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R K Swamy, BBDO part ways after 37 years

The separation would not impact much on any of the partners as both had minority stakes in each other, claims Srinivasan K Swamy

Homegrown advertising agency R K Swamy and international advertising network BBDO have parted ways after 37 years of association.

A company statement attributed the split to "strategic reasons", as the R K Swamy Hansa Group plans to bring its various business entities under one roof.

The business entities of the goup include – R K Swamy BBDO, Hansa Vision, Hansa Research, Customer Equity Solutions, iVista Digial Solutions, Hansa Estates and Hansa Zone in India and HANSAIGCR and HANSA Marketing Services in the USA.

Under the agreement, R K Swamy will buy out BBDO’s stake in the joint entity while BBDO will buy out R K Swamy’s stake in BBDO India.

Speaking with, Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman and Managing Director, RK Swamy Hansa Group, said, “Only one part of the business was in partnership with BBDO. We are the largest market research group with 20 different verticals in the country. We are in the process of consolidating our group’s businesses in market research, analytics, martech, adtech, events, communication and healthcare communication among others. The process of consolidating started a year ago with an aim to become among the top 5 in the country.”

The separation would not impact much on any of the partners as both had minority stakes in each other, claimed Swamy. “R K Swamy BBDO and BBDO India had mirror ownership before and were operating independently. The divestment by BBDO India would not impact the business and employees of any of the companies,” he said.

Recalling the 37-year-long association, Shekar Swamy, Group CEO of R K Swamy Hansa, said, “We worked for first four years together on a simple understanding without a formal contract.”

BBDO later took a majority stake in R K Swamy, which was later bought back in 2009 when BBDO India was set up. However, both the companies continued to have minority interests in each other.

“R K Swamy has been a great partner. I have always admired their conviction and commitment to the future of India and the part they can play in it. We have a strong agency in BBDO India. We remain committed to great work, and this will be the same in India as elsewhere,” said Andrew Robertson, CEO, BBDO Worldwide.

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