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Dentsu acquires SVG Media, launches Columbus

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MUMBAI: Dentsu Aegis Network has announced the acquisition of SVG Media Private Limited, one of the largest independent digital agencies in India. SVG Media will join the network’s Asia Pacific digital marketing agency Columbus and will become SVG Columbus. Dentsu Aegis Network is currently Google’s largest search partner in India, and the addition of SVG Media will further strengthen the Group’s leading search position in the market. This acquisition will also support Columbus’ expansion in Asia Pacific – now in nine markets across the region.

SVG Media includes the flagship brands DGM, Komli and Seventynine. Founded in 2006, SVG Media comprises of over 280 specialists across four major Indian cities Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. It offers diverse digital media competencies including online performance marketing, mobile app distribution, representations, social and web services through its flagship brands. The group has one of the largest client bases in the Indian digital media sector with over 700 monthly active advertiser campaigns locally, as well as international clients in Dubai, Indonesia and China.

SVG Columbus CEO & DGM Anurag Gupta will report to Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia chairman and CEO Ashish Bhasin.

Gupta, SVG Media Mobile & Seventynine CEO Chirag Shah, SVG Media Mobile & Seventynine COO Deven Dharamdasani, Komli business head Akshay Mathur, and finance controller Ashwani Mehta will join the SVG Columbus managing board, which will be chaired by Dentsu Aegis Network - Performance CEO Vivek Bhargava. Smile Group co-founders Harish Bahl and Manish Vij will continue to focus on investments through the Smile Group and will no longer act as directors of SVG Media. It has also been agreed that the Smile Group will retain the Tyroo Techlabs business.

Bhasin said: “India is a significant market with rapid growth potential in its mobile and performance marketing business, and Dentsu Aegis Network India has a strong track record in the search and performance space to deliver this. Given its capabilities in data led search, performance marketing and mobile, SVG Columbus is ideally positioned to capture the fragmented long tail publisher market in India using technology and data. As a Group we have leading position in digital in India, particularly in search and performance and this gives us a clear leadership position in this area. We will now have over 1,300 digital professionals, accounting for over 35% of our revenues, well ahead of our competitors.”

Gupta said: “We started out as a digital media group more than a decade ago, and for us to join forces with a clear market leader in digital, that is Dentsu Aegis Network, makes perfect sense. Their priority in placing digital at the forefront of their strategy and goals align perfectly with ours. We will continue to scale our offering in performance marketing and serving clients through the network and other agency networks. We are assured of their strong growth momentum, which will enable us to further enhance our scale as a business operationally and geographically. Their unique one P&L model also allows us to be part of that shared vision towards a digital world which will provide us with access to the latest industry technology and talent to deliver the best solutions for our clients.”

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