New Delhi: In a surprise announcement, controversial corporate lobbyist Nira Radia, the owner of the PR firm which has Tata group and Mukesh Ambani-led RIL as its top clients, has decided to exit from communication consultancy business.
51-year-old Radia, the owner and promoter of Vaishnavi Group and who is at the centre of a controversy over certain taped conversations in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation, cited “personal priorities” of family and health behind her “painful” decision to quit the PR business.
The announcement in a brief statement on Sunday came nearly a year after she was in the media glare when leaked tapes of her conversations appeared in the media. Although there was no charge against her, she was named as a witness by the investigating agency.
CBI and other investigating agencies including Enforcement Directorate(ED) questioned Radia several times probing her alleged involvement in irregularities in the 2G telecom scam and also her close association with political leaders and corporate honchoes.
Click to read more on the Nita Radia tapes controversy
In an indication of her influence on the policy makers, Radia was also in news for engaging some renowned retired bureaucrats like former Trai chairman and Disinvestment secretary Pradip Baijal and industry experts while focussing on developing a knowledge-based approach in her firms.
“To give precedence to my personal priorities of family and health, I have decided against renewing any client mandates and to exit the business of communications consultancy,” the Kenya-born and London-educated high profile lobbyist said in a statement.
“It is a painful decision, taken after much consideration and consultations,” the statement added
Also on the prevailing corporate battles in the country, Radia, in an internal mail to all her employees, said “for many years, a few with vested interests have been trying to cause harm to Vaishnavi and me personally. Till the recent past, I would fight back, survive and probably react.
“However, today, I want to give them their victory and let them savour it. If that makes them better human beings then I am happy to have brought in a positive change in them,” she said. Around 200 employees are on the rolls of Vaishnavi group.
Radia in her statement thanked Vaishnavi group’s key clients for their understanding and mutual agreement to bring closure to this decision.
“I am also grateful to them for their support in taking my decision to its logical conclusion, offering assistance in mitigating the damages and thereby fulfilling all our existing contractual commitments,” she added.
Reacting to Radia’s decision, Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata said, “The Tata Group respects the personal wishes of Nira Radia in not renewing any client mandates. She has built Vaishnavi from scratch into the company it is today, often subordinating her personal and family interests in favour of her clients’ priorities.”
Vaishnavi has had the PR mandate of the Tata Group since 2001 during which period it contributed significantly to the building of the Tata Brand, he said. Vaishnavi’s engagement with the Group has been ethical and satisfactory, he added.
A Reliance Indutries spokesman said, “We regret the decision of Nira Radia to discontinue her association with the business of communications consultancy and not renew any of her client mandates.
“We have enjoyed a professional and fulfilling relationship with Radia and her team over the last three years.”
“Radia’s commitment has been very impressive and she has always led her team in a manner that tactical developments do not lead to a de-focus on the strategic issues.
“We do appreciate and respect her wishes for a compelling need to focus on her family and personal issues. Radia leaves behind a very capable team and an indelible mark on the communications consultancy business...., the RIL spokesperson added.