The market for digital media advertising and solutions is growing significantly in India; at least it is significant enough to make global marketing communications company JWT go shopping to improve its digital capabilities in the country. JWT is now all set to acquire a majority stake in Hungama Digital Services, one of India’s leading digital agency.
“Digital is our next new frontier. The idea of the partnership is to build a digital offering for our clients so we can live up to being a ‘single source’ partner across all their ‘marketing solutions’ needs,” said Colvyn Harris, CEO of JWT India of the new acquisition. This deal is expected to significantly add to JWT’s digital offerings in this critical, high-growth market. “With JWT, we are now part of the largest advertising network in the world. This is the coming together of two exceptional teams in a globally relevant market,” said Neeraj Roy, MD and CEO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
This buy is part of JWT’s aggressive strategy to create a stronghold in the digital space in the Asian markets. “We have greatly expanded our digital capability across the region, and we are not standing still. JWT will continue to hire new digital experts and explore possible acquisitions across the region this year,” said Michael Maedel, president, JWT Asia Pacific. Most recently XM Asia, a JWT company, agreed to acquire Magnivate, Indonesia’s leading digital agency.
India has overtaken Indonesia as the second-largest Facebook nation in the world in February this year. Further digital advertising expenditure is rising sharply as companies strive to connect with Indian consumers through social media and online initiatives. In fact GroupM reports that digital ad spend in India is expected to grow by 35% this year.
“JWT India has invested heavily to build out its digital expertise in the last few years. This latest acquisition firmly positions JWT India as a digital thought-leader with strong delivery capability in digital ideation, production, and social media,” added Harris. With this buy JWT will now have enhanced capabilities in strategic planning, digital and social media marketing, mobile marketing, web design, as well as activation, merchandising and events.
Hungama Digital Services is the award-winning digital and promotions marketing unit of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. It is one of the pioneering agencies that worked with digital media even before it was a popular way of marketing in India. “India is at the cusp of a digital revolution with the advent of 500+ million consumers getting online in the next three to four years. With this partnership with JWT we hope to offer integrated digital and experiential services to our clients and prepare brands to connect, interact and now transact with their customers,” added Roy. The 13 year old company which employs 120 people across six cities in India, will continue to retain its identity as Hungama Digital Services.