Publicis Groupe announced acquiring Beehive Communications, an Indian independent integrated communications agency specialising in marketing and communications services for clients across South Asia. This marks Publicis Groupe's seventh acquisition in the country since mid-2012 and third by Publicis Worldwide.
Founded in 2003, Beehive Communications has 134 employees providing integrated solutions with specialties in creative, reputation management, media, digital, brand activation and research. Beehive's clients include over 50 brands and companies, notably Malaysia Tourism, General Motors, Korea Tourism, Jubiliant Retail, India Bulls Finance and Bisleri, among others.
Headquartered in Mumbai, the agency also has a presence in Delhi and Bengaluru. Beehive has built a reputation for growing and winning with clients. In fact, 70 per cent of its revenues come from businesses which use at least three of its services, in spite of each service vertical having four independent accounts. The agency has done significant work for clients from tourism, retail (online and brick and mortar), education and real estate industries. This acquisition marks another significant step towards Publicis becoming the leading communications network in India.
"Beehive brings both scale and strategic value to the Publicis offering in India. Coming on the heels of our earlier moves, this is another significant step towards realising our goal of being counted among the top agency networks in India. I look forward to partnering with Sanjit and his team to build a stronger Publicis," says Nakul Chopra. He adds that the agency's goal is to become one of the top three players in terms of scale, size, reputation and recognition in India. "We have not got to it but have made huge strides to get there," Chopra states.
With the new acquisition, Publicis will now expand its services to offer media, digital media, consultancy and shopper marketing.
The Publicis Groupe has been working to increase its profile in the country, including recent acquisitions of Indigo Consulting (April 2012), Resultrix (August 2012), MarketGate (December 2012), iStrat (December 2012), Convonix (March 2013) and Neev (April 2013).
While the group already has a digital team in place by way of iStrat, Chopra says that Beehive's digital team will enable the agency to have a larger base. When asked whether the digital teams will be merged, Chopra says, "iStrat being in Delhi, it almost works for clients based out of Delhi. Beehive being in Mumbai has a Mumbai bias. The verticals that both have built are complimentary to each other. In 6-12 months, we will forge this into one potent offering." While Beehive is focused on digital media, social media and so on, iStrat is largely focused on services including web campaign and website management.
"We are making significant strides toward achieving our goals in India. By adding Beehive to the Publicis network, we will be able to capitalise on a great pool of talent and market potential, as well as strengthen the unparalleled services we provide to our clients," comments Jean-Yves Naouri, COO Publicis Groupe.
Sanjit Shastri, founder and CEO, Beehive, says that although several agencies approached them, they were in serious conversation with only one agency. Talks with Publicis began last year. So, what clicked? "Our appetite! On a serious note, the wealth of experience and the best practices are perhaps the most compelling reasons for us to become a part of the Publicis Worldwide. Our teams will now have the significantly added strength of one of the world's leading communications groups [with us] when we meet and interact with clients. We see this translating quickly into excellent winning strategies for our current and prospective clients," Shastri says.
Publicis Groupe currently counts more than 3,200 permanent employees across India, through global networks such as BBH, Digitas, Leo Burnett, MSLGROUP, Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia.