JWT is all set to acquire a majority stake in the Hyderabad-based Mindset Advertising. The partnership between the two agencies goes back to 2007, when they decided to work in coordination as associates. The relationship, bound by an affiliation agreement, was mutually beneficial for both the parties. While Mindset had access to JWT's knowledge and resource base, JWT gained an entry into the Hyderabad market, in which, until then, it didn't have a presence.
Mindset was founded by three advertising professionals -- Santha John, Ram Gedela and Anvar Alikhan, in the year 1998. Since then, the agency has emerged as one of the prominent players of the Hyderabad market. It has several blue-chip clients in categories such as IT, education, health-care and infrastructure. Some of Mindset's key clients include Infotech, HSBC, Broadridge, Indus International School, St. Mary's College, South State Business School, Hyderabad Airport (Rajiv Gandhi International Airport), Pepsi, NSL Group, and Sagar Cement, amongst others.
Prior to Mindset, John was heading Saatchi & Saatchi's Hyderabad operations. She will now head JWT's Hyderabad operation. Mindset will continue with its top-level management team, comprising Gedela, chief executive officer, Alikhan, director creative, and Mark Samuel, associate vice-president and senior creative director.
Ask John what is different now that Mindset is officially a JWT agency, and she enthuses that the "soul" of the company is what has really changed as "once you're on the same intranet, ownership changes and you feel different." John adds that since 2007, Mindset has had good growth, and with the latest development, it is only going to get better.
In an official communiqué, Colvyn Harris, chief executive officer, JWT India, says, "Hyderabad figures as one of the most promising cities in JWT's growth plans and the integration of Mindset into our global operations gives clients in the city access to the best of what JWT has to offer worldwide."
Harris adds that this move also serves to give the agency access to the services of the JWT family of specialist companies in various communications-related fields, such as media planning, media buying, digital communications, activation, public relations and market research.