WE Communications has announced a strategic investment in Indian communications firm Avian Media and its sister public-affairs unit, Chase.
The agency will be rebranded Avian WE, while Chase will keep its name and remain a separate consultancy owned by Avian WE.
Avian Media, founded in 2004 by executive chairman Nikhil Khanna, has more than 150 staff across offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. Together with co-managing partner Nitin Mantri, it became the second-largest independent PR firm in India. That number increases to more than 160 employees with the WE merger.
Mantri, who becomes group CEO of Avian WE, said the merger is a “huge opportunity” for Avian to expand into new markets and sectors. Senior management at Avian WE includes Manash Neog who continues to lead Chase, and Neha Mehrotra, who will now run Avian WE PR nationally.
WE’s Carolyn Camoens will continue as WE’s senior vice president of Southeast Asia, based in Mumbai.
"By joining forces with Avian Media, another like-minded independent, we can continue to put our clients at the centre of everything we do," said Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO of WE Communications.
Alan VanderMolen, WE president of international, said the Avian deal is in line with WE’s Asia-Pacific expansion plans and follows the acquisitions of Red Bridge in China and Watatawa in Singapore last year.