Dentsu Aegis Network Announces the Launch of Merkle India, Powering up Data Capability with Acquisition of Sokrati
Dentsu Aegis Network today announces that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sokrati, India’s leading data-driven performance marketing and analytics agency, launching Merkle in the country – the first launch of the global data-driven performance marketing agency in the Asia Pacific region. Post-acquisition, Sokrati will be rebranded as Merkle | Sokrati, further scaling Dentsu Aegis India’s data and performance marketing offering.
Founded in 2009, Sokrati is headquartered in Pune and employs a staff of 120 digital marketing professionals. The company develops its integrated marketing offering with the help of data analytics, CRM based marketing and the integration of offline data and hyperlocal marketing, with a focus on the automotive, telecommunications and banking and financial services sectors. It offers digital and performance marketing with deep specialisation in e-commerce, with service lines encompassing search and performance, social, retargeting, display and video production, and product ads.
Nick Waters, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific, said: “India is the fastest growing large economy in the world. It is on track for 400 million smartphone users, making it second only to China, and has emerged as a major e-commerce market. Sokrati’s strength in mobile, e-commerce, data, analytics and performance media provides an ideal basis from which to launch Merkle in India as we develop the roll-out plan for Asia Pacific. We will develop the unique M1 addressable media platform for India as a next step.”
Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia, said: “Sokrati has strong ability in CRM and data to accelerate the launch of Merkle in India and further bolster our data practice, which is becoming increasingly critical in all aspects of our business. It will also give our clients added value as we bring CRM and data into the heart of our digital offering. With Dentsu Aegis Network India already being a leader in performance marketing services, with iProspect and the recent acquisition of SVG, the complementary addition of Sokrati will enable the network to take a clearly dominant position in the rapidly growing Indian digital advertising market. With Sokrati on board, we will now be more than twice the size of any of our competitors in search and performance. Out of 3,500 staff in India, about 1,500 will be digital professionals, and over 35% of our revenue – a market-leading statistic – will come from digital.”
Over the past four years, Sokrati was consecutively ranked Deloitte’s top 50 Technology Companies in India. In addition, it has won Google India awards, including Best Quality Accounts and Largest Increase in Overall Revenue, consecutively in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Zhengda Shen, President of Merkle Asia Pacific, said: “Given Sokrati’s strong credentials and proven capabilities in data & analytics, Sokrati will be in the ideal position to give strong footing to Merkle’s launch in the Indian market, in line with Merkle’s global growth strategy. India is strategic to Dentsu Aegis Network and is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.
“Sokrati’s data DNA, analytics-driven and performance approach to digital marketing make it a natural extension for Merkle into the Indian market. Furthermore, they are focused on expanding their CRM capabilities and connecting these capabilities across media and channels. Merkle is in a strong position to support this expansion and Sokrati’s ecommerce-heavy client base is data rich, innovative, and ready to benefit from Sokrati’s push into cross-channel marketing.”
The co-founders of Sokrati – Ashish Mehta, CEO, Anubhav Sonthalia, Enterprise Business Head, and Santosh Kumar Gannavarapu, Head of Innovations, will be joining the Dentsu Aegis Network leadership team in India. Anubhav Sonthalia will be the CEO of Merkle | Sokrati and report to Vivek Bhargava, CEO of Performance, Dentsu Aegis Network India, and Zhengda Shen, President of Merkle Asia Pacific.
Anubhav Sonthalia, Co-Founder & Enterprise Business Head of Sokrati, said: “Our business is built on a highly data-driven culture, supported by the strong passion for digital and performance marketing from myself and two other founders – Ashish and Santosh. It is not often you meet amazing talent with the same drive and mindset, and we could not be more pleased to be joining forces with world-leading agency Merkle, as we expand our global footprint as part of Dentsu Aegis Network. It has been an incredible journey from the start, and we are all very excited about the next chapter for Sokrati.”
The deal is expected to close this week.
For further information contact:
Pei Xuan Lim
Regional Communications Associate Director
Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific
T: +65 6501 1693
Notes to Editors:
About Dentsu Aegis Network
Part of Dentsu Inc., Dentsu Aegis Network is made up of ten global network brands - Carat, Dentsu, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, mcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Posterscope and Vizeum and supported by its specialist/multi-market brands. Dentsu Aegis Network is Innovating the Way Brands Are Built for its clients through its best-in-class expertise and capabilities in media, digital and creative communications services. Offering a distinctive and innovative range of products and services, Dentsu Aegis Network is headquartered in London and operates in 145 countries worldwide with more than 38,000 dedicated specialists.
Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 25 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The agency’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive people-based marketing strategies. When combined with its strength in performance creative and media, Merkle creates customer experiences that drive improved marketing results and shareholder value. M1, Merkle’s end-to-end, people-based insights, planning, and activation platform, enables clients to target known individuals and reach them across media and channels, throughout the customer life cycle. With more than 4,100 employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland with 16 additional offices in the US and 8 offices in Europe and Asia. In 2016, the agency joined the Dentsu Aegis Network.