Jaldi 5 with Liza Saha & Umesh Nair, co-chairs, Praxis2013: No old speakers… and the biggies aren’t upset

26 Sep,2013

Liza Saha
Umesh Nair

While Promise Foundation co-founder Amith Prabhu is still very actively involved with Praxis 2013, the nitty gritty of the organizing has been passed on to two young co-chairs – Liza Saha and Umesh Nair.


Ms Saha is an Indian Insitute of Mass Communications graduate and has been with Text 100 for six years. And Umesh Nair, an MBA from the Indian Business Academy, has spent time with GBM in Mumbai and then Fleishman Hillard in Mumbai, Bangalore and now Kuala Lumpur.


Given that they are not the grey-haired officebearers that one has come to associate associations and conferences with, our questions too had a slightly hat ke tone. And may we add, the dudes handled it well. Read on…


01.   If I am a PR or corporate communications professional, is there any reason why I shouldn’t come to Praxis 2013?

No, absolutely none. Fabulous line-up of speakers, grand second edition of the Summit, great location to spend a weekend indulging in knowledge and bonding – what more could a PR or Corporate Communication professional ask for.


For those not able to make it to Praxis 2013, make sure you don’t miss next year’s summit.


02.   We read somewhere (ah, well, on MxMIndia) that none of the speakers from the last year are being repeated this year. The holy cows must be upset, na?

Yes, that was indeed a bold decision.  Our approach to the event design has been different in every possible way. We were very clear post the first edition that we will keep this Summit unique in terms of speakers, content and give preference to new faces.  Surprisingly, most of the speakers from last year have taken this in the right spirit and are supporting our decision wholeheartedly.


03.   While it’s good to see you move venues – so from the south to west and next the north or east, but Summits across the world are known to prefer a fixed venue. Goa in the off-season isn’t too expensive?

It has been a conscious decision to not restrict the Summit to a particular venue. There are three reasons for doing that. First, we want attendees to have equal opportunity in terms of proximity and attendance from the three metros. Second, we intend to make this Summit, the one that the entire fraternity looks forward to attend on a yearly basis purely for its rich content in an aspirational locale. New speakers and new locations is the mantra. And third, this aligns well with our approach to do things differently. We do not want to do what most Summits follow across the world.

03a. Gosh, three metros only. So no Kolkata and around… why nothing in the East?

We are open to going to zones from where there is enthusiasm about an event like this. We are looking for places closer to the hubs/major locations of the profession. Watch out for the next location till then and look forward to your recommendations.

04.   Given that this is the fourth question, can you give us in four tweets – hence 4 x 140 characters – what the unmissables are at this year’s edition

Two keynote speeches, one by Peter Chadlington, CEO – Huntsworth Group and Mukund Rajan, Chief Ethics Officer – Tata Group


Watch out for the panel on Public Relations and Journalism: The Changing Equation on Day 1 with some leading editors and the panel on Indian PR’s place in Asia on Day 2 with three regional CEOs


The three masterclasses on Public Affairs, Measurement and Employee engagement have been carefully designed for participants by experts


Lastly, the Ambili Menon concert on Day 1 and music by BayBeat Collective on Day 2


05.   Anything you are happy not doing at Praxis?

There are two things we are happy not doing – one is on-the-spot registrations, which just complicates a lot of things and the other is live streaming because the idea is to get people together and we can always upload videos in the future.


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