Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577] (Paris:PUB) announced
today the acquisition of two different agencies in India : iStrat, one
of the country's foremost integrated digital agencies, as well as
MarketGate, a Mumbai-based strategic business and marketing consulting
firm. These acquisitions mark another step towards fulfilling Publicis
Groupe's ambitious goal of doubling its size in India between 2010 and
2015 -- part of the Groupe's commitment to strongly boosting revenue
derived from digital and fast-growing markets around the world.
iStrat was founded in 2003 and provides solutions across all forms of
digital marketing. The agency services a broad range of prestigious
clients, including Alpha G:Corp (real estate), the Confederation of
Indian Industries, Dupont (luxury accessories), Hero Corp (motorcycles),
Hindware (kitchen and sanitary appliances), Maruti Suzuki, the NASSCOM
software trade association, and Nestlé. The agency, which is
headquartered in Delhi and employs a team of 50, provides the full range
of digital communications services including e-commerce store fronts,
search engine optimization, social media, and rich media.
MarketGate, which was founded in 2005, delivers top-flight services in
business growth planning, marketing strategy, brand positioning,
portfolio strategy, brand architecture development, and marketing skills
development. The agency's 7 consulting experts aim to rejuvenate brands
and power their growth by deploying marketing processes throughout their
clients' organizations. Clients include Colgate, Dabur (foods/personal
care), General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Godrej (personal care), HSBC,
ICICI (financial services/banking), Madura Garments (fashion), Mahindra
& Mahindra (automobile), MTR (foods), and Radio Mirchi Viacom.
As a part of this acquisition Publicis Groupe will also acquire
MarketGate Dimensions, a subsidiary providing research-based solutions
to business, marketing and brand issues, with offices in Mumbai, Delhi &
Bangalore. Its client list includes Glenmark (personal care), Kellogg's,
Maruti Suzuki, The Walt Disney Company and Viacom 18.
iStrat will be rebranded Publicis iStrat and will operate as a unit
within Publicis Modem, Publicis Worldwide's global digital network. Its
founders Navneet Singh Sahni (CEO) and Sonya Sahni (Head of Marketing)
will continue to lead the agency. MarketGate will retain its name and
will operate within Publicis Worldwide. It will also continue to be led
by founders Shripad Nadkarni (CEO) and Sharda Agarwal (Executive
Director). Both iStrat and MarketGate leadership will now report into
Nakul Chopra, CEO South Asia for Publicis Worldwide.
"We've recently made a number of smart, bold moves in India, and
we're going to continue doing so," declared Jean-Yves Naouri,
Chief Operating Officer of Publicis Groupe and Executive Chairman of
Publicis Worldwide, during a press conference held in Mumbai today. "Building
digital capabilities is a fundamental part of the Publicis strategy, and
today's acquisition of iStrat and the strengthening of our digital arm
in this promising market is a key step towards realizing our growth
goals. In addition, MarketGate is a fast-moving strategic outfit with
strong skill-sets, an impressive range of clients and thorough knowledge
of the Indian market and its consumers." he continued.
"We are excited to become a part of the Publicis Worldwide network,
and we look forward to tapping into its global best practices," added
iStrat co-founders Navneet Singh Sahni and Sonya Sahni. "Today's deal
will offer richer, more diversified possibilities to both our clients
and our teams. Our experience in India's digital space, together with
Publicis' considerable know-how in brand building, will create an
incredibly powerful offering for both current and future clients."
"This is a very exciting move for all of us at MarketGate,"
added Shripad Nadkarni and Sharda Agarwal. "Twinning the world-class
expertise of Publicis Groupe with our extensive experience of marketing
and consultancy across all sectors in India will make for a very
powerful combination. We're passionate about our clients, and we know
that they will benefit from this move."
India is currently the world's 16th largest advertising
market, and although the country's economic growth has slowed somewhat
in 2012, it remains over 5%. ZenithOptimedia forecasts (December 2012)
advertising expenditure to increase by 7.7% in India in 2013.
Publicis Groupe counts more than 2,500 permanent employees across India,
through the following global networks: BBH, Digitas, Leo Burnett,
MSLGROUP, Publicis Healthcare Consulting Group, Publicis Worldwide,
Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom MediaVest Group, and ZenithOptimedia. The
Groupe has been working to increase its profile in the country,
including recent acquisitions of Resultrix (August 2012) and Indigo
Consulting (April 2012). India is currently Publicis Groupe's 13th
largest market in terms of revenue.
About Publicis Groupe
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, part of the CAC 40 index]
is the third largest communications group in the world, offering the
full range of services and skills: digital (Digitas, Razorfish, Rosetta,
VivaKi), traditional advertising (BBH, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide,
Saatchi & Saatchi), public affairs, corporate communications and events
(MSLGROUP), media buying and strategy (Starcom MediaVest Group and
ZenithOptimedia) and specialized communications with PHCG (Publicis
Healthcare Communications Group). Present in 104 countries, the Groupe
employs 56,000 professionals.
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