Publicis Groupe acquires iStrat & MarketGate

07 Dec,2012

From L to R: Shripad Nadkarni, CEO, MarketGate, Nakul Chopra, CEO South Asia for Publicis Worldwide, Sharda Agarwal, Executive Director, MarketGate, Jean-Yves Naouri, Chief Operating Officer of Publicis Groupe and Executive Chairman of Publicis Worldwide, Navneet Singh Sahni, CEO, IStrat and Sonya Sahni, Head of Marketing, IStrat

By A Correspondent

 

The Publicis Group announced two acquisitions thereby working towards its stated aim doubling its 2010 turnover by 2015.

 

The enterprises acquired digitial agency iStrat and marketing consultancy MarketGate.

 

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 services in business growth planning, marketing strategy, brand positioning, portfolio strategy, brand architecture development, and marketing skills development. The agency’s seven 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  in Mumbai. “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.

 

Building digital capabilities at the heart of our agency is fundamental to the Publicis strategy. iStrat is a perfect strategic fit for our vision – both from a perspective of their excellent capability and culture. We expect them to play a lead role in taking Publicis forward in India” said Nakul Chopra, CEO South Asia Publicis Worldwide. Nakul Chopra also added, ‘The acquisition of MarketGate underpins both our commitment to this market and our clients needs’ said Mr Chopra. “MarketGate will add a potent upstream capability that will benefit both Publicis and our clients immensely.”

 

“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 knowhow 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.”

 

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.

 

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