WPP eyeing acquisitions in India

Bangalore: Communications services group WPP is looking at acquisitions in India and the rest of Asia as part of its growth strategy. The group is seeking companies in non-traditional areas such as brand identity, public affairs, digital and direct marketing.

WPP Digital recently acquired a 100-per cent stake in digital marketing agency BLUE Interactive Marketing, Singapore. Last year, it acquired a majority stake in Bangalore-based design firm Ray + Keshavan.

WPP has witnessed phenomenal growth from the Indian and Chinese markets, which have been growing at over 20 per cent for the past several years. Asia Pacific, Latin America, West Asia and Africa account for about 20 per cent of WPP''s revenues, and the company is looking to grow these to one-third in about five years.

A key driver of growth in Asia will be new media, along with traditional media. While both traditional and new media are growing fast in Asia (particularly India), the digital medium will be the new leg of the company''s growth strategy. Presently, only 2 per cent of global ad spends comes from online advertising, which are estimated to grow to 8 per cent in 3-4 years. Mobile marketing is another area to track in the long term.

Another area of increasing importance in India is analytics, with Group M, a WPP entity, through its outfit Meritus Analytics India in Bangalore, doing a lot of work in this field for as number of WPP companies.