Arun Sudhaman 29 Aug 2016 // 7:11AM GMT
Google India corporate communications director Meenu Handa will be honoured with the Individual Achievement SABRE Award in Hong Kong on 28 September, at the 5th edition of the Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards.
Handa's contribution to the development and professionalisation of corporate communications in India is formidable, spanning as it does senior roles and three technology giants: Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
At each of those companies, she has demonstrated a rare ability to serve as trusted C-suite counsel, underpinned by a credible commitment to such issues as governance, gender and PR measurement.
The first 15 years of Handa's career were spent at IPAN Hill & Knowlton, counseling such clients as Levers, Boeing, Swatch Group, HCL, Star TV, and FDCI on positioning, crisis, issues management, public affairs, marketing communications and advocacy. Handa proved instrumental in setting up the firm's marketing communications practice; devising a proprietary PR measurement tool; and establishing an independent news dissemination profit centre.
In 2005, Handa joined Microsoft India to lead communications and citizenship. She spent more than seven years with the company, helping to hone its reputation, particularly as an employer of choice.
"I worked with Meenu for six years at Microsoft," said ex-Microsoft chairman Ravi Venkatesan. "She was my partner in completely transforming the image of the company. She is a passionate and consummate professional and a terrific developer of talent. Most of all Meenu is a fine human being."
Handa then moved to Amazon India for its local market launch in 2013, setting up its corporate communications function and CSR programme. In under three years, the company emerged as an ecommerce leader in India and won the Golden Peacock award for CSR. Handa departed Amazon to become Google India's comms chief at the start of this year.
Rajiv Desai, who founded IPAN in 1987, described Handa's arrival at the firm in 1990. "We were literally full up but she was insistent," he said. "So we turned the reception area into a workspace and Meenu began her career in public relations. She stayed with the firm for the next 16 years."
"Then she branched out from agency to client, from one success to another. Apart from being incredibly bright, she is the embodiment of commitment and loyalty. That makes her special."
Handa has been honoured with corporate affairs and communication leader awards by Exchange4media in 2012 and the Corporate Affairs Forum of the World CSR Congress in 2013.