Publicis Groupe Acquires Convonix India’s Leading Full Service Digital Marketing and Consulting Agency

  Publicis Groupe Acquires Convonix India’s Leading Full Service Digital
  Marketing and Consulting Agency

Business Wire

PARIS -- March 11, 2013

Regulatory News:

Publicis Groupe (Paris:PUB) [EURONEXT Paris: FR0000130577] today announced the
acquisition of Convonix, one of India’s leading, Digital Marketing Consulting
firms based in Mumbai. The company will align with Starcom MediaVest Group
(SMG) in India to provide Search Engine Optimization, Paid Search Marketing,
Social Media Marketing and Online Reputation Management to an extensive roster
of clients. This news follows a number of recent acquisitions announced by
Publicis Groupe in India and fortifies its position as India’s largest digital
marketing operation.

Founded in 2003, Convonix was the first Search Engine Optimization
organization in India, and currently employs over 200 digital advertising
specialists serving clients such as Taj Hotels, Reliance Industries, Kotak
Mahindra Group, Club Mahindra, Kodak, Aditya Birla Group among others.
Convonix has a strong international footprint with over 60% of its business
coming from overseas. Convonix has also recently developed a proprietary
in-house brand monitoring and social listening platform called IrisTrack which
enables clients to gather market insight on their products and competitors and
also engage customers online to improve their customer service.

The three founding members; Vishal Sampat, CEO; Sarfaraz Khimani, co-COO; and
Pallav Jain, co-COO, will continue to lead the agency. Convonix will sit
within SMG and will operate as SMG Convonix, with two market-facing brands:
SMG Digital, and Convonix.

“As the first SEO organisation in India, Convonix has continued to innovate
and build the very best digital capability whilst being highly respected for
its ability to recruit the best talent from universities each year, and
transform them into digital advertising experts through a rigorous training
program,” said Laura Desmond, Global Chief Executive Officer for Starcom
MediaVest Group. She continues: “combined with our existing talent in the
market, this deal strengthens our offering to ensure we are the market leaders
in digital.”

Year on year, Convonix has increased revenues on average 66 percent since
2008. According to the latest ZenithOptimedia adspend forecast, Search
Marketing continues to expand rapidly in India and is forecast to increase 35%
in the region during 2013, and more than 70% in the next two years.

Vishal Sampat, CEO for Convonix comments: “We have built our reputation by
focusing on talent, training, technology and performance, and doing so has
enabled us to rapidly evolve with the consumer. Aligning with SMG gives us
global scale and a more powerful face to the market which we can leverage to
constantly improve our offering and give our clients the best tools and
solutions available.”

The acquisition of Convonix is a testament to Publicis Groupe’s strategic
commitment to expanding its operations across India, with the ambitious goal
of doubling its size in India between 2010 and 2015. The Groupe has been
working to increase its profile in the country, including recent acquisitions
of Indigo Consulting (April 2012), Resultrix (August 2012), iStrat (December
2012) and MarketGate (December 2012).

Srikant Sastri, VivaKi Country Chair for India who is presiding over the
acquisition and transition of Convonix adds: “First Resultrix, and now
Convonix. We are now clearly the digital marketing leaders in India, ahead of
any other global network. We are positive that this acquisition will set the
tone for our next phase of digital pre-eminence both in terms of expertise and
revenue and we are continuing to explore other agencies that can help us
capitalize on the outstanding potential of the digital marketplace in India.”

About Publicis Groupe

Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris FR0000130577, part of the CAC 40 index] is the
third largest communications group in the world, offering the full range of
services and skills: digital (Digitas, Razorfish, Rosetta, VivaKi, LBi),
traditional advertising (BBH, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, Saatchi &
Saatchi), public affairs, corporate communications and events (MSLGROUP),
media buying and strategy (Starcom MediaVest Group and ZenithOptimedia) and
specialized communications with PHCG (Publicis Healthcare Communications
Group). Present in 104 countries, the Groupe employs 58,000 professionals. | Twitter:@PublicisGroupe | Facebook:

Viva la Difference !

About Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG)

Starcom MediaVest Group is the Human Experience Company. Our dream is to grow
our clients’ business by transforming human behavior through uplifting,
meaningful human experiences. These brand “experiences’” are brought to life
by distinct, strategic point-of-views — Truth and Design and Space for Ideas —
created and owned by SMG’s two global agency brands: MediaVest and Starcom,
respectively. Ranked one of the largest brand communications groups in the
world, Starcom MediaVest Group ( encompasses an integrated
network of human experience strategists, investment specialists, content
creators and digital experts. With nearly 6,700 employees in 110 offices
worldwide, SMG is the #1 ranked Global Media Agency (AdAge) and 2011 Media
Network of the Year at the Global Festival of Media as well as the most
celebrated global media network at the 2010 and 2009 Cannes International
Advertising Festival.

About Convonix

Convonix is a 200 strong digital consulting firm that helps companies in India
and overseas draw and implement digital strategies spanning search engine
optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, online
reputation management, web analytics and conversion rate improvement. Founded
in 2003, Convonix has evolved from being the first pureplay SEO company in the
country to offering the full range of digital advertising solution for clients
ranging from Fortune 100 companies to small and medium enterprises in India,
USA and Europe.

For more information on Convonix, visit


Publicis Groupe
Communication corporate
Peggy Nahmany, + 33 (0)1 44 43 72 83
Investor Relations
Martine Hue, + 33 (0)1 44 43 65 00
Stéphanie Atellian, + 33 (0)1 44 43 74 44
Starcom MediaVest Group
EVP, Global Corporate Communications
Lauren Hurvitz, +1 212 468 3045
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