis hits half century in journalism

Olga Tellis paying tributes to S M Gothoskar

Olga Tellis, Consulting Editor of the The Asian Age, has just completed 75 years, and has hit OVER a half century in journalism. One of the best political reporters, she chased and tracked down important breaking stories and interviewed everyone who mattered in the political firmament – Sharad Pawar, George Fernandes, Datta Samant, etc. Reporting for magazines like ‘Sunday’ and the ‘Sunday Observer’, she rose to be a pioneer in the interview format.
Later in her career she shifted to business journalism, and took up the assignment of Business Editor of ‘The Asian Age’ where she continues now as 'Consulting Editor'. When asked how long she will continue in journalism, she said: “Forever, if my employees so wish… I don’t know anything else.”
“This is truly rare landmark of over 50 years of journalism and the Press Club-Mumbai will felicitate her with on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 3.00 PM.

To mark the event there will be a short discussion on: ‘Journalism: Then and Now’ featuring  two long-time associates of Olga – Arun Sadhu, freelance journalist and writer, and Dinkar Raikar, Chief Editor of the Lokmat Group, says Gurbir Singh, Press Club Chairman.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

PRCI calls for justice for Misbah Quadri

MUMBAI, May 30, 2015: Public relations Council of India (PRCI), the premier body of PR practitioners across the country, has taken serious note of the injustice meted out to Ms Misbah Quadri, a young PR professional who has been denied rental accommodation in Mumbai on religious grounds.

PRCI president (national executive) B N Kumar said in a statement that “We are shocked that Misbah was denied accommodation on religious grounds. It is absolutely ridiculous that in a secular and democratic country she was asked to sign a note saying that she won’t the builder or broker responsible if she is harassed because she is a Muslim.”
PRCI has also sent an email to Mumbai Police Commissioner Mr Rakesh Maria requesting to conduct a high level and thorough inquiry into the incident that violates the constitutional rights of an individual. “We have full faith in Mumbai police,” he said.
“We express solidarity with Ms Quadri and hope that the police will conduct quick investigation and ensure justice to her,” Kumar said.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Prannoy Roy blasts ‘ghastly tsunami’ of tabloid journalism

·         NDTV Co-founder says credibility of TV news channels is at stake
·         Equals eye-ball chasers to ambulance chasers
·         Calls for stricter anti-defamation laws and speedy legal process
·         Receives Life Time Achievement Award @ Press Club-Mumbai’s national media awards

MUMBAI, May 1, 2015: Blasting the trend of ‘tabloidisation’ of Indian news channels, veteran anchor and NDTV co-founder Dr Prannoy Roy has called for stricter anti-defamation laws.
Referring to the increasing levels of sensationaliation of news among English and even Indian language TV news channels, Dr Roy cautioned that the ‘ghastly tsunami’ of tabloid journalism will spell death knell for the electronic medium and as it impacts credibility of news reporting.
He was speaking at The Press Club-Mumbai’s national media awards event last night acknowledging the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed on him.

Dr Roy stunned the audience when he cited the example of a woman news anchor of a Hindi channel who annolunced: ‘break ke baad, rape story’.
Interestingly, Dr Roy’s critical comments come close on the heels of Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash’s statement at a Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) event at New Delhi where the latter expressed concern at inadequate self-regulatory mechanism among media houses and their race for TRPs. Mr Prakash suggested that the Press Council must be empowered with strong legal provisions to deal with all media, including TV news channels.
Dr Roy went a step ahead and said there should be stricter anti-defamation laws than what they are today.  But he hastened to add that this aspect should be dealt by legal machinery and judiciary. The government should have no role at all, he emphasized.
“Indian media thrives on punishment-free environment,” the veteran news anchor said and opined that journalists are getting slack. It will be tough to recover once they lose credibility and the recent political developments amply demonstrated this, he said.
He felt that the current legal framework is inadequate to deal with defamation cases which keep piling up and prosecution taking years and years.
Pointing out that the news channels are adopting the tabloid culture apparently to capture eyeballs, he equaled eye-ball chasers to ambulance chasers – a term used for lawyers who seek business at accident spots and hospitals.
Continuously harping on tabloidisation of TV journalism, Dr Roy felt that the advertisers are also equally to blame for encouraging sensationalism. Advertising planners must build an element of ‘quality-with-credibility’ in their spends while they too chase eyeballs to capture the viewers’ attention, he said.
In this context, he pointed out that NDTV does not practice tabloid journalism and that the channel won the coveted Most Trusted Media House award for the second year in succession.
He cautioned the young journalists against getting “too close to the sources”. This could also impact credibility as there is a danger of the news story emanating from such ‘sources’ getting coloured.
Dr Roy strongly batted for Net Neutrality, but said the culture of “unrestricted anonymity” of posting on social media is a big threat to the society. Promoters of social media sites should build in a technology structure to raise alarms when the anonymous people post comments that could hurt religious or cast sentiments of the people that could lead to violence and communal disturbances.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who was the chief guest at the event, suggested that media houses should work on ‘Making News’ while chasing ‘Breaking News’. A lot of positive news left uncovered in this new trend, he said.
The union government, he said, is committed to freedom of press and that at no stage does it want to suppress dissent. In a vibrant democracy like India, media has to be anti-establishment to ensure proper checks and balances, he said.
The showstopper of sorts for the evening was interesting panel discussion – “Celebrating the Voice of Dissent- participated by senior journalists Shekhar Gupta, former Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express and Srineevasan Jain of NDTV and Krishna Prasad, Editor-in-Chief of Outlook. The discussion was moderated by Sachin Kalbaug, the Editor of Mid-Day.
The media professionals expressed concern at some politicians turning ‘mini dictators’ and trying to threaten the freedom of speech.
During the awards event, Dr Roy was felicitated with the Life Time Achievement Award by the Railway Minister, along with CEO of Star TV Uday Shankar and Mumbai Press Club President Prakash Akolkar.
Dr Roy was chosen for the award for the yeomen service that he had done for TV journalism – and he was selected from a shortlist of senior editors by a survey among 200 journalists all over India, and a final unanimous consideration by the Managing Committee of the Mumbai Press Club. The previous recipients of Lifetime Achievement award were late Vinod Mehta, Kuldip Nayar, N Ram, and Mrinal Pande.
The RedInk awards – into its fifth edition - was held at the Jamshed Bhabha Auditorium of the National Centre for Performing Awards at Nariman Point here, which among others was attended by crème da la crème of Indian journalism. Top media practitioners across the country were present at the glittering event, which this time around was themed ‘Celebration of Dissent’.
The evening started with two-minute silence to mourn the death of thousands of people in a devastating earthquake in Nepal and parts of India including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
“The journey of the RedInk awards in the last five years has been thrilling. We started with two categories and today we have close to a dozen categories. It has grown in size and has been appreciated across the country. This year, we have received 800 plus entries and that speaks for itself,” Press Club Chairman Gurbir Singh said.
The RedInk Award for Journalist of the Year, instituted for the first time, has gone to Sreenivasan Jain of NDTV for his consistent investigative work  epitomized in his series ‘Truth versus Hype’ and other programmes. Similarly, Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of Times Now, was selected as the Impact Editor of the Year for his ability to capture eyeballs and expand audience reach with his ‘News Hour’ show. was be awarded the ‘Best News Start-Up of the Year’ for scaling up its influence rapidly as an alternative source of news and features.
Besides, nearly 20 journalists were given awards for their best stories in print and TV – which was judged by an elite panel of judges for categories including Business, Crime, Environment, Health & Wellness, Human Rights, Lifestyle & Entertainment, Politics, Science and Innovation, Sports and The Big Picture.
Star India is the Presenting Partner for Mumbai Press Club Redink Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2015. The awards partners are Aditya Birla Group, Indiabulls Housing, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Zee Entertainment, Eros International, Seven Hills Hospitals, Lunkad Investments and JSW Steel.
Winners of Mumbai Press Club Redink Awards 2015 are:
Print                Mr Dinesh Narayanan, The Caravan Magazine
Television        Mr Dibang,ABP News          
Print                Ms Leena Reghunath, The Caravan Magazine           & Mr Vinod Kumar Menon, Mid Day          
Television        Mr Tarun Nangia & Mr Dipu Rai,Zee Business        
Print                Mr Sharad Vyas, Mid Day    
Television        Mr Umesh Kumavat, ABP News & Mr Rajat Singh, Aaj Tak          
Print                Mr Johnson Poovanthuruth, Deepika & Ms Nikita Saxena,  Caravan           
Television        Ms Vrushali Purandare, TV -9           
Print                Mr Salil Tripati, The Caravan Magazine        
Television        Mr Shams Tahir Khan, Aaj Tak         
Print                Mr Tanul Thakur, The Big Indian Picture      
Television        Mr Jujhar Singh, NewX         
Print                Mr Dinesh Narayanan, The Caravan Magazine
Television        Mr Jitendra Dixit, ABP News           
Print                Mr Shamsheer Yousaf,           Fountain Ink Magazine          
Print                Mr Rahul Bhatia, The Caravan Magazine      
Television        Ms Suprita Das, NDTV         
Winner                        Mr Hari Adivarekar, Yahoo Originals
Runner-up       Mr Hemant R Padalkar, DNA           
IMPACT EDITOR OF THE YEAR  : Mr Arnab Goswami  Times Now     
NEWS START-UP OF THE YEAR :                     
JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR : Mr Sreenivasan Jain, NDTV       

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Affordable housing: Maha to ease rules, wont mind criticism, says Fadnavis

·         CM calls upon developers to work towards ‘Housing For All by 2022’
·         NAREDCO Conclave helps focus on key issues of real estate sector
·         Ministers, developers focus on transparency, quick decisions

MUMBAI, April 22, 2015: Promising that the new housing policy of Maharashtra will be pro-people, Chief Minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis today said his government will amend rules and regulations to facilitate execution of affordable housing for the millions of people across the State.
Delivering the keynote address at the day-long conclave -  ‘Vision Maharashtra – Housing for All by 2022 - hosted by NAREDCO (National Real Estate Development Council), Mr Fadnavis called upon the developer community to work closely with the government and build low cost houses for the poor and lower middle class.
“We have taken the issue very seriously and are committed to implement it,” he said and declared: “We will make the laws flexible and I am ready to face criticism.”
He admitted that cumbersome laws and taxation must go to help developers but ultimately this should lead to affordable housing. In this context, the new development control rules (DCR) for Mumbai will ensure that the discretionary powers of officials are reduced to the minimum and the entire process becomes transparent.
Referring to the just trashed DP (development plan) for Mumbai, Mr Fadnavis said it had large scale and blatant errors and provisions that would help only few individuals. He asked the BMC to rectify the mistakes and publish the DP again.
CM Fadnavis being felicitated at NAREDCO Conclave
He clarified that till the pendency of the new plan, the old plan of 1991 would be in force. The government , however, adhere to the principle of following “strictest of the two” (old and new) rules and ensure that no one takes undue advantage.
About the Pune DP, which has been pending for eight years, he said a three-member committee has been appointed to expedite the process of finalising it.
Mr Fadnavis announced that the State government came out with the Right To Service Act to ensure transparency in various government departments to provide proper services in proper time at a proper cost. Every department has to notify the services it provides and the cost etc., The Act will also have provisions for legal recourse if people do not get proper services.
NAREDCO President Sunil Mantri said the government’s target of housing for all by 2022 is a gigantic task. “We from developer’s side would like to commit ourselves to do whatever possible to ensure that the target is met,” Mr Mantri said and called for making the housing policy conducive to development and not an obstacle.
Stressing for housing reforms, Mr Mantri called for single-window system of clearances and easy finance for developers and home buyers. Housing sector is highly labour intensive; he said and pointed out that it is capable of generating thousands of jobs and ensuring wellbeing of several families.
Mr Mantri suggested that to ensure speedy execution of projects, the government could accept the approvals by architects and give adhoc approvals within 72 hours of submission of plans. He also called for increased FSI for Affordable Housing and other reforms which could not only create housing stock but lead to additional revenues to the government and municipal corporations.
State Housing Minister Prakash  Mehta proposed that the government could reduce premiums to be paid on FSI and TDR and make lands available to developers who in turn could give a certain percentage of  buildings free of cost to the government. The Government would in turn sell them at low cost to the poor and the money thus recovered would wipe out the Rs 3.5 lakh crore financial burden the government has inherited from the previous regime.
He said the government is keen to create green channels for speedy clearances of housing projects meant for the poor.
State Finance Minister Mr Sudhir Mungantiwar said the government will do the walk-the-talk and talk only what can be implemented.
The government will also focus on developing infrastructure. The 3000 KM long state highways will be developed into national highways.
He called upon the developer community to join the government in building new Maharashtra. The government will effectively use technology to check corruption by minimising the human interface for clearance of plans.
Industry Minister Mr Subhash Desai congratulated the CM for scrapping the Mumbai Development Plan (DP). He stressed the fact that BMC should be the nodal agency to coordinate between various authorities such as PWD, MMRDA, MHADA, Railways, Airport authority in the development process of Mumbai. This would result in uniformity of thought and process in the overall interest of the City.
Mr Desai also called upon developers to build houses for the economically weaker sections and the low income groups.
The day-long conclave, in which several Maharashtra Ministers and government officials participated, was aimed at finding solutions to the vexed issues of affordable housing. KPMG in India was the knowledge partner.
The conclave addressed various issues in order to overcome the housing deficit in the State and strategies and action plan to augment supply of housing stock especially targeting the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG) segments where the shortage is as high as 96%. Creating a sustainable frame work and mechanism to take care of mis-match between demand and supply in future was also discussed at the conclave.
Mr. Niranjan Hiranandani, Chairman - Conclave Committee, NAREDCO said, “The process of bringing housing to one and all can only become a reality with the active participation of all government bodies, developers and policy makers.  NAREDCO provides a perfect platform for bringing together all stake holders to ensure the realisation of dreams of millions of people to have homes of their own.” 

Arvind Mahajan, Head, Infrastructure and Government Services, KPMG, the knowledge partner of the Conclave, said in his presentation that Maharashtra would need 100 lakh houses by 2022 with 50 lakh each from rural and urban areas. This would require an investment of 215 billion dollars.

KPMG recommends that the state government should focus on a four-pronged strategy: development of new economic centres, strong transport infrastructure, conducive business environment and rejuvenating the existing cities.

NAREDCO is under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

Over 600 delegates from all over the country participated in the conclave including
representatives of the Central and State governments, State Development authorities and Housing Boards, besides real estate promoters, developers, banking and housing finance institutions, foreign direct investors, private equity players and town planners.
Several corporate honchos from the construction and urban infrastructure industries, urban planners, top developers, private equity firms, housing finance companies and banks also joined and shared their thoughts at the conclave.
National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) was established as an autonomous self-regulatory body in 1998 under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India. It is in this year that the Government of India redrafted the National Housing & Habitat Policy, giving due importance to the Housing and Real Estate sector, thereby declaring housing for all citizens by the year 2010. The Indian housing and real estate sectors and the allied industries hailed the establishment of NAREDCO, as the apex national body for the real estate industry and visualized it as a single platform where Government, industry and public would discuss various problems and opportunities face to face which would result in speedy resolution of issues. It was formed with the mandate to induce transparency and ethics in real estate business and transform the unorganized Indian real estate sector into a matured and globally competitive business sector.
The National Real Estate Development Council strives to be the collective force influencing and shaping the real estate industry. It seeks to be the leading advocate of developing standards for efficient, effective, and ethical real estate business practices, valued by all stakeholders of real estate sector and viewed by them as crucial to their success. NAREDCO works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of real estate industry in India, partnering industry and government alike through advisory and consultative processes.
About KPMG in India

KPMG in India is the Indian member firm of KPMG International and was established in September 1993. It strives to provide rapid, performance-based, industry-focused and technology-enabled services, which reflect a shared knowledge of global and local industries and its experience of the Indian business environment. KPMG in India provides services to over 2,700 international and national clients in India and has offices in Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.