Even WPP blinks. Cohn & Wolfe acquires Six Degrees PR (& Alphabet Consulting)…

30 Sep,2015


By A Correspondent


This is why they call you masters of the craft. When we met co-founder of Six Degrees PR at the Praxis PR conference last week, there wasn’t even an iota of an indicator that the agency is going to make an announcement in a few days.


So when we received a communiqué from the agency’s offices on Tuesday, it was indeed a pleasant surprise. Cohn & Wolfe, a well-known PR firms under the WPP fold, has acquired a majority stake in Delhi-headquartered Six Degrees PR and and its content and integrated marketing subsidiary Alphabet Consulting.


It’s been in the works for six-odd months, co-founders Rishi Seth and Zacharia James told us over the phone.


Cohn & Wolfe has been in existence in India for three years, but hasn’t been able to create much of an impact. It opened offices in Delhi and Mumbai in 2012, doubled revenues last year and has among its clients Austrian Airlines, Cleartrip, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, RCI, Ruckus Wireless, Swiss International Air Lines and Wyndham Hotel Group.


Six Degrees, on the other hand, represents clients across multiple sectors, including technology, travel, infrastructure, manufacturing, finance, aviation, hospitality and entertainment. Current clients include regional and multinational companies such as Google, Amadeus, Cushman & Wakefield, Dalmia Bharat Group, Hughes, Ingersoll Rand and Nokia. It was set up in 2009 by Seth and James, both of who helmed Text 100, the tech-focussed PR agency.


So we weren’t really surprised that in the way some recent M&As have happened, the new enterprise will be called Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees. And as it happened in some creative and digital agencies in the past, the agency will be handled by the Six Degrees bosses – Seth and James will be Group CEOs and Karan Punia, currently CEO, will be the new CEO, reporting to Seth and James.


Rishi and Zach become Group CEOs, leading the Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees team of 70 professionals across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, and report to Imperato. Six Degrees CEO Karan Punia becomes CEO of the new company, reporting to Rishi and Zach.


“India is a strategic priority for Cohn & Wolfe, and Six Degrees has the entrepreneurial culture, seasoned talent and drive to succeed that will help us capitalize on the tremendous opportunity for growth here,” said Donna Imperato, Chief Executive Officer, Cohn & Wolfe, in a statement. Imperato was in New Delhi to complete the acquisition. “The agency’s presence in Bengaluru, the country’s technology hub, and their work in technology, finance and corporate complements the Cohn & Wolfe India team’s extensive lifestyle and consumer experience.”  The Group CEOs will report to Imperato.


“Alignment to a global agency with a strong people orientation and methodologies was a logical step in our journey,” said James. “We believe that Cohn & Wolfe is the best partner for the culture, passion and energy of Six Degrees and Alphabet Consulting,” said Seth. Both founders are looking forward to gain from the processes that Cohn & Wolf follow internationally.


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One response to “Even WPP blinks. Cohn & Wolfe acquires Six Degrees PR (& Alphabet Consulting)…”

  1. Amith Prabhu says:

    Rishi and Zach rock!