Roma Balwani | Influence 100

Roma Balwani 

President, Brand & Communications



Roma Balwani has carved out a reputation as one of India’s most outspoken PR professionals, both inside and outside her company. And Balwani has brought those qualities toe the for at Vedanta Resources, the mining group that has attracted more reputation scrutiny than most. This summer, Balwani was elevated to president of brand and communications. She reports to group CEO Sunil Duggal and sits on Vedanta's executive committee, with the sustainability, CSR and communications functions all reporting into her. 

Balwani’s commitment has seen her reframe crisis communications as “compassionate communications” during India’s crippling Covid-19 lockdown, focusing in particular on employees, the community and migrant workers.

Prior to joining Vedanta, Balwani spent six years as Mahindra's communications and CSR head. 

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
Compassionate communication on Covid relief measures for internal members along with new HR policies brought harmony and focus on business continuity.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?Handling post pandemic fatigue, which can adversely impact communities and business and communicate effectively real time. create innovative solutions to reach out to every stakeholder.

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
The PR industry has demonstrated resilience, focussed on revitalising communication strategies to address new challenges.

What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
I'm not really disappointed, I think it rose to the occasion.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Frankly work has kept me away from thinking the worst. I am not complaining, work distracted me from the enormity of the situation and kept me home and safe.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
OTT has exploded with amazing content.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
A teacher.

Sum up 2021 in one word.