Social Wavelength marks WPP’s fifth acquisition in India in the last four years

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 27, 2014


WPP has announced that its wholly-owned operating company, JWT, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Social Wavelength, one of the leading social media agencies in India. Social Wavelength marks WPP’s fifth acquisition in India in the last four years.

Founded in 2009, Social Wavelength is headquartered in Mumbai, with offices in Delhi and Chennai. The company employs over 170 people and key clients include Franklin Templeton, Apollo Hospitals, Idea Cellular and GE India Industrial. Social Wavelength offers social media communication services, social media listening services using Radian6,  influencer outreach programme, application development, video and rich media content creation and media buying to over 50 leading brands.

Social Wavelength’s revenues for the year ended March 31, 2013 were Rs 91.5 million, with gross assets on the same date of Rs 59.2 million.

(L-R) Hareesh Tibrewala, Sanjay Mehta and Colvyn Harris

(L-R) Hareesh Tibrewala, Sanjay Mehta and Colvyn Harris

“JWT’s acquisition of Social Wavelength is a logical confluence of social media and mainline expertise coming together to create integrated communication for brands. The rich experience of five years that we have, in this young industry of social and digital media, will find the next leap of growth, through this partnership. A socially connected world is going to create new challenges and opportunities for brands, and we will create solutions to help brands navigate those challenges,” said Hareesh Tibrewala and Sanjay Mehta, Joint CEOs, Social Wavelength.

“We want to be a critical resource partner across the many solutions we provide to our clients. As we continue to relentlessly transform our offerings, Social Wavelength adds a huge dimension to our existing clients and the brands we steward. Across the marcom value chain and across various digital touch-points, the skills and capabilities of Social Wavelength will be that edge,” said Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT South Asia.

This acquisition marks a further step in WPP’s strategy of developing its networks in fast-growth markets and sectors. In India, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of nearly $ 500 million and employ almost 13,000 people. Like-for-like revenue growth in India was 4.6 per cent in 2013 (excluding associates). In the Asia Pacific region, WPP companies (including associates) generate revenues of $ 5 billion and employ more than 48,000 people. WPP recently raised its targets from 35-40 per cent for each of fast-growth markets and new media to at least 40-45 per cent over the next five years.

JWT Asia Pacific has invested heavily in expanding its digital footprint over the last two years. In addition to the acquisition of Hungama in India, JWT acquired Post Visual in South Korea in 2013, and took a stake in Converge in Pakistan in 2012. XM Asia, a digital agency owned by JWT, also acquired Designercity, in Hong Kong, and Thomas Idea in Thailand, in 2013, and XM Gravity in 2012.

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