The Glitch to leverage GroupM data to reach rural India

MUMBAI: Digital is the buzzword everywhere today and the advertising industry is not any different. Companies looking to acquire are also scanning for digital-ready candidates over traditional agencies.

WPP’s GroupM, the world’s leading global media investment group, recently gobbled up digital creative agency The Glitch in India, showing its appetite for growth in a technology-driven communication market. GroupM South Asia country manager for WPP India and CEO CVL Srinivas believes that the communications ecosystem in India has evolved dramatically in the last few years. “With The Glitch, we found a partner that brings exciting creative and content skills that can leverage our unique assets to create effective solutions for our clients,” he says.

It was in 2009 that two friends Varun Duggirala and Rohit Raj from Symbiosis decided to quit their jobs at Channel V after it stopped airing music and was pivoting into a general entertainment channel. Recalls Raj, “We went to Channel V because we loved music and wanted to work in the space but decided to quit after our team leaders told us that the channel will be shifting focus to GEC as the youth that was watching music content has now moved into digital ecosystem.”

Soon after leaving the duo turned entrepreneurs and launched their own digital video production company called The Glitch. Like every other startup, Duggirala and Raj slogged the first two years as they were trying to sell a concept which most clients didn’t have. Duggirala says that due to work of mouth work worked in their favour.

The company started operations from their apartment’s front room with four employees and an investment capital of Rs 3 lakh. Although they loved creating digital videos for clients, it was only in 2011, that Glitch started its digital agency route with major initial international clients Diesel and Quicksilver in its kitty. Today, the company has over 200 employees and offices set up in Mumbai and Delhi and is looking at setting up a new office at Bengaluru by the end of this year.

While digital still continues to be an urban phenomenon, low cost data and availability of cheap mobile handsets has helped digital penetration in rural areas. The Glitch CEO Pooja Jauhari emphasises that rural is going to be a huge focus for the team this year. Duggirala adds that with this acquisition, the company is looking at GroupM helping it out on a large scale to tap rural India as GroupM has a large set of data of rural audience which will help them to craft communication better.

Though the company was in conversation with various agencies over the years, it was approached by GroupM in 2014. Raj mentions, “We started to analyse the pros and cons of each acquisition. We had a two year learning curve to understand and only then we decided to go ahead with the deal.”

The Glitch Delhi managing partner Kabir Kochhar adds, “In GroupM we saw the market leader that would help inform our intuitions better with data backed insights as well as give us a jumpstart with consumption trends. Post the acquisition, the company wants to concentrate on having quality clients and add new services and business solutions for them.”

The year started on an extremely positive note for The Glitch and the team has a positive outlook for the year. ”2018 has begun on a very positive note with some key account wins and we look to cement our existing relationships with clients and bring them the benefits we gain from the GroupM alignment,” concludes Kochhar.


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