DOHA, QATAR: Blue Rubicon has launched its first international venture in Qatar following its multi-million dollar private equity investment last year.
PRWeek UK's current Consultancy of the Year will open its first business outside the UK in Doha later this month, led by longtime agency director Neil Daugherty.
“Qatar is a growing economy and society with an ambition to diversify,” Daugherty explained. “The country is only 40 years old but is developing rapidly and has one of the most digitally engaged populations anywhere in the world.”
Qatar's economy grew by 19% in 2012, and the country is planning for a bumper $250 billion investment in infrastructure projects ahead of hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Blue Rubicon has been active in Qatar since 2007, working on strategic communications projects for various governmental departments and organizations such as Qatargas and Shell, the country's largest foreign investor.
Daugherty, who joined the agency in 2000 as one of its first employees, will serve as MD of the venture. He will work alongside senior consultant Kieran Toohey, who will become director, as well as two local recruits with Arabic language skills.
Blue Rubicon CEO Gordon Tempest-Hay stressed the importance of maintaining its culture and focusing on strategic reputation management as the agency rolls out its international expansion.
Private equity firm Lloyds Development Capital bought a majority stake in Blue Rubicon last year, partly to accelerate the agency's internationalization.
Tempest-Hay said the Doha venture was the “first stage of Blue Rubicon's international growth story” that would see another “one or two” investments before the end of 2013.
He added that the agency plans to have regional hubs in the world's major markets by 2015.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.