2014 was a great year in the Indian digital and social media marketing space – quite a few agencies were acquired by the big networks. One of the news that brought a big cheer to the market was Mumbai based Social Wavelength (SW) India’s largest social media agency getting acquired by JWT. While there was no news on the deal value according to ET the acquisition deal could have been not more than Rs. 40 crores.
The acquisition was nothing short of a fairy tale for a five-year old startup that was founded by two very close college time friends – Sanjay Mehta and Hareesh Tibrewala. Interestingly, both the buddies also happen to have started HomeIndia Online Services for more than a decade, which eventually got sold too.
Talking to Lighthouse Insights back then Sanjay had informed that nothing much would change for SW after the deal except that it will now be a part of JWT. “We are going to work in the same space from the same locations as we have done for the last five years. We are going to work as independent as we were doing before and there are no management changes.”
However earlier this month JWT revealed that it has launched its global digital agency network Mirum in India. This is the 21st market where the network has been launched since its inception in January. For the India launch, JWT’s social media firm Social Wavelength was chosen for the rebranding as Mirum, said Tarun Rai, chief executive of the agency which is part of the WPP group. “Currently 35% of our revenues come from non-traditional media. With the launch of Mirum, this should go up to 50% very soon,” said Tarun. “Mirum is a natural progression for us in being a digital-first agency,” he added.
JWT launched Mirum in January 2015, where it brought together 11 leading digital agencies from different parts of the world, under the Mirum brand. The move happened when the ad agency realized that it needs to create a large digital agency brand spanning across the globe, and offering the best skills for digital services to clients.
Globally, the objective of Mirum is to create a global agency that can offer the best of skills in digital, with a specific focus on Business Transformation, Marketing Innovation and Commerce, to clients around the world.
While SW’s core experience has been social, Sanjay, over an email conversation informed LI that in recent times the agency has invested in media planning and buying capabilities as well as in consumer research based on understanding social conversations. “Going ahead we will now be investing in building technology skills (such as building micro sites, apps etc) as well in internet commerce.”
This is where Mirum’s global expertise in the field of technology development (Web / App / Mobile) as well as content production and marketing will benefit SW.
“Our, becoming part of Mirum, is a significant milestone in the journey of our organization. It gives our team access to an ecosystem of over 2200 digital professionals. It gives us access to their skill sets, Mirum Global’s partnerships with other technology companies; more learning opportunities and increased opportunities for collaboration. It also gives our team opportunities to participate in global brand mandates as well as the possibility to work from other Mirum offices worldwide, in order to further enhance their skills,” he added while highlighting that the transformation of SW to Mirum India is like the next big leap.
The transformation also happens at a time when we are about to say good bye to 2015 and welcome 2016. Sanjay expects that 2016 will be a big year as the agency has already started working on some global pitches and expects to strike results soon. “I see a huge value add in terms of being able to bring the best of tech skills and experience and real 360 degrees solutions to clients in India. Secondly, I see an opportunity to be able to work on global accounts and generate higher revenues, as a result of that.”
While the transformation is for a better and bigger future for the company, it isn’t easy for someone who built the agency as one of the largest social media agencies in the country with over 150 plus strength, pan India presence and a sizable profile of rich clients. “Not easy! But we all believe that the change is for good. We are excited about the change. Hope to make the most of the opportunity.”