Publicis-Beehive deal: Exclusive interviews explain all

Anant Rangaswami October 22, 2013 12:11:50 IST

Publicis Groupe announced today the acquisition of Beehive Communications, one of India's foremost independent integrated communications agencies specialising in cutting-edge marketing and communications services for clients across South Asia. This marks Publicis Groupe's seventh acquisition in the country since mid-2012.

PublicisBeehive deal Exclusive interviews explain all

Publicis Groupe announced today the acquisition of Beehive Communications

Nakul Chopra, CEO, Publicis South Asia, said in an interview with Firstpost, "This acquisition is not something that we've done in isolation. We set ourselves a target about a year and a half back to say not only do we want to double our scale, width and depth. But we want to set ourselves up to take a fair shot at being in the top three. When I say the top three, we want to be in the top three by scale, we want to be in the top three by reputation, we want to be in the top three by recognition. We knew we had to do discontinuous things to get there. The strategy includes building scale, the strategy includes adding width of services and the strategy includes adding depth of talent on our bench. So if you see what we've done, in December last year, we announced the acquisition of iStrat, which is a digital focused outfit, MarketGate, which is in upstream consulting. Then in June, we announced that Ambika (Srivastava), Bobby (Pawar) and Partha (Sinha) joining us."

"What Beehive brings us is scale. Most people don't know, but they are fairly large size. They bring us a much wider array of services than we currently provide. And most importantly, they bring us media. So it's going to be interesting. Because Publicis Worldwide will now have a offering that will start with upstream consulting, creative, BTL, ATL, both, media, digital across all forms, that's the other interesting stat I can share with you. Around this time last year, our digital manpower strength was less than ten. Now, we're over 100 people. And we expect that next year, we'll have more than 15% of our revenue coming from non-traditional sources," Chopra added.

Asked whether Beehive would merge into Publicis India, Chopra said, "Beehive will continue to be a stand alone for now. They will be rebranded Publicis Beehive. Sanjit (Shastri) will continue to lead, along with his leadership. Of course, they all now report in to me."

B Sanjit Shastri, CEO, Beehive Communications shared his thoughts on why he opted for a deal with Publicis Groupe. "I believe Publicis is structured right for a company like Beehive to be a part of. I believe the management of Publicis has the right attitude of giving an organisation the freedom to work in an open platform. And third, their focus on digital, new media and traditional media is something that we found very exciting. So these were the three reasons why I found Publicis to be the right choice," he said.

How does this deal help Beehive and Publicis, we asked. "We have a fairly unique mix of clients, a lot in travel, a lot in retail, some now in real estate and education. I believe that now the kind of bandwidth and knowledge Publicis brings to the table will really add value for those clients. But more than that, I believe that as part of the Publicis Worldwide group, we will be able to do a lot more in this space. And I do share the vision that Nakul has that being a top three agency in the very foreseeable future, in terms of scale, reputation, and talent, really. We do have an ability to retain both clients and talent. Number two, I think we push the envelope in terms of effort, quality of service and quality of work that we do for our clients. I'm not saying that we are cutting edge creative yet, we have a lot to learn there. But I do believe that our clients know that we've tried our best. And I believe that, that is something that Publicis would have found quite interesting. And third is our approach to new business and new revenue. We are very focused on winning new business, we are very focused on adding new revenues. We are very focused on keeping those clients, and growing with those clients. I think that would have been something that is very exciting in the existing business scenario," Shastri added.

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