In an effort to double its size in India between 2010 and 2015, Publicis Groupe has acquired two different agencies in the country: iStrat, a digital agency, and MarketGate, a business and marketing consulting firm. With these acquisitions Publicis Groupe aims to reach its goal of significantly boosting revenue derived from digital and fast-growth international markets.
Founded in 2003, iStrat (based in Delhi) provides solutions for all forms of digital marketing including e-commerce store fronts, search engine optimization, social media, and rich media.. The agency services a range of 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.
MarketGate (based in Mumbai), delivers top-flight services in business growth planning, brand development, marketing skills development and more. Clientele includes 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.
Publicis Groupe will rebrand iStrat and operate it as a unit within Publicis Modem, Publicis Worldwide’s global digital network. Original iStrat founders, Navneet Singh Sahni (CEO) and Sonya Sahni (Head of Marketing), will maintain their leadership positions. MarketGate will keeps its name and founders, founders Shripad Nadkarni (CEO) and Sharda Agarwal (Executive Director), and operate within Publicis Worldwide.
Of the acquisitions, Jean-Yves Naouri, Chief Operating Officer of Publicis Groupe and Executive Chairman of Publicis Worldwide shares: “We’ve recently made a number of smart, bold moves in India, and we’re going to continue doing so…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.”
iStrat co-founders Navneet Singh Sahni and Sonya Sahni share their enthusiasm for the transition: “We are excited to become a part of the Publicis Worldwide network, and we look forward to tapping into its global best practices. 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.”
Shripad Nadkarni and Sharda Agarwal add: “This is a very exciting move for all of us at MarketGate…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.”