Havas on shopping spree. Buys Langoor

18 Sep,2019

L to R – Venugopal Ganganna, Chief Executive Officer, Langoor, Ruchir Punjabi, Founder & Chair, Langoor, Vishnu Mohan, Chairman & CEO, Havas India & South East Asia, Bobby Pawar, Chairman & CCO, Havas Group India, Girisha Gowda, Chief Operations Officer, Langoor, Kishore Karumbaiah, Chief Creative Officer, Langoor and Rana Barua, Group CEO, Havas Group India


By A Correspondent


When the Havas group announced the ‘acquisition’ of two veteran industry persons last year, it was clear that it had huge plans for India. After Rana Barua and later Bobby Pawar joined to helm the group in the country, the message sent out was that the advertising agency-led conglomerate is not going to sit pretty on its existing lines of business.


If it were to match the big girls or boys in the business, it had to broadbase its line of businesses. The Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) experiment in India had been a huge success. Acquire, Grow and Shine.


In May this year, Havas gobbled up Think Design, a strong player in user experience and design advisory in India. And today (September 18), it announced the acquisition of Langoor, an eight-year-old tech-led independent agency with presence across India, the Middle East and Australia. The deal size has not been disclosed.


With a team size of 170 people, Langoor has earned its stripes as an agency that’s not in the mould of a typical digital advertising agency. It’s driven by technology, and it’s hence different from many others.


Langoor will be rebranded Langoor Havas and be led by its co-founder – Venugopal Ganganna – who will take on the newly-created position of Chief Digital Officer, Havas Group India, reporting to Barua who is Group CEO, Havas Group India. Langoor Havas will have three key focus areas – health, business and vernacular – and will expand these services to markets outside of India in the coming months. The deal itself took over a year to fructify and was inked earlier this month.


The agency has been growing 30 per cent and some of its key clients include Unilever, Fossil, Wipro, Emami, Epson, Adobe, Infosys, Moneygram among others.


While an exponential growh new business continues to be something that Havas in India is seeking to fructify, according to industry and Havas insiders, the inorganic DAN-like growth path is clearly on the agenda: there are many domains that are still need Havas’s presence. For instance, activations, public relations/communications and perhaps more in digital. The appetite is to acquire another four to five agencies, an executive told us requesting anonymity.


To a pointed question from MxMIndia, a Havas spokesperson said: “Our acquisition approach is distinctively not a multiplier approach but one of relevant expertise building. You will be hearing from us soon on the acquisition front, in line with this approach.”


A communique was issued by the group bearing the following statements:

Yannick Bolloré, Chairman and CEO Havas Group: “Digital business is booming in India and bringing Langoor on board is an important new step to further strengthening our digital skills locally. Through their unique blend of data, creativity and technology, Langoor enables brands to engage their customers meaningfully and drive growth. Earlier this year, we acquired the leader in user experience and digital design in India, Think Design, making Langoor our second acquisition in the country in 2019. The combined expertise of Think Design and Langoor boost Havas’ digital offer in the world’s fastest growing ad market. India continues to be a priority for the Group, we aim to triple our presence there by the end of 2019 and have put in place a solid new management team to lead this expansion.”


Vishnu Mohan, Chairman & CEO, Havas Group India & South East Asia: “The acquisition of Langoor complements our aggressive growth strategy that we started last year with the creation of Havas Village India that brought together different disciplines under a unified, client-centric leadership structure. Langoor adds an enviable strength to Havas Group with its distinctive approach of Creative Technologists who challenge marketing every day with their expertise in balancing, data, technology, strategic thinking and the power of creative.”


Rana Barua, CEO, Havas Group India: “The Langoor acquisition also demonstrates Havas Group’s commitment to expand its scale and expertise in India with a focus on exponential growth, new business momentum, and building & leading future-ready teams. The acquisition will reinforce our integrated offering and digital expertise in India and complement our existing capabilities.”


Ruchir Punjabi & Venu Ganganna, co-founders of Langoor: “We pride ourselves in having created an agency focused on digital brand thinking – which is the future. The integration with Havas Group will add scale to the depth of our services and help us to grow even further. This acquisition is an incredible opportunity for Langoor and the team and we are excited to be part of this new journey towards further success.”


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