KUALA LUMPUR: Consulting and technology services provider Accenture is expanding its digital capabilities by offering experience-led transformation services for the first time in South-East Asia with the acquisition of Entropia, one of the fastest-growing new age advertising agencies in the world.
This is the New York Stock Exchange-listed company’s largest acquisition of an advertising agency in the South-East Asia region that will absorb more than 200 Malaysian creative talents of Entropia.
According to Accenture Malaysia country managing director Azwan Baharuddin, the acquisition will provide unique digital experiences and transform the entire business of its clients through the lens of creativity in South-East Asia.
“It is literally the scientist marrying the artist. And together it does create something new for Malaysian businesses looking to transform.
“When you connect the ability to use science, data, artificial technology and now the power of creativity which Entropia brings to us, it is a powerful combination that can unlock new businesses for our customers, ” he told StarBiz.
The consulting firm has been in an acquisition spree since it founded its unit, Accenture Interactive, which is the world’s largest digital agency for the sixth year, according to Ad age.
The growing demands of traditional businesses are also reflective of a unicorn’s approach of doing business which has blurred the lines of conventional businesses in the era of digital disruption.
Conventional businesses are now looking for ways to converge into different industries which were previously unthought of.
For instance, it was unexpected that Grab, an e-hailing company initially, would enter the digital banking industry in Singapore.
The new breed of companies have changed the way traditional companies think and operate due to the endless possibilities that digitisation brings to the table.
Given that traditional companies are entering unrelated industries that disrupts industry conventions, Azwan said it has become increasingly important for Accenture to expand its digital capabilities in the creative space.
Citing the acquisition as one of the most significant milestones of Accenture, he explained that securing the creative talent pool of Entropia was one of key reasons to initiate the deal.
Entropia, which is the most awarded agency at several Asia-Pacific awards, has talents that would be deployed by Accenture across the South-East Asian region to drive value for its clients, he said.
Combining Accenture’s tech platforms and capabilities coupled with Entropia’s creativity to understand the mindsets of consumers would benefit Malaysian businesses by leaps and bounds, Azwan added.
“We will employ our combination of data analytics, applied intelligence and artificial intelligence in this creative space to transform and grow the Malaysian businesses, ” he said.A study done by Accenture Consulting entitled Insights to digital commerce revealed the digital commerce market in the Asia-Pacific region is set to increase two-fold to reach more than US$1.1 trillion (RM4.5 trillion) by next year, accounting for almost two-thirds of the global digital commerce market.
During the same period, at least 40% of marketing spend will be likely be on digital channels.
In addition, the rise in population, digital penetration and continued economic development in the South-East Asian region would see advertising spending forecast increase over the next three to five years.
Having said that, Accenture Interactive sees a need to capitalise on this by expanding its capabilities and capacity to meet demand.
Following the acquisition, Azwan believed that Accenture’s client base would increase tremendously, and in turn, boost the group’s top line.
Last year, Accenture Interactive posted a US$10.6bil (RM44bil) revenue.
Meanwhile, Entropia has, in four years since its founding, grown to 92 clients and more than 220 employees in Malaysia.
The agency has an extensive track record of helping blue-chip clients, including BMW, Nespresso, KFC, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, and Lazada, create brand experiences that have a positive impact on people and business growth.
Entropia has launched data consulting offerings, which have helped businesses make the best of the fourth industrial revolution.Entropia founder and senior partner Prashant Kumar said the acquisition would put Accenture in the spotlight of the advertising industry and raise the bar in transforming data-driven marketing for businesses.
“This would make Accenture a head-on mainstream player in the advertising industry that is unprecedented, ” he added.
Kumar, who is also one of the foremost communications and digital marketing experts, noted that Entropia would be bringing together its local technologies that have been custom-made for Malaysian businesses to benefit Accenture’s clients.
For instance, he explained that use of technologies would allow Accenture to do a 360 mapping of its customer profile, purchase propensity and marketing efficacy, among others.Entropia’s marketing and creative tools, coupled with Accenture’s technology capabilities, would drive value and transform Malaysian businesses in a holistic approach, said Kumar.
Overall, there is a huge opportunity for businesses to avail with regard to the clients’ products, pricing and advertising techniques.
“We see truly a whole brain conception of that value that brings together both magic and logic for every experience for end-customers.
“All businesses eventually have one common purpose in mind, which is to create customer-value. I see transformation in that value in the coming decade, ” added Kumar.
Kumar confided that the company had been approached by several companies that were interested in acquiring Entropia.
However, he disclosed that Accenture’s vision and the level of commitment to transform industries had eventually sealed the deal.
“Our capabilities together would create the best of both worlds and shape the new future of the Malaysian business transformation.
“We see the unique opportunity in bringing the integrated business experience picture to these clients and creating value that has not been realised so far, ” said Kumar.
Moving forward, Azwan said businesses in South-East Asia would be looking for a holistic approach that requires the mix of technology and creativity.
“And we will be providing that to businesses in South-East Asia, ” he added.
The group is aggressively looking for strategic acquisitions around the globe.
This Article firstly Publish on www.thestar.com.my