Publicis Groupe acquires Mumbai-based search marketing agency, Convonix

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 11, 2013
Convonix will be aligned with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) in India and will operate as SMG Convonix with two market-facing brands: SMG Digital and Convonix.

Convinix Publicis

Publicis Groupe has acquired Convonix, a Mumbai-based search engine marketing company. Convonix will be aligned with Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) in India and will operate as SMG Convonix, with two market-facing brands: SMG Digital and Convonix. The three founding members of Convonix, Vishal Sampat, CEO; Sarfaraz Khimani, co-COO; and Pallav Jain, co-COO, will continue to lead the agency.

Founded in 2003, Convonix currently employs more than 200 people with clients such as Taj Hotels, Reliance Industries, Kotak Mahindra Group, Club Mahindra, Kodak and Aditya Birla Group. According to an official communiqué, 60 per cent of Convonix's business comes from overseas.

Laura Desmond

Srikant Sastri

"Convonix has continued to innovate and build the very best digital capability and when combined with our existing talent in the market, this deal strengthens our offering to ensure we are the market leaders in digital," says Laura Desmond, global chief executive officer, Starcom MediaVest Group.

Sampat says, "We have built our reputation by focusing on talent, training, technology and performance, and doing so has enabled us to rapidly evolve with the consumer. Aligning with SMG gives us global scale and a more powerful face in the market which we can leverage to constantly improve our offering and give our clients the best tools and solutions available."

Srikant Sastri, VivaKi country chair for India, who is presiding over the acquisition and transition of Convonix, states, "After the Convonix acquisition, we are now clearly the digital marketing leaders in India, ahead of any other global network. We are positive that this acquisition will set the tone for our next phase of digital pre-eminence, both in terms of expertise and revenue. We are continuing to explore other agencies that can help us capitalise on the outstanding potential of the digital marketplace in India."

The current acquisition follows a number of recent acquisitions announced by Publicis Groupe in India. In December 2012, Publicis acquired iStrat, a Delhi-headquartered integrated digital agency, and MarketGate, a Mumbai-based strategic business and marketing consulting firm. iStrat was rebranded as Publicis iStrat and operates as a unit within Publicis Modem, the global digital network from the house of Publicis Worldwide.

In August 2012, Publicis Groupe acquired Mumbai-based performance marketing agency Resultrix to operate as a unit within Performics. Four months earlier (April 2012), Publicis Groupe took over Mumbai-based digital agency Indigo Consulting that operated as a unit within the Leo Burnett Group in India.

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