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“Display, video, and mobile as the fastest growing space”

Akshay Garg, Komli Media

Akshay Garg, Managing Director (SEA) Komli talks to Digital Market Asia about the company’s recent acquisition and post acquisition business plans. He defines the company’s special focus on its innovation lab, and new growth areas.

Post acquisition what will be your business strategy?
This acquisition is about distribution and reach for Komli. Admax augments Komli’s distribution by extending its presence to 7 markets in SEA. In terms of reach, it adds 90 million unique users and strong advertiser/agency relationship to the business. On the flip side Admax will gain access to Komli Media’s leading technology platforms and solutions across performance display, mobile, video, social, data, and search advertising. For the business it means a very wide range of digital solutions delivered to our clients across the region by our talented workforce.

Will you retain Admax’s identity or will it be merged into Komli?
Starting next financial year (or in the very near future), Komli Media will integrate Admax and its current SEA team operating as Aktiv Digital, under the Komli Media brand.

Till now Komli has been primarily a technology company, does it change now after the acquisition? What are the capabilities do you add now?
Komli is and will continue to focus on being the leading media technology company in Asia Pacific. Our acquisitions and trading in international markets over the last 2 years has only hastened the pace of research and development. Bangalore is the nerve centre for Komli’s product development and engineering. The team has expanded to around 90 people and has recently launched Komli Labs, our innovation and analytics solution. Going forward the Bangalore centre will continue to be an integral part of our business.

How will the Lab help in Komli’s business moves?

The Komli Lab in Bangalore is a pure engineering centre for us. This is place where we come up with best practices in online ads and optimisation of investments. This is an innovation centre which is heavily research led and works on developing analytics and algorithms that enable us to offer better solutions to our clients. Komli Labs will be primarily focused on driving innovation in digital advertising through applied research and big data analytics, in the areas of real time bidding, audience measurement and targeting, ad verification and traffic quality management. This, in turn, will help create innovative solutions to deliver more relevant ads to users, maximizing value for all: users, advertisers and publishers.

What are going to be your technology focus?

Since we see display, video, and mobile as the fastest growing space so this year we have three major areas of focus. First is going to be display advertising where we will work on solutions that will enable our clients to optimise their display ads. Then we have our Atom, our unique real time performance ad platform. RTB is a disruptive technology that allows media buyers to evaluate, bid on and purchase online ad inventory on an impression by impression basis, reaching precise audience at scale. Finally we are looking at creating solutions for mobile ad industry. We will also focus on performance advertising.

Which country in the APAC region do you feel has the maximum growth opportunity in online advertising? What is unique about that market?

It’s hard to single out one market but among our markets, India and couple of markets in SEA (Indonesia, Thailand for example) are reaching tipping points, with growth in digital ad spend nearing or exceeding 50%. Consumer adoption of broadband and increased consumption over mobile is driving this trend.

What is your current growth rate? What kind of growth do you expect in the coming fiscal as a result of your acquisition and new capabilities?

The online advertising market in SEA is estimated to be worth approximately US$ 250 – 300 million, and growing at 30-40% per year. Since its inception Komli has grown more than 100% year on year and with this acquisition Komli Media will be the largest privately owned digital media company in the region. For the next year we hope to maintain our existing stellar growth.

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