Maurice-Levy controlled Publicis Groupe, which is the third-largest advertising & marketing services company in the world, has acquired two Indian agencies - iStrat, a digital agency and MarketGate, a brand marketing consultancy promoted by ex-Coke-hands Shripad Nadkarni and Sharda Agarwal.
The move comes at a time when Publicis has been looking to grow its presence in India. The Paris-headquartered network has been amongst the most aggressive in terms of acquisitions in the last few years, wrapping up buys in digital, healthcare and public relations.
This calendar year alone, Publicis has bought two other digital agencies - Indigo Consulting and Resultrix. These were consolidated under Leo Burnett and ZenithOptimedia respectively. Besides Leo Burnett, the network counts ad agencies such as Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi and BBH amongst its key agencies in India.
On the media side, the network has consolidated operations under the umbrella of Vivaki, which has Starcom Mediavest and ZenithOptimedia as its key drivers. iStrat was founded in 2003 and provides solutions across all forms of digital marketing. Clients include Dupont Hero Corp, Hindware and Nestle. Headquartered in Delhi, founders Navneet Singh Sahni and Sonya Sahni will continue to lead the agency, reporting to Nakul Chopra, CEO South Asia for Publicis Worldwide MarketGate, founded in 2005 and headquartered in Mumbai, has clients such as Colgate, Dabur and Godrej among others. Nadkarni and Agarwal will also report to Chopra, Publicis said.