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Neo@Ogilvy enters into JV with Smile Group

The performance marketing network of Ogilvy & Mather India has entered into a joint venture with Smile Group and named Sanjay Ramakrishnan as country head.

Neo@Ogilvy, the performance marketing network of Ogilvy & Mather India, has entered into a joint venture with the Smile Group to strengthen its performance marketing, e-commerce and mobile offerings. The Indian arm of the global agency has named Sanjay Ramakrishnan as country head for the joint venture.

The JV will also set up a global media delivery hub to service Neo@Ogilvy's global media operations.

While OgilvyOne drives all digital strategy and creative services for clients in India, Neo@Ogilvy's specific focus is on digital media, performance marketing, e-commerce and mobile marketing. Some of the clients of Neo@Ogilvy in India are IBM, Diageo, British Airways, The Economist and The Which Group, among others.

Piyush Pandey
Sanjay Ramakrishnan

Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, Ogilvy South Asia, says, "This JV is one more step ahead in our digital journey. Harish's experience in digital media and e-commerce will help drive rapid growth in these areas. And, Sanjay Ramakrishnan is a fantastic young business leader with the right skills to lead Neo@Ogilvy in India."

Harish Bahl, chairman, Smile Group, says, "The vision of the partnership is to be able to offer world class services to local and global clients of Ogilvy and Neo respectively, using the expertise and experience of Smile in the areas of performance marketing, e-commerce and mobile."

Neo@Ogilvy consists of more than 800 employees across 40 worldwide offices with a mandate to drive measurable results while creating the future. Neo has a data-driven strategic approach and cutting edge technologies across all digital disciplines (including paid and organic search, display, video, mobile, social media and affiliate marketing) and traditional channels.

Sanjay Ramakrishnan, president and country head, Neo@Ogilvy India, says, "The aim is to recast Neo@Ogilvy as one of the most effective digital media companies in the country with a clear focus on performance marketing, mobile and e-commerce. I have been a marketer all my life and I believe there is a gap in the way paid digital media is integrated with traditional marketing and communication. The goal is to change that through Neo@Ogilvy. End-to-end e-commerce solution is another unique offering that this JV brings to the table and I'm keen to use the skills I have to drive it."

Ramakrishnan has spent more than 15 years working across digital media, e-commerce, mobile, telecom and consumer technology. He moves in from Vizury, where he was general manager for India, Southeast Asia and MENA. Earlier, he was SVP, marketing at Myntra. He has also held senior marketing roles at Google, Intel, Geodesic and Worldspace.

Smile Group's digital media and marketing businesses include SVG Media (Tyroo, Velocity, DGM, Precision Match, PlatformPlay, SeventyNine), Quasar, Prodigi and Squad Digital. It focuses strongly on the digital industry and has extensive holdings in the consumer internet and media space. It has partnered with companies such as WPP Digital, Ogilvy, Yahoo!, ScanGroup (Africa), Airbnb and Techcrunch, and worked with Silicon Valley and European investors.

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