US-based advertising, marketing and public relations agency Ogilvy & Mather, a division of WPP, is acquiring a majority stake in Hyderabad-based digital technology and software solutions firm PennyWise Solutions for an undisclosed amount, according to a press statement.
Founded in 2003, PennyWise offers services like custom application development, mobile application development, SEO, digital listening, online consumer response management systems, data analytics and business intelligence, network support and infrastructure management services.
Led by CEO Anand Morzaria, it employs more than 140 people and had unaudited revenues of Rs 11.92 crore for the year ended March 31, 2013. The clients of PennyWise include Vodafone India, Johnson & Johnson and LIN Digital.
The deal advances Ogilvy & Mather's digital strategy in Asia Pacific, aligning its existing presence in digital strategy with the technical and production strengths of PennyWise.
According to WPP, this investment marks a further step towards its emerging markets growth plan. In 2012, WPP's revenues in the fast growing economies of Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe, were 30 per cent of total group revenues of $16.5 billion or around $5 billion.
Collectively, the group, including associates, employs more than 47,000 people in the Asia Pacific region. In India, WPP companies collectively employ over 12,000 people, including associates, with revenues of $500 million or around a tenth of its emerging markets business.
WPP's digital revenues were over $5 billion in 2012 and represented a third of total group revenues. WPP recently raised its targets from 35-40 per cent for each of the fast-growth markets and new media to at least 40-45 per cent each, over the next five years.
Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest advertising and marketing agencies globally. Headquartered in Manhattan, it has around 450 offices spanned across 167 cities in the world.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)