New Delhi: Nielsen India said it has acquired Delhi-based economic researcher Indicus Analytics for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of Indicus will add to Nielsen’s capabilities for macro and microeconomic research for the public and private sectors, said Piyush Mathur, president of Nielsen India region.

This is Nielsen’s first major acquisition in India and “gives us a play in economics and public policy area", Mathur said. The two companies had been in talks for a year.

Indicus Analytics, the 15-year-old firm founded by Laveesh Bhandari, offers economic research and analytics services in areas such as education, healthcare and demography. “We are a small company operating in a small niche. This shifts us to another plane. Our analysts will have access to a larger network and rich resources of data," said Bhandari, who runs Indicus with 50 people. Bhandari will continue to be part of the company and will become the chief economist for Nielsen India. Other than Delhi, Indicus has offices in Bangalore and Pune.

Initially, Indicus Analytics will operate under its own brand. In time, the brand could be merged with Nielsen. “The branding part is not critical. What is critical are the home-grown analytics techniques," said Bhandari.

Indicus currently offers data products such as Market Skyline, District GDP, Urban Consumer Spectrum and Towns and Rural Blocks of India, among others. Among its clients are consulting firms, government and policy groups.

“We have been analysing city-level data and neighbourhood-level data on the Indian consumer. The company plans to launch a host of new products including a pincode level product on consumer demography," Bhandari said adding the company is keen to look at micro-geographies for which it needed to scale up.

Nielsen, meanwhile, is ramping up its mergers and acquisitions team as it builds a pipeline of acquisitions. “We are talking to companies in the areas of technology and research and analytics," Mathur said. The company is also looking at launching its new service Twitter Ratings, popular in the US, in India soon. Globally, Nielsen is an information and measurement company tracking consumers, television, mobile and other media. In India, Nielsen competes with around 13 Indian and international research firms such as IMRB International and Ipsos for a share of a market worth 1,800 crore.

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