Global public relations firm Burson-Marsteller on Monday announced the acquisition of Genesis PR, India’s leading public relations company. With close to 200 employees, Genesis has an extensive national network of wholly-owned offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, with representations in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, covering over 80 cities across India.
“This is one of the most significant milestones in the 53-year history of Burson-Marsteller,” said Founding Chairman, Harold Burson. “Genesis Public Relations is a world class company with exceptional leadership. We are very proud that they have agreed to become part of Burson-Marsteller.”
Having recently returned from a visit to India, Burson added, “I was privileged to experience first-hand a company of extraordinary quality, with impressive intellectual and geographic reach. I also have received many compliments from Burson-Marsteller clients who work with Genesis.”
Filings were made on Monday with the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for approval of the transaction. After completion of the acquisition, the company will be renamed Genesis/Burson-Marsteller and will be integrated within the Burson-Marsteller Asia Pacific regional network.
Genesis/Burson-Marsteller will be led by Genesis Public Relations Principal and Founder, Prema Sagar, and Chief Executive Officer, Ashwani Singla. Both will also join Burson-Marsteller’s Asia Pacific Leadership Board.
“Burson-Marsteller is the global PR firm by which others are measured. To be a part of the best global public relations company reflects the strong strategic fit and shared values between Burson-Marsteller and Genesis Public Relations,” said Sagar, whose stature and leadership in the international public relations industry has recently been recognised with her induction into the International Communications Consultancy Organisation’s (ICCO) Hall of Fame, one of only 10 professionals worldwide to receive the prestigious accolade. “This is a momentous occasion made possible by countless contributions from so many people who have worked in the firm since its inception,” she added.
Burson-Marsteller’s Asia-Pacific President and CEO, Bill Rylance, said that the acquisition further strengthened the company’s strong regional capabilities. “Genesis is a clear leader in India in terms of talent, thought leadership, geographic reach and reputation,” said Rylance, adding, “This is the coming together of two exceptional companies in a market that is globally-significant and critical to our clients.”
By number of employees, India and China now represent Burson-Marsteller’s second and third largest markets worldwide. “However, it is the quality of that talent more than the quantity, which really excites us,” Rylance said, adding, “The collective zeal to learn and grow in India – as in all of our vibrant Asia Pacific offices – is a constant source of inspiration and innovation for our company. It all points to a very bright future.”
Ashwani Singla, CEO, Genesis PR, said, “Clearly, our vision at Genesis is to build a sustainable and a competitive institution that expands the growth horizons of the people in the firm and provides greater opportunities to collaborate with professionals all over the world.”
Singla added, “We can now more than ever leverage the global expertise, experience and reach of Burson-Marsteller to further enhance our ‘One Team, One Experience’ promise of seamless network, deep insights, innovation and quality, not only for all of our clients in India, but also for those organisations looking beyond our shores.”
For the third time in five years, Burson-Marsteller’s Asia-Pacific team was named “Network of the Year” at the 2005 annual Asia Pacific PR Awards, the industry’s top award recognising outstanding public relations work across the region. The company was also the top-ranked firm in Media Magazine’s 2005 Asia Pacific Consultancy Report Card.