Challenges mount for outdoor media mounters
By Bhawana Anand - May 20, 2020
Labour shortage will likely push back any forward movement in business
The large-scale reverse migration of labour from the cities to the villages is likely to pose an insurmountable challenge to large format OOH advertising business with regard to mounting of displays on the hoardings. While the media mounting businesses are taking various steps to retain the mounter workforce, by meeting their living expenses even as work dried up, retaining them for a longer period of time will become increasingly difficult.
Ajit Pawar, Proprietor of a leading mounting firm, told Media4Growth that “since the lockdown had been enforced, we are meeting the food and shelter needs of our mounters but many of them are planning to go back to their villages for personal reasons.” If the lockdown extends beyond May 31, he is not hopeful of being able to retain the workforce.
In such a situation, while the OOH industry is expecting business to pick up in the run-up to the festive season, there is every likelihood that mounters may not be available in adequate numbers for putting up the displays on the large formats.
In the monsoon season, a 2-3 three the usual number of mounters are engaged for putting up the displays on the hoarding structures because of safety reasons. That will also become a challenge, said Ajit.
Training and inducting new workers for mounting are equally challenging tasks, he added.
Ajit expressed his concern over the media owning firms not being supportive enough toward the mounting business. The rates for mounting have also plummeted to a tenth of the earlier rates, he pointed out.