MUMBAI — Ketchum is letting go of the majority of its workforce in China and India, PRovoke Media can reveal, with remaining staff and clients absorbed into sibling agency FleishmanHillard.

The decision impacts approximately 40 staffers in Asia's two key markets. Ketchum's leaders in both countries — Rohan Srinivasan in India and Eddi Yang in China — will remain in place for the next few months. 

Ketchum global CEO Mike Doyle told PRovoke Media that the decisions did not spell the end for the brand in the two markets, but that drastic action was required to reset operations in China and India. 

“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," said Doyle. "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."

Ketchum entered India in 2011 via the acquisition of financial consultancy Sampark. It first entered China in 1988 via a partnership with Newscan, which it eventually acquired in 2011 too. 

Ketchum's operations in other Asian markets, specifically Korea and Hong Kong, remain unaffected. However, the decisions underline FleishmanHillard's presence as Omnicom PR Group's key PR brand in the region. 

“I’ve been clear about the importance of the APAC region," said OPRG CEO Chris Foster. "The addition of Joanne Wong as the president of APAC for Fleishman Hillard along with other important senior hires across OPRG will allow us to continue to grow in the region.  The recent moves that Ketchum is making, and that we’re making with our entire portfolio, will ultimately lead to their growth and to ours."