Ketchum acquires India-based Sampark PR

MUMBAI: Ketchum has acquired a majority interest in Sampark PR, one of the top five PR agencies in India with seven offices and more than 125 employees.

MUMBAI: Ketchum has acquired a majority interest in Sampark PR, one of the top five PR agencies in India with seven offices and more than 125 employees.

“This deal is really about our ability to represent Western countries looking to expand into India, and representing countries based in India looking to grow in other parts of the world,” said Ray Kotcher, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum. “It is not our intention to have a Ketchum-owned service proposition in every market around the world, but we do want to be in key commercial and communication markets where clients need us.”

Renamed Ketchum Sampark, the agency will continue to be led by the founders, Bela Rajan and N.S. Rajan, who will continue to hold a 49% stake in the agency. For the last three years, the two agencies had an affiliate relationship.

N.S. Rajan, MD of Sampark PR, said the agency has grown its revenues by 35% over the past year. He said there is a lot of potential for its India-based clients to expand into other markets serviced by Ketchum, particularly the US, like S Kumars Nationwide Ltd. (SKNL), a textile and apparel company, or LT Foods, a manufacturer and seller of Basmati rice.

“With Ketchum, we will take the appropriate steps to increase our revenues and help us continue our growth,” said Rajan. “Increasingly, we are seeing more and more Indian companies expanding beyond our borders, so we feel this is the right time to strengthen our partnership.”

In recent months, Ketchum has made similar plays in other markets, including China and Russia, and will continue to look at similar arrangements throughout Asia.

“We are focused on this region, and continue to talk to a number of our current partners over there,” Kotcher said.

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