Mr. Hiyav Bajaj Speaks on Metro Advertising
11/16/2013

“Low profit margins are slowing down the growth of Delhi Metro Advertising”, said Mr. Hiyav Bajaj, the Managing Director of TDI International India P Limited, the pioneer of Airport Advertising in India and one of the first Advertising Agencies India .

Online PR News – 16-November-2013 – New Delhi – “Low profit margins are slowing down the growth of Delhi Metro Advertising”, said Mr. Hiyav Bajaj, the Managing Director of TDI International India P Limited, the pioneer of Airport Advertising in India and one of the first Advertising Agencies India to venture into DMRC Advertising. Mr. Bajaj was speaking on the future of Metro Advertising in Delhi and the scopes and opportunities that the medium has to offer. Below are excerpts from the interview.
“Delhiites today always seem to be on the move. The reason can be summed up in just one word – Metro.
According to the officials at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation over two and half million people ride the Metro every day. Also, the latest survey predicts the number will double in just five years to four million in 2016, by when the world’s second largest urban transport network would have spread its wings to almost all parts of the region.

Not only that, an earlier survey also showed almost 90 per cent of the commuters are happy about the quality of service on the Delhi Metro. Quick services, high-speed and air-conditioning are the obvious reasons for the Delhiites to prefer the metro over the bus. The Metro has undoubtedly changed the life style in the Indian capital.

The Metro stations, just as in any other cosmopolitan city of the world, have rapidly become a meeting point for the youth in Delhi, especially students.

Delhi Metro has also proved to be a blessing for women on the move. Now, they -- mothers, daughters and sisters -- travel with less fear and renewed confidence. One metro official in every train, high security systems, plus a sophisticated crowd, all add to an anxiety-free journey for the womenfolk.

“DMRC has established benchmarks in cleanliness, punctuality and latest metro technology for the country”, says Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who was given a special ride. He praised the DMRC Chairman, Dr. Sreedharan, and his team, saying that they have made it the “pride of India”.

So it is natural that the metro stations in the nation’s capital have become ideal “havens” for the business houses to Advertise. Imagine a safe and clean place that is frequented everyday by two million people who have a dwell time of at least 10 minutes while they wait for the next train. Also, unlike the New Delhi streets where a bike, scooter or even a car can surprise anyone from any direction at any time, people at metro stations have no such fear, thereby getting enough time to look at the brands displayed at the station.

Obviously, the brand communication thrust is the maximum at metro stations because of low clutter, clean environment and Well Lit Displays. The message about the brand can reach the intended target audience because the metro stations can be segmented based on commuter profile and catchment areas. It is done through high resolution Backlit Translites, Overhead Displays at the entrance or exit points or near parking lots and Pole Kiosks at car parks or the roads leading to the station.
Advertisers also use the Central Verge Pillars and Show Windows. They are the large size revolving show cases ideally located at "High Density Commuter Areas" such as in the concourse or near the main entry and exit points. Show Windows are also very popular because they have provision for brochures and pamphlets, pick up containers and drop boxes.
We visualized the long-term benefits of branding at the Delhi Metro stations right at the beginning. DMRC is very good in planning and executing the projects and I think this medium of advertising has a bright future in the long run, provided the license fee is kept reasonably low and the tenders remain genuine.

We won our first contract with DMRC in 2005 and have since then remained associated with DMRC. At present we have rights at 22 stations; many of which like Jahangirpuri, Adarsh Nagar, Kanhaiya Nagar, Keshavpuram etc., lie totally empty with occupancy levels below 5%. Delhi Metro has a handful of stations like Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Vishwa Vidyalaya, Inderlok etc. which remain in demand. There are around 136 operative stations currently and another 29 will soon be opened. Out of these, I only see about 15 stations to remain in demand. For the rest 150, the struggle will always continue.”