MUMBAI—Mahindra communications chief Roma Balwani is joining Vedanta Group's recently merged Indian unit as EVP of group communications and CSR.

Balwani's arrival comes amid senior management changes at mining player Sesa Sterlite, the company formed by a merger between Vedanta firms Sesa Goa and Sterlite Industries last year.

The restructuring saw the bulk of Vedanta's mining operations grouped under Sesa Sterlite, in a bid to create an Indian natural resources giant that can compete with the likes of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.

Yesterday, Sesa Sterlite announced a reshuffled board, with Vedanta founder Anil Agarwal taking on the role of chairman emeritus and chief mentor. Navin Agarwal becomes the new chairman of the board, following the departure of former Sesa Goa MD PK Mukherjee.

The changes follow the arrival of former Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese as CEO of London-listed Vedanta and Sesa Sterlite. 

Balwani, who reports to Albanese, joins the group after the departure last year of Senjam Raj Sekhar, who held the top comms role at Vedanta for two years. She leaves Mahindra after six years as the company's communications head.

She told the Holmes Report that a major focus will be "crafting and articulating the group's CSR strategy". Vedanta has faced sustained criticism of its environmental and human rights record in India.

"Sustainable social development forms a key part of Vedanta’s ethos, which resonates with my personal goal to serve the community," said Balwani. "The group is very committed to nation building by providing education, employment & health amenities to the socially disadvantaged section of society."

The company's significant footprint in Africa, Australia, Ireland and Sri Lanka means that Balwani's role is global.