In her high-profile career, lobbyist Niira Radia was able to attract high-profile bureaucrats.
In 2007, she formed Noesis Consultants with former chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Pradeep Baijal. Baijal is the chairman of the company and Raida is a director. The company offers consulting services in the field of telecom, mining and steel.
“I am chairman of Noesis Consulting,” Baijal said. “We offer consulting services to Tata Teleservices and other companies. We advise many regulators and financial companies on investment in telecom sector. I have nothing to hide and am not aware of any inquiry against me.”
Tata Teleservices is currently fighting a “huge war on spectrum on level-playing field,” he said. “I do not want that this war should be in media space. There are institutional frameworks like courts, parliamentary committee and CAG.” Baijal is not alone.
Former industry secretary Ajay Dua worked in Radia’s flagship firm Vaishnavi Corporate Communications Pvt. Ltd. (India) for a brief period. “I was a non-executive director with Vaishnavi for four months,” he said. “Then I resigned. I was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. No board meeting was held during the four months I was non executive director of the company.”
Former civil aviation secretary Akbar Jung also had a brief, “three to four months” stint with Vaishnavi, according to Vaishnavi official who refused to be identified. “He used to come only once or twice a week for one to two hours,” he said.
SK Narula, former chairman of Airports Authority of India, is currently a director with Noesis. He has been associated with Radia since 2005, he said. “I am busy in a family get together. I can’t talk to you now,” said Narula.
Former TRAI member DPS Seth works with Noesis as an advisor on an assignment basis on technical issues. He advises it on technical issues. “I advise a number of companies and Neosis is one of them,” he said. “I am not aware of any inquiry.” Former finance secretary CM Vasudev was also a director with Noesis. He worked there for two years, but was not in the telecom space. Vasudev could not be contacted.