On October 18, in the morning, Niira Radia called her top executives to her Taj Wellington Mews residence in Mumbai.
As they trooped into a room, the central attraction of which is a large Ganesha, most of them sensed she wanted to get out of the daily grind of business: public relations agencies Vaishnavi and Nucom, and government affairs consultancy Noesis.
She had worked round the clock for almost ten years, gone through ups and downs, and built a business of almost Rs 100 crore.
So, maybe she wanted to take life easy.
What she announced left some of them very surprised: she had decided to shut the business on November 1, the day of Vaishnavi's 10th anniversary and a day after her contract with Tata Group would have expired.
She wouldn't leave her people in the lurch, she said.
While many would be absorbed in Reliance Industries, the bread-and-butter customer of Nucom, those left without a job would get three months' salary.
"We were signing accounts as late as the first week of October when we took on board a Titan Industries subsidiary. We had readied contracts for some non-Tata companies which would start from November," says a senior Vaishnavi executive.
Radia's decision to close shop was as dramatic as her entry into the country's close-knit world of public relations.
Text: Surajeet Das Gupta, Business Standard