Dentsu Aegis Network today announced the acquisition of experiential agency, Fountainhead Entertainment. Industry sources peg the deal size to be between Rs 350 crore and Rs 400 crore.
“The BTL part of the business has been growing twice as much as ATL we already have PsLIVE, we want to combine the two and become largest in the experiential field. I don’t think there is any agency which is offering this kind of comprehensive services on such a scale. In this manner, going forward also I feel BTL areas will grow much faster than ATL,” said Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia speaking to exchange4media.
On being queried about GroupM‘s experiential marketing agency Dialogue Factory, Bhasin replied, “I am not familiar with much of what they do; Fountainhead and Pslive are best in class.”
“We want to provide our clients with the benefits of specialisations without the hassles of siloisation, clients get everything they need under the Dentsu Aegis Network umbrella, at the same time they are dealing with specialists in each field,” added Bhasin.
The talks between the Dentsu Aegis Network and Fountainhead have been on for around six months now, post-acquisition, Fountainhead will continue to be led by co-founder and CEO, Brian Tellis, who will report to Ashish Bhasin.
The current management team will also continue as is. It is envisaged that in 2016 the existing experiential offering of psLIVE, with 86 people in India, will be merged with Fountainhead, aiming to make the combined agency India’s largest experiential and activation agency business.
Established in 1994, and now with more than 205 experiential specialists, Fountainhead is headquartered in Mumbai and has offices in Delhi and Bangalore. Founded by renowned industry figures Chairman Brian Tellis, Managing Director Neale Murray and Director Otis D’Souza and later joined by Co-Directors, the visionary PradeepGuha, V G Jairam and Owen Roncon.
Fountainhead supports a client base of more than 100 on all types of events, digital initiatives, product launches, brand activation and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. The five brands within the growing business are: Fountainhead Events, Oranjuice Entertainment, Fountainhead Activations, Fountainhead Corporate Journeys and Fountainhead Digital. Together, they deliver in excess of 350 events annually.
Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific said, “Fountainhead’s reputation in the event and activation market, and their extensive experience in both music and sports marketing, complements and strengthens our experiential offering in one of the region’s most exciting markets. This move represents a further step in our continued investment programme in the Indian market. We welcome Brian and the wider team to the network.”
Bhasin said, “As the fastest growing network in India, we are continuing to expand our portfolio of diverse specialisations available to our growing client base. Fountainhead’s creative quality and reputation in the market make it the perfect addition to Dentsu Aegis Network India. Our unique ‘One P & L’ philosophy will help us bring their expertise to all Dentsu Aegis Network clients. This is another big step forward in helping us achieve our mission of being the second largest agency group by end 2017 in India, overturning for the first time the existing ranking which has historically been in place for over 80 years in India.”
Brian Tellis, Co-founder and CEO of Fountainhead said, “Our vision is to deliver world class experiences to our stake holders. To set benchmarks in delivery through cutting-edge creativity, innovation, value pricing and practices and processes. We are thrilled to join Dentsu Aegis Network. The sheer dynamism of the group will open up opportunities for us. Our values are well aligned and the potentially combined entity of Fountainhead and psLIVE will become the most comprehensive experiential offering in India. We are very excited about this opportunity and the growth potential it offers. Fountainhead, a full service experiential agency, will now start to align with an enviable spectrum of brands through the Dentsu Aegis Network.”