Amith Prabhu: 30 under 30 and what they need to do

16 Feb,2015

By Amith Prabhu


I was a member of the jury that chose the first list of 30 under 30 in Indian PR. Two things that clearly stood out were, that there is great talent out there and the future of our profession will be in great hands in the years to come. The other interesting takeaway is that some of these should also feature in the list that Forbes India brings out and there are some who would make the cut but do not nominate themselves.


Now that brings me to a Twitter discussion I was having with Deepa Dey who heads Corporate Communications at a leading consumer healthcare company (it’s a different matter that she refers to the discussion as an argument). She felt it was saddening that PR professionals did not feature in the Forbes India list whereas I felt how does Forbes find out that some bright sparks exists unless they do some PR for themselves or come under the radar of the journalist compiling the list. I think it is really optimistic to want to see PR professionals in this list and never impossible.


I’m reproducing the methodology that Forbes India used to arrive at the list from their website:

The research process was three-fold: One, interviews by Forbes India staffers with sources across relevant categories as well as through studies of databases and media coverage. Two, an online application on, inviting applications from entrepreneurs/ professionals who felt they qualified. Three, by spreading the word through social media. This helped arrive at a long list which went up to over 300 names across 13 categories. (Finance as a category was dropped for lack of adequate representation.)


Now the question is whether Public Relations as a category even featured at all? And if it did, whether PR professionals featured in the minds of sources that Forbes India staffers spoke to. Also, did PR professionals who felt they qualified, even apply to be in the list. When I refer to PR professionals I mean both – those who work inhouse and those who work in consultancies.


Keeping both the above in context the question I have is how many PR professionals across the below-30 and above-30 category innovate or do something remarkably outstanding? If they do, why is it not brought into the fore? Well, the answers to these will never be found.


The point I’m trying to make is that PR professionals get into the profession to contribute towards building reputations using the power of communications in different forms. Very rarely do PR professionals want to hog the limelight. It is a strategic backroom job with a lot of power and responsibility.


Now that we have our own list that features not one or two but thirty bright, smart professionals we should celebrate and get more people to apply next year. Let’s hope these 30 contribute in outstanding ways to themselves, their organisations and to the profession. And may some of these apply to be in the Forbes India List in 2016.


More importantly, may some of our own who are in the 40s and 50s get to be the people Forbes India speaks to next year! Till then here’s cheering up the 30 under 30. May their tribe increase and may our optimism grow.


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