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CPSEs showed the way forward during Covid: DG, SCOPE

Jun 13th, 2021 6:15 pm | By | Category: LATEST NEWS

Atul Sobti, chairman and managing director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited

(THE NEWSMAN OF to INDIA.COM) New Delhi: “The Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) did tremendous work during the Covid19 pandemic through their initiatives ranging from supply of oxygen to hospitals, creation of infrastructure to supporting lakhs of migrants”, said Atul Sobti, Director General of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE). He was speaking at a webinar organized by ‘Public Relations Society Delhi’ on Saturday.

In his hour-long virtual interaction, he spoke passionately about “The role and contribution of CPSEs during the pandemic & the way forward for the Communication professionals” at the above event.

Elaborating upon how CPSE rose to the challenge of the pandemic SCOPE DG said “CPSEs are the real warriors. Many public sector workers lost their lives while serving the Nation. On 24 March 2020 when the first lockdown was announced, everyone was scared but CPSEs came forward and contributed close Rs. 2400 crore to PM Cares Fund, apart from CM Care Funds. The CPSEs provided infrastructure in the Hospitals, apart from providing masks, medical equipment, sanitizers, etc. Many CPSEs converted their facilities on war-footing and made them capable to supply medical-grade oxygen to every nook & corner of the country”

He spoke about how CPSEs are surrounded by many myths ranging from under performance to loss making. He highlighted some interesting facts and figures during the course of his interaction by saying that “During first Five Year Plan, there were only five CPSEs and today we

have about 348 CPSEs, out of which 249 are operational. These CPSEs contribute 13% of India’s GDP, with a turnover of USD 363 billion. The combined contribution of India’s CPSEs is more than the combined contribution of 140 countries’ GDP put together. In coal sector, 92% of total work is done by the CPSEs; similarly, 51% in Power Sector, 83% in Natural Gas Sector, 37% in Fertilizer Sector. These are the published facts as given by DPE in the year 2018-19.”

He added, “CPSEs made profit of Rs 1.75 lac crores; against the common myth that CPSEs are loss-making, 178 out of 249 CPSE (75%) are profit- making. In USA alone, there are close to 7000 listed companies, only 38% are profit-making. In India’s stock exchanges, there are about 7400 companies, more than 50% are profit-making.”

Speaking about technological transformation took place during the pandemic, Sobti mentioned that “earlier people had not even heard of a Webinar and they were only used to attending conferences in auditoriums, but now everything has changed.”

On the emerging trends in corporate communications and usage of social media by CPSEs, he said, “Many CPSEs are still not using social media so frequently. At SCOPE, we started using Twitter and gradually moved to other social media. We asked every employee to have a Twitter Account for wide amplification and in no time we witnessed exponential growth. At the end of month of May, it crossed one lakh mark. All CPSEs have joined hands with us on social media, we were tagging them and they were retweeting it. Unfortunately, the strength of social media is still undermined by many CPSEs.”

About Public Relations Society Delhi, he said, “I am very happy to know that PRSD is doing good work for enhancing skills of PR professionals. It has a vision to get recognition of PR as a Profession to recon with. I would also like to give my wish best wishes to Shri SS Rao for taking over as Chairman, PRSD.”

Continuing about technological change, he said, “As against the physical format, SCOPE has now asked for online applications for its Eminence Awards. All recruitment applications are also being invited via online.”

When asked about how PR is evolving, he replied: “It has been there in one form or another since civilization began on earth. All the kings used to have services of messengers and the machinery used PR along with their work. Propaganda was used even during world war era. PR as a profession has been in existence over the past 75 years and has established it self over a period of time. It is basically a strategic communication with stakeholders for attracting goods, customers, employees, vendors, etc. But 80% of Corporate Communication includes event management, hospitality, logistics arrangement, publication, crisis communication etc.”

About technology disruptions, he said, “Time has changed, we can no longer follow the old methodology, even typing on computers is changing. Working from everywhere with hotspots is the new reality.”

Advising PR Professionals, he said, “As PR, you need to know that brevity is the key. Like in Twitter; Publication and Content, as two separate terms, are getting merged. In today’s time, Communication Professionals have to generate the content and publish it too. Earlier, Communication professionals were used only for internal communication but now they should have knowledge about both the internal and external communication strategies and tools. One has to be a custodian of all corporate-related information.”

To another question on ‘whether the stature of PR should be elevated to policy level, he replied, “Communication can play major role in meeting company’s objectives, positioning company internally and externally. Communicating with various agencies, helping in decision making, contributing towards healthy HR environment, effective administration, etc. I feel communication professionals are supposed to act as information custodians and as such, they shall guide management on what needs to be done. In organizations, we already have Chief Technical Officer, Chief HR Officer; similarly, there should be provision for Chief Communications Officer too.”

Sobti released SCOPE’s special issue of ‘KALEIDOSCOPE’ on its 40th anniversary. KALEIDOSCOPE is a monthly magazine published by SCOPE. DG, SCOPE also mentioned about the compendium which included the work undertaken by CPSEs during the Covid-19 released by Hon’ble Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises.

G.S. Bawa, Secretary, PRSD hosted the Webinar while Chairman Shri SS Rao delivered the Welcome Address. Vote of Thanks was proposed by PRSD’s Governing Board Member Vipin Kharbanda.

Atul Sobti is the Director General of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE), an apex body of the Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) of India, promoting excellence and enabling them to be globally competitive. Prior to taking over as DG, SCOPE, he was Chairman & Managing Director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

The Public Relations Society Delhi is an association of PR Professionals with a vision to promote the recognition of public relations as a profession and its key role in the management of business of organizations. The society has, onboard, professionals from disciplines such as Media, Corporate Communication, Corporate Affairs and professionals associated with CPSUs, Government, Public and Private Sector, Multinationals, Media Educators as well as Veterans of PR Profession.

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