Home / Front Page/ Global giant Dentsu acquires Grant Group in Sri Lanka

Global giant Dentsu acquires Grant Group in Sri Lanka

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 31 March 2017 04:30

  • Acquisition marks Dentsu Aegis Network’s expansion in South Asia and will build on the Grant Group’s 59-year dominance of Sri Lanka’s advertising space 

  • Move heralds new era for SL advertising 

  • Grant Group leader Neela Marikkar will remain in charge as Chairperson and Managing Director of the Dentsu Aegis Network Grant Group


Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) yesterday announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the Grant Group, the largest independent creative agency and the pioneer of modern-day advertising in Sri Lanka. 

The acquisition will see the formation of Dentsu Grant, a powerhouse in advertising that combines the 59 years of local leadership 01-3with DAN’s global footprint and expertise across creative, strategy, digital, experiential and other marcom platforms. 

The media buying arm of the Grant Group will join Dentsu Aegis’ global media network brand Carat. The other companies within the group will operate as Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) and will align with their global counterparts within the network. 

Key alignments already on the cards include the group’s outdoor branding company RNMedia joining Posterscope, its digital arm Magnetic Digital aligning with iProspect and Isobar while catalyst agency Response Marketing will align with Dentsu creative agencies across the network. 

Steering the Sri Lankan leadership team is Neela Marikkar, Chairperson and Managing Director of the Dentsu Aegis Network Grant Group, and it will work with Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia.


Grant Group Chairperson Neela Marikkar said: “Given our long heritage in this market, continuously staying ahead of the game, Dentsu Aegis Network’s cultural fit and best-in-class operating model are the right facets of a multinational partner to take our group, and most importantly our clients and staff, into a very dynamic future. More importantly, given the growth in the market and the push towards digital, we need a strongly aligned and committed multinational partner with digital at its heart as brands grapple with the challenges of a changing media landscape. We are very excited to be able to tap into the network’s resources and work with the 38,000 great people at Dentsu Aegis Network. We are beginning a new chapter in the wonderful story of the Grant Group.”

The acquisition of the 59-year-old integrated agency is Dentsu Aegis Network’s first foray into the island nation and one of the largest agency groups to enter the market in nearly two decades. 

CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network APAC Nick Waters said: “With social and economic stability in the country, Sri Lanka is set to reap the peace dividend. Significant foreign investment is already flowing into the country, and with strong historical ties to Japan, there is a natural opportunity for Dentsu Aegis Network clients to grow. Grant represents a unique opportunity as a top quality advertising and communications group to get into a strong position in a fast-growing market.”


Established in 1958 by Deshabandu Reggie Candappa, commonly regarded as the godfather of advertising in Sri Lanka, the Grant Group was the country’s first-ever international advertising agency. Today, the Grant Group is an award winning agency with 150 people spread across seven entities under two main groups - Grant Advertising, which comprises Grant Advertising and Grant Media, and Grant Agencies which is made up of Response Marketing a second internationally-renowned creative agency, RN Media a pioneering OOH agency, Grant Public Relations a leader in reputation management, Juice Productions content creation studios and Magnetic, a growing digital business. 

The group represents a prestigious list of over 60 local and international clients including some of Sri Lanka’s largest advertisers Ceylon Biscuits, Sampath Bank, Dialog Axiata, Fonterra and Sri Lanka Tea Board. The Grant Group has received various accolades at local and global industry events, from Agency of the Year awards, to Response Marketing as the most effective independent agency for telecommunications globally at the Effie awards.


Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia Chairman and CEO Ashish Bhasin said: “The acquisition of Grant Group is a key step in the Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia strategy and will launch our business in a market with significant potential. Through the Grant Group, we have a unique opportunity to enter the market with a bang and will be amongst the largest integrated groups in the country.”

 “Grant is a well-established family-owned business with solid heritage and legacy and Neela is a highly recognised personality in the corporate sector for her deep insight in the marketing communications arena and also for her work across women’s empowerment, conservation and sustainability. The group’s longstanding relationships with their key clients, some over 50 years, also show that they have successfully built an incredibly strong network and trust from the clients,” Ashish added.

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Putin, Mahinda and Gotabaya

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

I have to say that I am very happy indeed about the resounding victory scored by President Putin. If not for him, there would be no multi-polarity in the world; no chance of a global equilibrium; no ally for the rising economic power of China which w

President’s backflip toward Rajapaksa camp summons Ranil’s reserves to meet the challenge

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, is hard put to it in meeting the very strenuously intricate challenge foisted upon him by his partner in the Yahapalanaya Government – President Maithripala Sirisena. Inasmuch as Mahinda Rajapaksa

The world moves forward and we move backwards

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Communal riots emerged once again. It will emerge over and over again since we, those who govern and those who are governed, over and over again prove that we do not learn from the past mistakes. My first experience of communal riots was black July 1

Drop the guns, ‘Hit Refresh’

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

‘Drop the guns’ is my addition based on his own analysis, but ‘Hit Refresh’ is Satya Nadella’s main title of the quite praiseworthy book with a vision for everyone, not only in the technology field, but also in other areas of knowledge and

Columnists More