Dentsu Aegis Network launches Columbus into India following SVG Media acquisition

Dentsu Aegis Network launches its Asia Pacific marketing agency, Columbus, in India

Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired the Smile Group's SVG Media Private Limited, one of India's largest independent digital agencies.

SVG Media will be renamed as SVG Columbus to launch Dentsu's Asia-Pacific marketing agency, Columbus for the first time in India. SVG Media includes the flagship brands DGM, Komli and Seventynine. Dentsu is already Google’s biggest search partner in India, and this latest acquisition will further strengthen the Group’s leading search position in the market.

According to the announcement, Harish Bahl and Manish Vij, the founder and co-founder of the Smile Group, will exit as directors of SVG Media and continue to focus on other investments. They will, however, continue to retain the Tyroo Tech business. Entrepreneurs Manish Vij and Harish Bahl's earlier venture Quasar was acquired by WPP in 2008. This latest deals marks their second successful digital advertising business exit.

Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia, said that the acquisition is in line with the company’s continued focus on inorganic growth strategy.

“We will now have over 1,300 digital professionals, accounting for over 35% of our revenues, well ahead of our competitors,” he said.

“India is a significant market with a rapid growth potential in the mobile and performance marketing business. This acquisition will further strengthen the group’s leading position in the digital space in India, particularly in search and performance,” he further added.

Manish Vij, co-founder, Smile Group, said: “We felt the time was right for these brands to be housed in a large agency network. We will now focus on building the Tyroo Tech business and other media incubations.”

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