Cohn & Wolfe expands India ops; buys majority stake in Six Degrees PR

MUMBAI: WPP's Cohn & Wolfe is looking at expanding its India operations and has agreed to acquire a majority stake in full-service public relations agency Six Degrees PR and its content and integrated marketing subsidiary Alphabet Consulting, with offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. 

With this, Cohn & Wolfe's existing business will become part of Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees. 

Six Degress PR co-founders Rishi Seth and Zacharia James will become Group CEOs, leading the Cohn & Wolfe Six Degrees team of 70 professionals across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. The duo will report to Cohn & Wolfe CEO Donna Imperato. 

Additionally, Six Degrees CEO Karan Punia will become CEO of the new company, reporting to Seth and James.

Part of an aggressive growth plan in the region, the deal builds on Cohn & Wolfe's Mumbai and Delhi offering and solidifies the agency's Asia-Pacific presence by growing its footprint in the region to 11 offices.

Founded in 2009, Six Degrees is known for its consulting approach, counseling C-Suite clients on challenges across the communications spectrum. Six Degrees has extensive public relations, public affairs, crisis management and digital media experience and delivers content and integrated marketing campaigns through subsidiary Alphabet Consulting. 

"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. The agency's presence in Bangalore, 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," said Imperato. 

"We believe that Cohn & Wolfe is the best partner for the culture, passion and energy of Six Degrees and Alphabet Consulting. We are excited to start this new journey to make a bigger play for growth through integrated marketing services," added Seth.

"Our measure of success is having built a reputation for being amongst the most respected PR firms in India. Alignment to a global agency with a strong people orientation and methodologies is the next logical step in our journey. We believe Cohn & Wolfe will provide us the required impetus to build on our success, stay relevant to our people's aspirations and become a global partner to our clients with a full service offering," said James.

Cohn & Wolfe, which opened offices in Delhi and Mumbai in 2012, represents clients across a range of industries and is particularly known for its leading travel and tourism practice. Cohn & Wolfe India doubled revenues in 2014 with key clients including Austrian Airlines, Cleartrip, Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, RCI, Ruckus Wireless, Swiss International Air Lines and Wyndham Hotel Group.

Six Degrees' current clients include companies such as Amadeus, Cushman & Wakefield, Dalmia Bharat Group, Hughes, Ingersoll Rand and Nokia.

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