MM events

Dentsu Aegis Network now owns majority stake of data and analytics firm Ugam

Alyssa Clementi

Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired majority stake in Ugam, an India-based data and analytics firm, which services both B2B and B2C clients. As part of the deal, Ugam will be integrated into Dentsu’s brand Merkle, a performance marketing agency. Merkle plans to use Ugam’s existing frameworks and tools to optimize Merkle and Dentus’s analytics business and capabilities.

“Ugam is vital to the execution of Merkle’s multi-year analytics strategy of creating a scaled on- and offshore shared analytics service across Dentsu Aegis Network.” said Craig Dempster, president, Merkle Americas. “With its experienced management team, highly-educated workforce, scale, and vertical market expertise, Ugam will bring high-end analytics capabilities, along with a broad spectrum of analytical decision support. Their focus on the US market and Fortune 500 companies will create many synergies and strengthen our existing relationships, opening opportunities for each of our client portfolios.”

Using Ugam’s set of solutions, Dentsu and Merkle will aim to offer improved and scaled analytics-based services within M1, Dentus’s people-based insights, planning, activation, and measurement platform. Ugam, now considered a Merkle Company, will be managed by Sunil Mirani, co-founder and chief executive officer, who will report to Craig Dempster, president, Merkle Americas. According to Ugam, the acquisition will not affect any other leadership positions or the chain of command.

Sunil Mirani, co-founder and chief executive officer, Ugam said: “We have found the perfect partner in Merkle. We complement each other’s strengths, with Ugam bringing advanced analytics capabilities at scale, and Merkle bringing a diverse client base with a largely in-country presence. Most importantly, the cultural fit was evident from day one, and the effects will be immensely positive for all our stakeholders – customers, employees, and shareholders. This deal marks a significant milestone in Ugam’s journey, and I look forward to this new phase with renewed vigor.”

“The US marketing and media analytics industry is growing increasingly competitive, diverse and global. With artificial intelligence and machine learning entering the mainstream, the range of services required to maintain and extend growth requires both complexity of services and efficiency of delivery,” said Alex Yoder, executive vice president, analytics for Merkle. “As the analytics business becomes increasingly commoditized, the pressure to expand capabilities into predictive and prescriptive methodologies simultaneously intensifies. Merkle’s majority stake in Ugam and its resulting enhanced scale and capabilities will be instrumental as we scale to effectively compete with top analytic consulting firms over the next three to five years.”