Mumbai: WPP Group, the world’s largest advertising company, said on Thursday that the Indian unit of its agency Ogilvy & Mather would acquire a majority stake in PennyWise Solutions Pvt. Ltd, an Indian digital technology and production firm. The statement didn’t divulge the size of the deal.
This investment is expected to add weight to Ogilvy & Mather’s digital strategy in the Asia Pacific, aligning its digital strategy and creative talent with the technical and production strengths of PennyWise.
The Hyderabad-based company, which employs some 140 people, offers a wide range of digital services, including custom application development, mobile application development, digital listening, online consumer response management systems, data analytics and business intelligence, network support and infrastructure management services.
PennyWise had unaudited revenue of Rs11.92 crore for the year ending March 2013, and had gross assets of Rs6.83 crore, according to a statement from the WPP Group.
PennyWise has a global customer base covering Europe and North America as well as India. The current client portfolio includes Vodafone India, Johnson & Johnson, and WPP agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, Soho Square and a host of others.
PennyWise will serve as the digital technology and production centre for Ogilvy & Mather in India and will power digital delivery for the agency’s India network as well as the Asia-Pacific network.
“As we build digital services, talent and thinking across the organization, we also need partners with different skills… This is a strategic investment. It will combine the digital skills and services of both companies to deliver solutions for our clients across India and APAC,” said Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, Ogilvy & Mather-South Asia.
This investment is in line with WPP’s strategy of developing its networks in fast growing markets and sectors. In 2012, WPP’s revenue in the fast growing economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe, made up 30% of total group revenues of $16.5 billion. In India, WPP companies collectively employ over 12,000 people, including associates, with revenues of $500 million.
WPP’s digital revenue was over $5 billion in 2012 and represented about a third of total group revenues. WPP recently raised its targets from 35-40% for each of fast-growth markets and new media to at least 40-45% each year over the next five years.