Interview with Rohan Bhansali, CEO and Co-Founder of Gozoop on the Acquisition of Red Digital Media
Indian bred multinational digital agency Gozoop, had recently announced the acquisition of Red Digital, one of India’s leading social media agencies. With this business acquisition, clients and employees of Red Digital will be consolidated under the Gozoop brand, thus fortifying the latter’s Indian operations. Gozoop had also expanded its global presence by setting up operations in Singapore.
In this interview, Rohan Bhansali, CEO and Co-Founder of Gozoop talks about the acquisition of Red Digital Media and Gozoop’s plans in the course of time to reach greater heights.
Please tell us more about Gozoop and Red Digital Media.
Gozoop is a cross functional digital agency founded in 2010 with presence in India, UAE and Singapore. Design, development and marketing analytics is our forte. Red Digital is a social media agency with offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. Industry wise Gozoop’s portfolio strength is in the F&B, Fashion & E commerce space while Red’s portfolio is rich in FMCG and Sports.
Was the acquisition of Red Digital in your plans from the beginning? Was Red Digital the company you thought you would most likely acquire?
Please give us some background on how the relationship between Red Digital and Gozoop developed and what was the tipping point?
Our emphasis has always been on organic and self-funded growth. This acquisition was certainly not pre-planned. Being part of the same industry, we often communicated and exchanged ideas with Red Digital founders. One of these conversations led to the ideation of this synergy.
Red Digital has a strong presence in India and its list of clientele includes Mumbai Indians, BMW, Godrej, Dell, PepsiCo, Berger Paints, Reliance Foundation, etc. We were looking to strengthen our India presence beyond Mumbai and absorbing Red Digital’s team and clients with ours made broad sense. After a few rounds of negotiations we pulled out a win-win.
What are the deal details?
We have fully acquired Red Digital. We have a non-disclosure clause as far as details of the deal are concerned. Let me also highlight that the number stated by some publications is random and inaccurate. Details regarding the deal amount have not been shared with anyone.
How will your clients benefit out of this acquisition?
The Red Digital team comprises of really good digital marketers who have constantly delivered for big clients such as Pepsico, Dell, BMW, etc. Their experience and skills will multiply that of Gozoop’s. Also post this acquisition, Gozoop will have a pan India presence through which we can execute bigger campaigns for our clients.
What is your new expertise after the acquisition? Are you expanding your services?
Our service offerings remain the same since Gozoop is an end to end digital marketing agency. In terms of skills, this acquisition will help us get better and stronger in social media and mobile development.
How will the deal differentiate you from the competition?
Since our inception, our endeavor has been to build a fundamentally strong company. We have always focused on diversification so as to not be dependent on a single market. In 2011, we branched out to Dubai and early this year to Singapore. Even in terms of revenue, we are not solely dependent on services. Our product Zozolo contributes significantly to our revenues.
A lot of this investment into diversification came at the expense of our India story. Our international operations contribute to 65% of our revenues while domestic just contributes a little over a third. Post this acquisition, we will double our domestic revenues. This definitely strengthens our competitiveness in India.
Since the day Gozoop was founded, our biggest differentiation has always been our culture. I have the best team – one that is strongly linked to the values of Gozoop.
How will the companies be structured after the acquisition? How do you ensure a smooth transition process?
All Red Digital operations will be absorbed into Gozoop’s. The Red Digital team will be moving in with our team. All operations will be executed under the Gozoop brand. Bhavit Sheth, Co-Founder of Red Digital will play an active part in this transition period to ensure a smooth process.
Please tell us something about your in-house proprietary products such as, Zozolo.
The creation of Zozolo was our advent into the field of digital products. Zozolo today is an umbrella brand for all our current and future digital products. As of now, we have 2 products in the suite – A social commerce product and a social loyalty and analytics product. We use Zozolo for all our clients and even white label the product to other agencies for their executions.
We are seeing Gozoop going to newer geographies across India. Where is Gozoop going next?
With presence in 5 cities, we have India covered. Post our Singapore launch, I am excited about Qatar, USA & Australia. We are looking for the right partners in those regions. Let’s hope we get them soon.
What are your going forward plans to reach greater heights?
I think the next 4 months we need to consolidate. Consolidation is as important as growth. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin. I like the way Gozoop has grown. We have constantly managed to attract the right talent and the right clients.
There are areas where we think we can be stronger and better and that’s what we are focusing on in this period of consolidation.
Are you looking forward to expand your team after the acquisition? Tell us about the career opportunities at Gozoop?
We are aggressively hiring for Strategy, Content, Social Media and Graphic Designers. Interested candidates can get in touch with our HR team on to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What determines your recruitment?
Our biggest strength is our team, our people. I’ll say it again – I have the best team. Prior to the Acquisition PR if you Googled Gozoop you would read about culture more than anything else. We are extremely protective of our culture and our hiring focuses more on character than talent. We are looking for good, positive people who love anything digital.