WPP Digital has announced that it has acquired a 75 per cent stake in Quasar Media, a subsidiary of Smile Interactive Technology Group specialising in digital marketing and web solutions. Quasar will continue to be managed by its founding team, led by Harish Bahl and Manish Vij.
Harish Bahl, CEO & Founder, Smile Interactive, said, “Our faith in StudioSmile’s incubation programme to grow the digital industry in India is proved by our second joint venture within three months for the Group, post Tyroo and Yahoo. It is a good feel that two of our incubations have formed joint ventures with world leaders in their respective fields. Smile is in the process of launching more incubations in the fields of auto, mobile, healthcare and retail.”
Bahl disclosed that Quasar had offers from some leading marketing services groups. “We chose to go with WPP as we needed a global partner to achieve further leadership in the market,” he said.
He further said that there would be no change in logo, management and branding. “We continue to remain the same and function in the same way as before,” he stressed.
In the last eight years, StudioSmile has invested in the digital industry with successful start-ups like Quasar, Tyroo and Zoomtra.com.
Founded in 2005, Quasar Media is the largest digital media and e-business services company in the country based in New Delhi, with offices in Mumbai and Bangalore. Its clients include MakeMyTrip, Monster, Microsoft, Motorola, LG, Zapak and VISA.
Manish Vij, Chief Business Officer and Co-Founder, Smile Interactive, said, “We are happy to align with WPP Digital to further strengthen the leadership of Quasar Media in India and its growth among Asia Pacific countries. Quasar will grow its world-class services in Internet and mobile marketing and e-business solutions to its current and growing client base in India, Singapore and Hong Kong with the help of WPP Digital’s worldwide network of companies. It will also play an important role as a global outsourcing centre of excellence for WPP Digital.”
Mark Read, CEO, WPP Digital, said while announcing the acquisition, “We were struck by Quasar’s leadership in the digital media industry in India and its potential to grow its share of the digital media market. Our investment continues WPP Digital’s strategy of developing our services in the growing digital media. In India, we believe that digital media will grow to $560 million, representing almost 7 per cent of the total advertising expenditure by 2009.”
WPP Digital is the digital investment arm of WPP. Its prime goal is to champion digital technologies and new media innovations and to stimulate, support and enhance existing group company activities in this area.