Our competition in India overpaid for ill-judged acquisitions: Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell roots for organic growth, hints WPP in India is open to high-scale acquisitions

e4m by Abhinn Shreshtha
Updated: Aug 19, 2014 9:25 AM
Our competition in India overpaid for ill-judged acquisitions: Sir Martin Sorrell

At the IAA Conversations, Sir Martin Sorrell, the iconic founder and CEO of WPP Group, gave his views on a number of issues, including the spate of high-profile acquisitions of digital, creative and social media agencies. When asked by Annurag Batra, Editor-In-Chief, exchange4media Group & Chairman, Businessworld, if he was looking at any major acquisitions in India, the advertising and media veteran said that if the right company came along, he would be interested. Observing how India had several small to mid-sized opportunities, Sir Martin cited the lack of high-scale targets as a deterrent. He took a dig at WPP's competitors. “They (WPP’s competitors) have overpaid for ill-judged acquisitions,” he said, stressing on how in India, WPP was focused on organic growth. 

He also spoke about the difference between American and British companies. “Publicis (The Publicis Groupe) is most similar to us in the sense that as French and British companies, we understand that it is necessary to step out of our countries. The Americans, because they have a 16 trillion dollar domestic market, do not think this way,” said Sir Martin. On a lighter note, he added that theoretically every hour he spends in the US is five times more productive than that in the UK. “It does not really work that way, but I put it that way,” he confessed.

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