With close to Rs 4,500 crore in billings for the year 2016, spurred by big ticket account wins and a slew of acquisitions in digital, creative and public relations segments, Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) is on a roll. DAN has managed to beat American and British advertising conglomerates like Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG) and WPP in rapid acquisition. Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and Chief Executive, DAN South Asia, is upbeat about his ambitious target of dethroning IPG from the No. 2 spot by 2017.
“We are definitely meeting the target well before time. In the last three years, we have been the fastest growing group in the country with our growth rate being three times higher than the market,” said Bhasin, who took over the operations of Dentsu India in June last year.
The Indian advertising industry stands at Rs 48,000 crore growing at the rate of 12 per cent.
A senior leader from the fraternity remarked that while DAN has managed to beat American and British advertising conglomerates like IPG and WPP in rapid acquisition, its real challenge will be to ensure integration of acquired companies in its network. “For instance, what will happen when Dileep Cherian leaves Perfect Relations?” he said.
Perfect Relations, the public relations firm owned by Dileep Cherian, was acquired by DAN in September for estimated Rs 200-250 crore. This was followed by creative marketing agency Happy Creative Services’ acquisition for estimated Rs 300 crore. It recently acquired experiential design studio Fractal Ink for Rs 250 crore.
In the last five years, the network has acquired companies such as WATConsult (social media), Milestone Brandcom (outdoor), Fountainhead-MKTG (event and experiential), Taproot (creative) and Webchutney (digital). These companies have filled the gaps in Dentsu’s capabilities, brought talent and also a host of non-Japanese clients reducing the business from Japanese clients to 11-12 per cent.