Building brands, digitally: Dentsu India buys out Webchutney

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: May 27, 2013 00:35 IST

The Dentsu India Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo-headquartered media giant Dentsu Inc, has acquired an 80% stake in digital agency Webchutney. The move is part of Dentsu India’s plans to press the accelerator on campaigns tailored for digital and mobile technology platforms.

Founded by Sidharth Rao and Sudesh Samaria in 1999, Webchutney boasts an impressive client roster including Airtel, Unilever, MasterCard, Coca-Cola, Bacardi Martini, Budweiser, ITC, Marico, Madura Garments, Titan, Bajaj, Reliance Retail and Saint Gobain among others.

Through this deal, Network18 Media & Investments has sold its entire 70% stake in Webchutney which it had acquired 2007. The divestment is part of Network 18’s move to exit non-core businesses.

“The next big leap in India’s advertising world will come in the area of digital space. We have specific plans to scale up our operations in this area,” Rohit Ohri, executive chairman of Dentsu India Group told HT. Ohri did not disclose the size of the deal.

Cellphones are used by more than three out of four Indians.

“For advertisers, the biggest challenge will be on how to most optimally use the mobile phone for building a brand,” said Ohri.

“The Dentsu network is ‘future obsessed’ and that fits in perfectly with what we do here at Webchutney,” said Sudesh Samaria, national creative director and co-founder, Webchutney.

Dentsu Inc commenced its India operations in October 2003 in a joint venture with the Mogae Group. In 2011, the parent company acquired the India businesses and the new Dentsu India Group became a 100% subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. The new Dentsu India Group comprises three independent, full-service advertising agencies: Dentsu Communications, Dentsu Marcom and Dentsu Creative Impact; a media arm — Dentsu Media, Dentsu Digital — a digital agency and Taproot India — its creative boutique.


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