Aegis Media swallows India's Communicate 2

MUMBAI: Aegis Group has made its second acquistion in India. The UK-based agency snapped up Communicate 2, a performance marketing and search agency in India, to strengthen its digital presence in India.

Communicate 2‘s gross assets till March-end stood at Rs 129.9 million.

Pursuing targeted acquisitions, Aegis Media had acquired a majority stake in Doosra Brand Communications to add creative capability to its India outfit.

In the recent deal, Aegis has decided to merge Communicate 2 with iProspect India‘s existing operations as it seeks to strengthen its network in key cities across India and provide additional service capabilities for its clients. The agency will now be known as iProspectCommunicate 2.

"The combined employee strength will be about 150 people," said Aegis Media chairman India and CEO South East Asia Ashish Bhasin.

Communicate 2 is a specialist performance marketing agency which focuses on search marketing, digital strategy consulting, social media and digital content production.

Vivek Bhargava will continue to lead this merged entity as CEO. "We are very happy to welcome Communicate 2, led by Vivek Bhargava, to the Aegis Media family. Communicate 2 is India‘s pioneering Search and Performance marketing agency and Vivek is a well known guru in this field. I believe that search will be the fastest growing part of our industry for the foreseeable future and as part of the iProspect network, Communicate 2 will continue to be the undisputed leader in this area," said Bhasin.

Vivek will also join the Aegis Media India executive council. "We look forward to seeing iProspectCommunicate 2 going from strength to strength," Bhasin added.

The acquisition, which has just been completed, is in line with the Aegis‘ strategy of increasing its digital profile and capability in faster growing regions.

Aegis Media also runs Isobar in the digital space. The interests of Isobar and iProspect, however, are very different. While Isobar is a global digital marketing network that is into web development, app development, media buying and planning for digital medium, iProspect is a global digital performance agency. iProspect helps brands maximise their online marketing RoI through paid search, social media strategy, search engine optimisation, display, mobile marketing, comparison shopping engines, conversion optimisation, attribution modelling and management, and other related services.

The Indian digital ad industry is sized at around Rs 24 billion and has a huge growth opportunity. Currently, Aegis generates close to 12 per cent of its India revenues from digital. "In the Indian digital ad pie, Aegis‘ digital agencies Isobar and iProspect constitute around 3.25 per cent. This works out to Rs 780 million," a source said.

Originally established in 1997, Communicate 2 handles clients like Tata Consultancy Services, Cleartrip, ICICI Lombard and HDFC Bank. It has offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Pune and employs over 130 employees.

In July this year, Japanese media conglomerate Dentsu agreed to buy out UK-based Aegis Media Group for a whopping $4.9 billion.

Also read:
Dentsu to acquire Aegis for $4.9 bn

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