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Dentsu shops in India, takes 51% stake in Taproot

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MUMBAI: Japanese advertising giant Dentsu is on a shopping spree. After snapping up UK-based media buying company Aegis in July for $4.9 billion, Dentsu has taken a controlling 51 per cent stake in creative agency Taproot to step up its expanding footprint in India.

Founded by Agnello Dias and Santosh Padhi, the young Indian agency has grabbed the limelight with creative campaigns like ‘Har Ek Friend Zaroori Hota Hai‘ and ‘Joh Tera Hai Who Mera Hai‘ for Airtel and ‘Change the Game‘ for Pepsi. This year in Cannes, Taproot won a Gold Lion at Cannes along with Ramesh Deo Productions for the ‘I Am Mumbai‘ film for Times Group‘s publication ‘Mumbai Mirror.

Says Dentsu India Group executive chairman Rohit Ohri, “Taproot has, very quickly, become one of the most respected communication agencies in India. In fact, Aggie and Paddy are globally recognised and celebrated creative talents. We are delighted that they have chosen to partner with Dentsu. This alliance will give a significant fillip to our growth plans for India. Our collective vision is not to be the biggest but to be the best in the industry.”

Partnering with Dentsu will enable Taproot to offer a more comprehensive bouquet of services to their clients and across larger market geographies. The Indian agency has 33 full-time employees and a roster of clients such as PepsiCo, Airtel, The Times of India, Polycab, Marico, Karbonn Mobiles, Myntra.com, Mumbai Mirror, Nirma, DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund, UTV Bindass, and UTV Stars.

Taproot will continue to operate independently under the management control of its current leadership. "We will ensure that Taproot’s independent spirit and fiercely creative culture stays intact. It will just have a lot more firepower added through integrated communication execution capability and an all-India network,” Ohri says.

Taproot has been exploring options to get a strategic partner that would provide it funding and expansion opportunities. Says Dias, “While we are doing alright on the creative front, we felt that we needed to add a bit more logistical and service capabilities across markets. With Dentsu as our partner we feel we can scale up several areas of our operations very quickly without losing what has been working for us so far.”

Adds partner Padhi, “Most importantly, we are assured that this alliance will be mutually beneficial to Taproot India and also to each one of its employees going forward, without changing our creative offering or the nature of the relationships we share with all our clients.”

In january 2011, Dentsu had expressed its ambitions to grow fast in India by buying out its local joint venture partner to take full control. The price: $2.4 billion for Sandeep Goyal-promoted Mogae Media‘s 26 per cent stake each in Dentsu Communications, Dentsu Marcom and Dentsu Creative Impact.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc., Tokyo, the Dentsu India Group comprises three standalone full-service advertising agencies—Dentsu Communications, Dentsu Marcom and Dentsu Creative Impact—as well as Dentsu Media and Dentsu Digital.

Also Read :

Dentsu to acquire Aegis for $4.9 bn

Young Indian indies can bloom under consolidation wave

Dentsu buys out JV partner in India

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