"Beehive brings everything Publicis wanted in digital and new media"

On the back of Publicis Groupe's 7th acquisition 'Beehive', stakeholders Nakul Chopra, Sanjit Shastri, Bobby Pawar & Partha Sinha share their views on the deal & the value it brings to clients

e4m by Priyanka Mehra
Published: Oct 23, 2013 9:26 AM  | 4 min read
"Beehive brings everything Publicis wanted in digital and new media"

Publicis Groupe has been making waves for the last one year. The reasons may vary from global acquisitions to local hires, but the Groupe sure knows how to stay in the news; its latest reason being the acquisition of Beehive Communications, one of India’s foremost independent integrated communications agencies specialising in cutting-edge marketing and communications services for clients across South Asia. This marks Publicis Groupe’s seventh acquisition in the country since mid-2012.

The Groupe has been clearly working in a focussed manner to increase its profile and service offerings in India. Recent acquisitions include Indigo Consulting (April 2012), Resultrix (August 2012), MarketGate (December 2012), iStrat (December 2012), Convonix (March 2013) and Neev (April 2013). Following the acquisition of Beehive, the Groupe may bring all its digital strengths under one roof.

The talks of this acquisition were initiated last year. It is said to give a sectoral balance, bringing Publicis an exposure to tourism, retail and education-based clients. On the other hand, it Beehive benefits from the exposure to scale and talent Publicis Groupe brings on the table. 

In an exclusive chat, exchange4media talks to company stakeholders about the new acquisition, which is rebranded as Publicis Beehive, and what it means for clients…

Nakul Chopra, CEO, Publicis South Asia
Publicis Groupe has been a relatively late entrant, when compared to key competitors in this market. However, the last two-three years have been very remarkable for the Groupe.

Whether it is by way of acquisitions made at the group level, Publicis Groupe did have the mantle of being the challenger brand in India and we have more than lived up to this mantle. We have demonstrated that we are now a player of considerable weight in this market – be it creative agency, media or digital. Most people don’t know, but Beehive is not a small agency, it is fairly large.

On the speed of the series of hires and acquisition in the last one year…
When you want to reach out for bold objectives, you must get your foundation right in the first place. While this is the third acquisition we are announcing in a year, previously we have already consummated four. We had planned what are the blocks we need in place. The amount that we have been able to do in the last year is quite remarkable; Publicis Groupe has clearly focussed and readied itself for the digital world.
On more talent acquisitions…
I don’t have an imminent appointment to announce immediately; we will decide together how we want to take digital forward and maybe acquire some talent in that area.

Sanjit Shastri, Founder and CEO, Beehive
Partnering with a brand like Publicis Worldwide will help a lot of people who have worked hard to build Brand Beehive. It will give them a push to grow and drive their own individual careers going forward.

On Beehive’s growth…
We are growing pretty fast. In the last six months, we have shown about 16 per cent growth in revenues and slightly lower growth in operating income. I believe we will reach the strength of 180 people in 18 months. A lot of people will grow in digital and shopper marketing.

Five years from now…
Talent part of Beehive would be heading or be an integral part in the Publicis Worldwide scenario in the South Asia market.

Bobby Pawar, Director and Chief Creative Officer, Publicis South Asia
The acquisition ups our scale; we get to broaden our solutions. Skill-sets in digital, social and mobile powers our media executions. That’s a great value-add to for clients.

Beehive has built an agency with strong entrepreneurial skills. Additionally, they have some great clients. I am also looking forward to Partha and I helping them raise their game every which way possible.

Partha Sinha, Director and Chief Strategy Officer, Publicis South Asia
Increasingly, what we are finding is no client is looking for a uni-dimensional solution. Our first step was getting creative and planning working in a con-current manner, which is happening beautifully. Moreover, clients are asking us to deliver engagement – whether it is digital or media, we need to give full solutions. I can’t give half a solution and then stand up and walk out. If you see our acquisitions, they are quite strategic in nature. They fulfill the things we are not doing.

Beehive brings all we wanted on the table in terms of digital and new media. We didn’t want to be a boutique agency; we want to give a complete solution. To give such a solution, you need full capability. This acquisition is walking the talk.


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