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‘National campaigns invariably cover Gujarat markets’

By M4G Bureau - April 19, 2024

“The Gujarat OOH industry is doing extremely well," affirms Abhijit Sengupta, CEO of OAP Mediatech, while adding that the ad regulatory environment needs to be more supportive to OOH.

Abhijit Sengupta

“Gujarat market has seen tremendous growth post the pandemic. All major cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot have witnessed substantial growth in OOH media. And yet the demand supply is well balanced and not stressed,” states Abhijit Sengupta, CEO of OAP Mediatech in an interview with Media4Growth on the dynamics of Gujarat OOH.

On DOOH prospects in the Gujarat markets, Abhijit points out that Ahmedabad has seen good traction. However, in the case of Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, it was the reverse. Quite a few DOOH media came up but couldn’t be sustained and the media owners went back traditional formats.

National Brand Consideration

On national brands doing campaigns in Gujarat markets, Abhijit says, “Hardly any national campaign happens without this market in the mix, especially Ahmedabad and Surat. As I am told, in Ahmedabad and Surat it’s a 60:40 ratio of occupancy in favour of national campaigns. Whilst for Baroda and Rajkot it would be either 50:50 or 40:60. Of the regional campaign around 35-40% comprises real estate. Though national campaigns cannot be ignored by any media owner, on a hush hush note if there’s a simultaneous enquiry for the same media site for a national campaign and a regional one, they would choose the local one over the national, read, agency campaign. For few obvious reasons – like higher credit period, lower negotiated rates, holding period and shorter duration of agency campaigns. But they cannot ignore the volume of national campaigns.”

Engagement with Regional Brands

Speaking about OAP’s business engagement in Gujarat and working with regional brands, Abhijit says:  “Having an office in Ahmedabad since its inception in 2002, OAP Mediatech has always had a presence in Gujarat. And many Gujarat’s regional brands are now national brands. Like we have substantial business out of this market. We handle the national OOH mandate for Adani Cement which owns the famous brands like ACC and Ambuja, then Adani Wilmar for its popular consumer FMCG products under the brand Fortune, well-known tea brand Wagh Bakri and the launch of electric motorbikes of Matter Motors.”

Recommendations for Media Owners

“As of now media owners are struggling to hold their media properties in Ahmedabad. 60% of the current OOH Media on private premises may get knocked off due to the new policy brought in by AMC (Amdavad Municipal Corporation) in January this year. The new policy could be strenuous. Like, if an AMC tendered site is allocated, then all private sites within the vicinity of 50 metres will have to be removed. As we all know that any traffic junction is a sought after location and with such high demands comes multiple private sites. All such sites are now under the threat of removal,” he explains.

Abhijit adds that “one big lacuna is the maximum licence period being granted is for 1 year and subject to renewal every year. Installing billboard entails substantial capex, which can never be recovered in a year’s time. So, here I see a danger for the public in general. Knowing the uncertainty of renewal after a year, media owners will cut massive corners on material and structural stability. The third notable policy could either be a good or bad. It says that billboards would only be permitted in private building premises which are more than 1,000 square yards. Earlier it was 500 or more.

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