Grey Group, a WPP company, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Autumn Worldwide, an independent social media and digital marketing agency, based in India.
Autumn Worldwide was founded in 2005 by Anusha Shetty and Abhay Rajankar as a brand consulting and advertising company. CEO Shetty soon saw the opportunity and proceeded to expand Autumn into a 360° social media and digital agency which provides a multitude of services, including digital & social media campaigns, influencer & blogger marketing, online reputation management, content marketing, marketing big data & insights and Command Center Management Services (CCMS).
Michael Houston, Worldwide CEO of Grey Group, said, “We are delighted to welcome Autumn Worldwide to Grey. This acquisition represents another step forward in building our borderless creativity and providing seamless solutions for our clients across platforms.”
Autumn CEO Shetty is a 20-year veteran of the communications industry. After completing her education with an MBA from TA Pai Management Institute, Ms Shetty began her marketing career with Lowe Lintas in 1994. After five years, she joined Euro RSCG to work with the Intel brand. Two years later, she moved to Silicon Valley in the U.S. as the Marketing-Communications Lead for a start-up venture, Euclid. In 2003, she returned to India and joined Honeywell Technology, where she was named the Corporate Communications Head for APAC before she co-founded Autumn Worldwide in 2005.
Ms Shetty will continue to head the Autumn operations while working closely with Nirvik Singh, Chairman & CEO for Grey Group Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, to set the overall strategic digital growth plan for the region.
“Grey has a strategic plan to increase its digital footprint in the region. Having Autumn as our partner ensures we have a digital and social media agency with expertise across the digital landscape. They are a forward-thinking company who share our common vision of a world-class digital eco-system that will deliver only the very best to our clients. Combining creative, digital, data and technology will strengthen our presence not only in India, but also throughout the region,” said Singh.
With Autumn’s headquarters in Bangalore and offices in Mumbai and (Gurgaon) Delhi, they have over 165 employees across their offices. Their client roster includes blue-chip and local clients such as PepsiCo (all 26 brands such as Mountain Dew, Quaker Oats and others), Reckitt Benckiser Group (Mortein, Durex, Dettol, Moov and more), Samsonite, PVR Cinemas, Exide Life Insurance, Tata Salt, Raymond, Luminous and Freecharge, to name just a few.
“The convergence of consumers and mediums has already happened, and agencies need to not just reflect this thinking, but be a part of that journey. Grey’s famously effective 100-year history in creative thinking combined with Autumn’s 13-year ‘young’ fervour to constantly unlearn and learn across data, creativity, and mediums creates a potent agency of the future,” said Ms Shetty.
The acquisition will bring additional benefits to clients of Autumn, including access to Grey Group’s extensive international network as well as to offerings such as RC&M, one of India’s largest rural communications & experiential marketing service providers. They provide services such as brand launches, sales channel development, product seeding & sampling, and new market development, amongst others.
Similarly, Grey Group’s clients from across the globe will benefit from the social media and digital marketing expertise provided by Autumn.