GOZOOP's journey: A decade, four acquisitions, and still hungry to expand

Now completing a decade, GOZOOP has successfully acquired four agencies - Red Digital, iThink, 56 Blue Lights and HAT Media

e4m by Venkata Susmita Biswas
Updated: Nov 21, 2018 8:18 AM
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Fresh from the acquisition of HAT Media, GOZOOP co-founder and CEO Ahmed Aftab Naqvi is scouting for his next, fifth to be precise, acquisition. “The best relationships are win-win -  and we are on the lookout for our 5th,” he said. 

Over the last five years GOZOOP has grown capabilities in social media, events, and technology and real-time marketing. Completing its tenth anniversary this year, GOZOOP has acquired four agencies Red Digital – a social media agency ( acquired in 2013), iThink – a technology development enterprise (2014), 56 Blue Lights – an event & activations agency (2016) and HAT Media - a real-time marketing agency (2018). 

Naqvi told exchange4media that he further plans to expand the capabilities of GOZOOP in performance marketing, content marketing, search engine optimisation, and traditional creative advertising through inorganic and organic growth. 

GOZOOP began a decade ago in a garage just when Indians were beginning to send each other friend requests on Facebook and Googling was second nature. Completely bootstrapped, GOZOOP has been growing at more than 100 per cent compounded growth rate over the last few years. 

Naqvi could not be more proud of the company he has built. At a time when companies founded by his peers are being acquired by large global networks, Naqvi says with pride that not only was the company bootstrapped from the beginning, but also that each of the acquisitions done so far have been completed without any external financial support. 

Through further acquisitions Naqvi hopes to expand the footprint of GOZOOP into Delhi, Bangalore, and then Chennai. The agency already has an office in Dubai which is led by Yamini Menon, founder 56 Blue Lights.   

Naqvi told exchange4media that the unique template that GOZOOP uses for acquisitions is the secret sauce that makes GOZOOP attractive to partner agencies. “We do not have a lock-in period like in network acquisitions. The founders of the companies are free to focus on their core capabilities while GOZOOP worries about cashflow, hiring, bottom lines, etc.” Menon in Dubai focusses her efforts on creative work while the co-founder of the recently acquired HAT Media Sunchika Pandey will lead the Citizen Initiatives & Government Organisation division of GOZOOP.  

Naqvi and his team believe in a culture of happiness, and that is what reflects in the template of these acquisitions, he says. 

GOZOOP was founded by Ahmed Naqvi, Dushyant Bhatia and Rohan Bhansali. The company’s roster of clients include Dell, Asian Paints, Parle Platina, Aditya Birla Group, Star Bharat, Club Mahindra and many more.

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