Ketchum, public relations consultancies, has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Sampark PR. The agency was founded in 1994 by Bela Rajan and N.S. Rajan, who, as director and managing director, will continue to lead the India business and will retain a significant holding in the agency going forward, which will now operate as Ketchum Sampark.
“Today marks another important milestone for Ketchum as we continue to implement our global vision of providing consistently excellent communications service to our clients in the key business and communications markets where they operate. Our investments over the past six months, in Russia, China and now India, are predicated on this strategy and fortify the foundation we have in place for our clients and our people,” said Ray Kotcher, senior partner and chief executive officer, Ketchum.
Jon Higgins, senior partner and chief executive officer of international operations, Ketchum said, “India occupies a powerful place in the world economy today. With Sampark, Ketchum has acquired one of the most respected PR businesses in India. Ketchum has worked closely with Sampark’s leadership team for some time now, and we have tremendous respect for their people and business. We are eager to put our enhanced partnership on a path of even greater possibility for our clients.”
As part of the transaction, in addition to Bela Rajan and NS Rajan, the India operation’s board of directors will include Higgins, Robert Lorfink, senior partner, COO and CFO of Ketchum, and Tom Harrison, chairman and CEO, Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group. The leadership team of Bela Rajan, NS Rajan and Ajay Sharma, managing partner, will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the agency in India.
Rajan added, “The enormous potential in India leads to a strong demand for communications services from global companies operating in the region and Indian companies looking at new markets. This is an ideal time to reach this agreement. We are eager to work with the board and Ketchum’s leadership group to expand our partnership with Ketchum and maximize opportunities for our clients. We believe we can better service our clients and can accomplish far more together in the years ahead than we could have achieved on our own.”
This partnership expands Ketchum’s presence in South Asia, and is aimed at complementing Ketchum’s strong network in the Asia-Pacific region which includes Greater China, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.
Sampark PR has offices in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad and a network of 80 associate offices that extends throughout the country, aimed at providing greater inroads into India for Ketchum’s roster of international client businesses and global brands. In turn, Ketchum will provide greater access to international markets for Indian companies and brands, many of which are turning to communications to help build and support their reputations.