Railways addresses OOH industry queries at pre-bid meeting & roadshow in Delhi

by Bhawana Anand | August 10, 2017

The meeting drew the participation of a wide cross-section of OOH media owners from across the country

The Indian Railway held a pre-bid meeting named ‘Non-Fare Revenue Conclave’ for its recently released ad rights tenders for Delhi Area & South Eastern Railway Zones in association with its knowledge partner Ernst & Young. Various senior railway officials including Hanish Yadav, the Officer on Special Duty to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu attended the meeting along with Rahul Kapoor, Director Finance- Ministry of Railway who interacted with the attendees and discussed the various concerns raised by the media owners.

The authority has received numerous queries and feedbacks from the participants which were discussed in the meeting. The pre-bid meeting received quite an overwhelming response from the media owner fraternity as the participation was seen from multiple cities.

Calling the entire process a paradigm shift, Hanish Yadav said, “We had conducted a conclave for railway officials where the PM emphasised on that how railways should start to look at non-fare revenue growth as a much more tangible source of income. We are trying to make significant changes in this regard. It is probably for the first time that the non-fare revenue segment is being projected as more important than fare revenue”.

While stating the reasons behind this mind shift, Hanish shared that, “Non-fare revenues are going to also enhance the rail passenger experience, quite like at the airports where advertising plays a role in enhancing passenger experience.”

Talking about the merits of advertising on the railway networks, He said: “We have the most loyal and stable customer clientele that advertisers can get. We carry approximately 8 billion passengers across the network. Another solid reason is that your capability to offer solutions to brands can increase, such as, at rural stations, urban stations and top 100 stations. It depends on the media owners as to how they customise their packages and reach out to the brands. The attractiveness of the asset is important and it can only be enhanced if the media owners are willing to make that happen.”

The tenders for Delhi OOH Area and South generated numerous queries, concerns and feedback from the media owners. Commenting on this, Rahul Kapoor, Director (Finance), Ministry of Railways, told Media4Growth that “there has been a very positive response and we are quite happy with the feedback that we got from the industry. We have tried to accommodate their views in the policies and of course there is always work in progress so there will be new suggestions and we will test them to see whatever best we can do. We will definitely review the suggestions and ensure a level playing for all the participants.”

Ateesh Singh, Executive Director, Ministry of Railways said, “This meeting was a fantastic opportunity for Railways to showcase their advertising assets. It also helped us in understanding the OOH industry. We have covered several points which the industry wants; there may be points of difference and further expectations so we are still open to making amendments as a part of policy correction. We have made a beginning and set a target for ourselves and we are going full stream ahead and working very hard to achieve our targets”.

Bharat Rajamani, Director & Solution Leader - Marketing and Advertising Risk Services (MARS), EY articulated, “I think the response has been pretty positive. It was important to communicate to the industry that we are one team and we are serious in helping you to grow so that we can grow. Another objective of today’s meeting was to demonstrate the transparency as everything is being done through the e-auction model and it is a one team approach. We are having two days meetings with CCMs & Deputy CCMs to discuss the challenges that can come once the aggregator comes on board so we are taking care of all the bottlenecks.”

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