Ketchum Sampark lays off staff in India, remaining personnel to be folded into FleishmanHillard

 Ketchum Sampark is letting go of staff in India and China. Sources said employees in India are being given two months' pay and clients have been informed. Sources also said that the Ketchum Sampark brand could continue even after the transition of remaining staff and clients to Fleishman.

40 staff members are expected to be impacted in India and China.

Personnel and clients will also be absorbed into Omnicon's sister concern FleishmanHillard.  India MD, Rohan Srinivasan, is expected to continue for a while to oversee the transition.

In a statement shared by email, Mike Doyle, president and CEO, of Ketchum said, "As we drive the next phase of Ketchum’s growth and innovation, we made the strategic decision to streamline several operational aspects of our businesses in India and Mainland China. These changes have been made with deep respect and gratitude for the contributions of impacted local colleagues. We will continue to provide Ketchum clients with unparalleled service and global connectivity in these markets by leveraging the Omnicom network and infrastructure, and with likely investments in resources and talent in the future."

Sampark was set up on August 1, 1994, in an office space lent by a client, by Bela and NS Rajan.  A financial services specialist, Sampark went on to sell 51% of its stake to Omnicom's Ketchum in April 2011. 

Sampark co-founder NS Rajan, who was also Ketchum Sampark's global partner and managing director, retired from the company along with co-founder Bela Rajan in September 2021. The founders declined to comment on the development.

RELATED: Ketchum Sampark & FleshmanHillard establish a collaborative work model in India, brands to remain separate

At that time Esty Pujadas, former partner and president, International, Ketchum further clarified the leadership model in a statement to PRmoment India saying, “As Rajan and Bela transition to retirement, Ketchum Sampark and FleishmanHillard are establishing a collaborative services model in India that leverages the agencies’ individual strengths to provide clients with broader access to talent and expertise in India’s fast-changing environment."

In the last decade, the Indian PR business has seen double-digit growth. Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI) in its latest report released in 2023, estimated the Indian PR industry market at 2100 crores and said it had registered double-digit growth year-on-year despite Covid-19.

At the same time, flat retainers, the cost and shortage of integrated talent,  and the impact of AI on the PR agency model are all factors that are impacting growth. 

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