How not to do crisis PR — Mobikwik edition

Aditya Kshirsagar
2 min readMar 30, 2021


Mobikwik is a payments company that by their own admission has 100 million users and 350 employees. How do I know? They told me in a press note that was supposed to address a data leak. About 100 million or 10 crore users found their data unwittingly on the dark web. As per reports, the data was up for sale for a paltry sum of 1.5 BTC which is about Rs. 65,06,927.51. That puts per user cost at Rs. 0.065 🤣#Aukaad

Any who, the PR mavericks advising Mobikwik have done an absolute shit job of addressing the crisis by blaming the users and unwittingly confirming that the leak was internal.

The absolute shit statement aside. Out of sheer voyeuristic curiosity, I went and check Mobikwik’s employee roll. Turns out they have 7 growth marketers but 0 corporate communications people. The one they had left in May 2019 and no one was hired since.

Why a company needs a “PR person”

1. An active dialogue with journalists and key media stakeholders

2. Ability to control the narrative better by sharing information with key editors

What to do in a crisis:

1. Be honest to yourself

2. Figure out how much damage will each scenario hit you with

3. Engage in dialogue not in whataboutery with your communication team. We are professional bullshitters, don’t bullshit us.

4. Prepare a statement that either accepts responsibility or denies leak. Anything in between is an ala carte statement not a press note.

5. Do better with your bounty bug program

6. If external audit shows no results, look inwards and find the culprit. Do not share this with the media with a press note 🤣

7. Seriously do not bullshit your comms team. The more they are cornered the worse your company will do.

8. Do not tweet the press statement from CEO’s account and ask the CEO not to block journalists.

9. Also also do not threaten researchers and journalists or demean them. They are important part of the ecosystem. Seriously. Keep it classy not the type starting with a K and ending with an I.

10. B***’s and M*** are bullies be better.