Material Acquires Srijan—A Q&A With Material CEO Bill Kanarick & Srijan Founder Rahul Dewan



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We’re thrilled to welcome Srijan Technologies, a leading global digital engineering firm, to the Material family!

Over the past two decades, Srijan has built a reputation for solving complex technological problems for some of the world’s leading brands. Material’s acquisition of Srijan represents an investment in our commitment to shaping experiences and deepening relationships. It brings even more expertise in data, design, and technology to every one of our transformation partnerships, helping our clients move from insight to impact in their customer experiences.

To learn more about what this means for both Material and Srijan clients, we sat down with Material’s CEO Bill Kanarick based out of Los Angeles, U.S., as well as Srijan’s Founder & CEO Rahul Dewan in New Delhi, India, for a Q&A on this exciting partnership::

Why is now the right time to partner with a company like Material/Srijan?

Rahul – Srijan has developed a best-in-class reputation by hiring top talent and choosing to work with partners and customers who value our people-centric culture and contribution to their business. Organic growth and diversification have historically been slow for us because we were afraid of losing our edge — of losing the Srijan Way of doing things. But Material put these fears completely at ease. From a business perspective, a partnership with Material offers an efficient pathway forward while reinforcing our commitment to our values and high standards of excellence.

Bill – The work we are doing for our clients—shaping experiences and deepening relationships—is increasingly technology dependent. Material is unique in that our understanding of human beings and the ways in which we can apply it to solve complex problems is unparalleled. Our data and behavioral science capabilities are best advanced by embedding those insights into our clients core operating environments and systems, which you can’t really do effectively without a depth of digital and data engineering. Srijan is that missing link.

How does this acquisition affect the evolution of Srijan/Material’s story?

Rahul – There is no grand story, only a humble beginning. Srijan started from a place of individual curiosity and passion for technology. The name ‘Srijan’ (सृजन) is Sanskrit for ‘Creation,’ but it also has a deeper spiritual connotation of ‘non-dualism’ or the ‘Advaita’ philosophy of India. It was built on aspirational ideas and values that I wanted Srijan to imbibe—that is, Freedom, Self-Expression, Integrity, and Growth—while paying homage to our Indian roots. Joining with Material represents a new chapter in the evolution of our story.

Bill –Material’s origin story is rooted in 40 years of helping our clients deeply understand human beings. This acquisition further crystallized that vision by being additive to our unique science and systems approach which seeks to combine the depth of that understanding in leveraging systems, whether those are systems of design, of learning and optimization, or certainly systems rooted in technology. There is no other company like Material that can stand as powerfully against that idea and the opportunity it presents in the marketplace. Srijan advances and accelerates that vision in a substantial way through their capabilities around digital services and technology.

What was it about Material/Srijan that drew you in?

Rahul – Srijan has long been at the leading edge of engineering for a variety of applications in digital services and technology. However, we found that our customers often wanted a one-stop agency who could design their brand strategy for goals such as customer acquisition or customer retention. It has taken 3 years for us to find the right partner to grow into that direction. We were selective because we wanted a good home for our people, an ambitious yet culturally aligned leadership team, and a strategic fit for Srijan (not just another cog-in-the-wheel type of setup). We believe we have found the right partner in Material.

Bill – It really came down to impact, passion, and opportunity. Srijan, like Material, orients to the work that they do with the attitude that no problem is too hard, no objective too lofty. I see in Srijan a reflection of our own company culture—one rooted in critical problem solving and possibility—that is complemented by a motivation to be proactive about always striving to do better and be better for our clients. That culture and ethos is so consistent with how we at Material think about value creation, that Srijan felt very much like home.

What are you most looking forward to about this new partnership? 

Rahul – With Srijan, Material now has the engineering processes, expertise, and scale that Srijan brings in. Meanwhile, Srijan benefits from the insights, strategy, and design capabilities Material has built a reputation for. Under Material, I look forward to seeing how both companies can more effectively serve customers across their digital transformation needs—such as digital platforms, data engineering, and enterprise cloud platforms. This partnership also offers growth opportunities for our engineers and managers that were not previously accessible due to slow growth. Equally, this shifts gears for Material’s engineers and managers as they can now operate several notches higher in serving customers in the US. It’s a win-win situation, which is exciting for leadership at both companies.  

Bill – If you look at Material today and as result of the Srijan acquisition, we are a significantly more multi-disciplinary organization. We went from being a largely US-based business to a globally distributed business with a breadth of services so much more extensive than before. I am excited to see how we are already embedding Srijan’s technological and digital engineering capabilities to more profoundly solve problems at a level of depth and complexity beyond what was previously possible. And while the introduction of technology is an obvious win, the greater range of diversity, perspectives, and experiences is far more fundamentally at the heart of why this acquisition is so exciting—and what I look forward to most about growing this partnership.