Dentsu Aegis Network has announced the launch of Columbus in India by acquiring digital performance group, SVG Media from the Smile Group.
SVG Media joins the network’s Asia Pacific digital marketing agency Columbus and will now be called SVG Columbus. This acquisition will also support Columbus’ expansion in Asia Pacific – now in nine markets across the region. Columbus was originally based in Australia and has offices across New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
SVG Media was founded in 2006. It comprises of over 280 employees across Gurugram, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru. It offers digital media competencies including online performance marketing, mobile app distribution, representations, social and web services its brands DGM, Komli and Seventynine.
The group also has an agency, Tyroo Techlabs, which will be retained by the Smile Group.
Anurag Gupta, CEO of SVG Columbus and DGM, will report to Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia.
Gupta joins Chirag Shah, CEO of SVG Media Mobile and Seventynine, Deven Dharamdasani, COO of SVG Media Mobile and Seventynine, Akshay Mathur, business head of Komli, and Ashwani Mehta, finance controller on the SVG Columbus managing board, which will be chaired by Vivek Bhargava, CEO of Performance, Dentsu Aegis Network India.
Harish Bahl and Manish Vij, founder and co-founder of the Smile Group, will continue to focus on investments through the Smile Group and will no longer act as directors of SVG Media.
Bhasin said, “India is a significant market with rapid growth potential in its mobile and performance marketing business, and Dentsu Aegis Network India has a strong track record in the search and performance space to deliver this. Given its capabilities in data led search, performance marketing and mobile, SVG Columbus is ideally positioned to capture the fragmented long tail publisher market in India using technology and data. As a Group we have leading position in digital in India, particularly in search and performance and this gives us a clear leadership position in this area. We will now have over 1,300 digital professionals, accounting for over 35 per cent of our revenues, well ahead of our competitors.”
Gupta said, “We started out as a digital media group more than a decade ago, and for us to join forces with a clear market leader in digital, that is Dentsu Aegis Network, makes perfect sense. Their priority in placing digital at the forefront of their strategy and goals align perfectly with ours. We will continue to scale our offering in performance marketing and serving clients through the network and other agency networks. We are assured of their strong growth momentum, which will enable us to further enhance our scale as a business operationally and geographically. Their unique one P&L model also allows us to be part of that shared vision towards a digital world which will provide us with access to the latest industry technology and talent to deliver the best solutions for our clients.”