Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired a majority stake in India-based Ugam, a leading next-generation data and analytics company serving both business-to-business and business-to-consumer enterprises. Ugam will join Merkle, a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency and part of Dentsu Aegis Network. With more than 1,800 employees in India, the United States, and Australia, Ugam represents one of the largest transactions in Merkle’s history.
Ugam’s comprehensive set of solutions are highly complementary to Merkle’s existing capabilities. Its analytical sophistication and proprietary frameworks and tools will add new capabilities to Merkle’s existing service lines. It will bring scale to Merkle’s analytics business, provide a platform for Dentsu Aegis Network and Merkle’s shared analytics services, and offer a complete and scaled analytics-based services layer for M1, Dentsu Aegis Network’s people-based insights, planning, activation, and measurement platform. Ugam is focused on the same target markets and Fortune 500 companies as Merkle and Dentsu Aegis Network.
The business will now become Ugam, a Merkle Company, led by Sunil Mirani, co-founder and chief executive officer, reporting to Craig Dempster, president, Merkle Americas. Reporting structures for the rest of the management team of Ugam will remain unchanged, as they and the rest of the senior leaders will play a key role in the growth plans of the company.
Founded in 2000, Ugam helps global corporations make smarter business decisions to accelerate their digital transformation. Its IP-led, bespoke solutions use a unique blend of data, technology and expertise, resulting in impactful and long-tenured relationships with more than 75 Fortune 500 companies. Its analytics and digital solutions include retail analytics, survey analytics, technology implementation, data engineering, and digital product content solutions.
“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 U.S. market and Fortune 500 companies will create many synergies and strengthen our existing relationships, opening opportunities for each of our client portfolios.”
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 U.S. 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 commoditised, 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.”
Merkle continues to grow strongly in the Americas and around the world. This is the fifth transaction in 12 months for Merkle and the thirteenth since joining Dentsu Aegis Network in 2016.