Ogilvy & Mather To Acquire Majority Stake In Hyderabad Based PennyWise Digital Solutions

Advertising major Ogilvy & Mather is to acquire a majority stake in Hyderabad-based start-up digital company PennyWise Solutions, the brain child of five alumni from Birla Institute of Technology and Science.

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Founded by a group of five alumni in 2003 from Birla Institute of Technology and Science – PennyWise Solutions has announced that  Ogilvy_and_Mather_Pennywise_Solutionsadvertising major Ogilvy & Mather has decided to acquire a majority stake in the Hyderabad-based start-up, reports The Hindu Business Line.

Though there have been no further disclosures about the deal, it is being said that PennyWise will serve as the digital technology and production centre of excellence for Ogilvy & Mather in India. It will power best practice digital delivery for the agency’s India network as well as the O&M APAC network.

The 140 odd employee strength digital technology and production company has been a full-fledged agency specialising in digital solutions, ranging from custom application development to web development, digital advertising, social media monitoring and data analytics.

The agency has a global customer base with clients from Europe and North America along with India. Its client portfolio includes Vodafone India, Johnson & Johnson, LIN Digital and WPP Agencies including Ogilvy & Mather, Soho Square amongst others.

Sharing thoughts on the development Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman, Ogilvy South Asia added that, “Though we are the strongest digital company in the country, it is our endeavour to find more digital talent and expertise. We are keen to add to our strengths.” Further Pandey added that, “If we look at communication companies in today’s age, the share of the current form of advertising is growing. But if you look at the growth rates of digital companies, there is a lot of potential out there. Every company has to change and evolve and add to their core strengths. That is the main purpose of this acquisition.”

Calling it a strategic investment, Pandey informed that there were several digital firms up for grabs but the expertise of the people associated broke the ice. “Though we look at the health of the business, their client roster and their relations with corporates, there is a due diligence that goes beyond numbers,” added the Executive Chairman of Ogilvy South Asia.

For the CEO Anand Morzaria, PennyWise Solutions, the partnership is a great one since they complement Ogilvy’s strengths in digital strategy and ideation with their digital technology and production capabilities for their clients across India and other APAC markets.

The news joins the list of the growing interest in business in digital agencies either for talent acquisition or integrating social media analytics of agencies which is becoming a need as the medium matures. We recently reported about To The New agency acquiring Singapore based social media analytics firm, ThoughtBuzz. Earlier in the year To The New acquired Techsailor, another Singapore based digital marketing agency while keeping its growth focus on India and South East Asia.

Last month also saw Indian bred multinational digital agency Gozoop announcing the acquisition of Red Digital, one of India’s popular social media agencies. Prior to that mobile marketing arm of HT Media, HT Mobile Solutions acquired Webitude, a social media organization based in Gurgaon, for an undisclosed amount. This trend has been seen from early 2013 and is growing.

Digital and social are gaining more strength and this can be seen in the latest spree of acquisitions. Besides this, according to Pandey, O&M will keep looking for more partners to strengthen its arm. “We would still be scouting for like-minded partners who are good at what they do. As for budgets, we don’t work by budgets. If we find good people, we find the budget.”

 Image courtesy: DesignSoJourn