Arun Sudhaman 14 Nov 2016 // 10:47AM GMT
MUMBAI — Ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry has drafted in Perfect Relations founder Dilip Cherian, one of India's best-known communications specialists, to support his high-profile PR battle with Tata Sons.
Cherian confirmed the development with the Holmes Report today, but declined to provide further details. His hire comes as the war of words between Mistry and Tata intensifies, after the giant conglomerate issued a detailed statement which aimed to clarify why Mistry was dramatically removed last month.
Tata's PR efforts are being orchestrated by Edelman/Rediffusion, following the renewal of the agency alliance's contract, revealed by the Holmes Report earlier this month. Avian Media is also working for Tata Trusts, the biggest shareholder in Tata Sons.
Cherian's hire follows speculation that Mistry would draft in another PR firm after being supported by Golinopinion, which handles PR for Mistry's family firm, the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, a major shareholder in Tata Sons.
Cherian is no stranger to the limelight. A high-profile media presence, his firm currently works for the Aam Aadmi political party, after Cherian's lengthy tenure as a Congress Party advisor. Perfect Relations was acquired by Dentsu Aegis Network earlier this year.
After sacking Mistry, Tata Sons is now trying to force him out from the boards of several subsidiaries such as Tata Motors, Tata Chemicals, and Tata Steel. Mistry released a statement yesterday, criticising Tata for questioning the motives of independent directors who have come out in his support.
Meanwhile, Tata has vigorously denied reports that former Vaishnavi CEO Niira Radia is providing communications support, five years after a lobbying scandal toppled her firm from its position as Tata's favoured PR partner.
Related: Tata vs Mistry podcast