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Samsung Marketing Division Eyes Acquisitions In India

Cheil Worldwide is looking at acquiring multiple agencies SAMSUNGin India’s advertising technology space as the marketing company from the Samsung group seeks to build digital capabilities in a country that it ranks as a priority market, ahead of even China.

“For the past six months, we have been working on looking for adtech agencies for acquisitions.

While there are several good agencies, we are looking for the right match in terms of culture and vision,” said Michael Cheonsoo Kim, global chief operating officer and executive vice president. “The potential of growth in this vertical is so much that we could be looking at multiple acquisitions.”

The Seoul, South Korea-based company is looking at building strong digital capability in Mumbai by the end of this year.

It will add more hands to its digital team, which already has more than 100 people with most of them working on Samsung projects. In June, it had hired Sanjeev Jasani as head of digital operations in India.

Cheil, which made a slew of acquisitions globally, is looking to shed its over dependence on Samsung. It is aggressively participating in upcoming pitches to increase its footprint with brands in sectors such as ecommerce, telecom and pharma.

In India, it has bagged accounts such as Britannia, the Landmark Group, Sbarro, Supertech, Spencer’s and Sonalika Tractors in the past few months.

The target is to have at least 15 accounts beyond Samsung in its portfolio by the end of 2015. The agency has made several appointments in the senior management team in the past one year to spearhead its new business objective of reducing reliance on Samsung.

In last December, Cheil appointed former TBWA chief Shiv Sethuraman to the newly-created position of group president, South West Asia, in its Gurgaon office. It hired Sonal Narain, formerly head of planning at Ogilvy Singapore, as chief strategy officer in June this year.

It is looking at hiring people on the creative side in order to lift its reputation on the front. “The mandate for Cheil India is to strengthen its creative and technology capabilities so that India can be developed as a centre for excellence for global operations,” Kim said.

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