Published On: Sat, Oct 29th, 2011

Outdoor Media

Breakthrough ideas might appear to be instant or impulsive, but they are not. They are based on sound strategy, out standings visuals, timely application, innovative and media. Rajan Iyer, Managing Director,Rajan Outdoor Media and In & Out Multimedia Pvt Ltd, shares his thoughts on the current status of OOH Industry, accountability, role of media owners and much more…..

Excerpts from the interview are as follows:

How has your journey as a ‘Media Owner’ in the Indian Outdoor Industry till date and what changes have you seen in the market?

In & Out division of Rajan Outdoor Media first made its presence on the OOH Scene in India as Media owner in the year 1987.The OOH media has seen tremendous changes over the years. From crude wall posters and conventional hoardings, this “high impact Low Cost Media” has come a long way. We started at the time when the billboards were known as hoardings and there was no flex or vinyl just painting on hoardings. Those days creating an image was quite difficult and hence the choice of outdoor was less by the client. We have learned many things in this journey while getting associated and using the latest technologies. The late 1990’s saw the existence of flex and vinyl, and by early 2000 innovation in Outdoor in India had begun. Today OOH media boasts of Giant Size facades, excellent designs of multi-face Billboards to Digital Screens. We started with combining multiple hoardings into one to make it look like one large hoardings space. With the best clientele associated with In & Out Multimedia we believe our journey has just begun and has long distance to travel.

Can you tell us the investments made in terms of accountability and maintenance of existing mediums?

With the passage of time we have changed and upgraded ourselves to match the best in the outdoor industry. At all our properties we have well trained Composite team comprising Planners, Supervisors, Operations, printing & mounting staff. It is always remained our constant endeavour to provide our clients with the best after sales service.

 The competition is intense in any field by the day, How do you plan to remain competitive?

The OOH industry in India has seen major growth over the last couple of years; a lot of foreign biggies have entered the market. Many of the big names of the Indian OOH industry who have been responsible for giving a facelift to the industry are today happy selling themselves or tying up with a foreign OOH major. Fortunately, there are some big new players from other parts of the media industry coming up with deep pockets and making their presence felt. To remain competitive in this on growing outdoor industry we believe 2 Q’s Quick & Quality (meeting, proposals, execution & after sales service)

Over the time, the OOH options available have increased. How do you see this evolution?

As mainline media gets more and more cluttered as well as fragmented, OOH gains in importance as a critical medium to connect with the consumer and capture their attention when they are most receptive. With more and more people spending a greater part of their waking hours outside their homes, OOH will only gain more importance.

What is the impact you see on outdoor industry with the introduction of Indian Outdoor Survey (IOS)? What do you have to say on the media buyers’ and media planners’ perspective towards IOS and the outdoor media?

Brands tend to focus on media where the output can be measured and OOH, at present, provides very little accountability and transparency for brands to measure the impact.  Media planners & buyers need to ascertain the value that a particular media offers and so IOS is definitely finding takers. Recent work done by MRUC is definitely a very positive step in this direction. Though, measurement for this industry in India still has a long way to go, organized players are taking this forward and are conducting research with respect to their properties and sharing the information with the media planners to boost business.  Once IOS picks-up at a pan India level and delivers a common currency to measure/ascertain performance of any outdoor media, it would be a totally different ball-game for the outdoor industry, more so in the difficult times when media planners & buyers don’t want to take risk and bet on established & measurable options.

Do you think with the upcoming of new street furniture’s, and digital technology, billboards might soon be under-valued in Mumbai?

The digital technology has largely been a western and Chinese concept, and unfortunately has not taken off in India. Quite a few companies have also wound up operation. The sheer size of the billboard dominates the outdoor medium, so the billboard does not face any threat. The street furniture medium would be an add on to add frequency.

How do you rate the performance of In & Out in the last financial year?

It has been a struggling year but due to our dedication and hard work it was a memorable one for the outdoor industry. If I have to rate the performance it will be a 3 star which is good compared to the previous years because the graph is not disturbed and is climbing year by year.

Where do you see In & Out Advertising 5 years from now?

I see no barricades for further growth. The cities are going in for a lot of modernization with Fleet Traffic, the sea link, the metro, monorails. Surely, there is a lot of opportunity. Since, In & out Multimedia Pvt Ltd division of Rajan Outdoor has always believed in owning multiple media, we are very buoyant about our growth. The path that we will walk 5 yrs down the line will be a remarkable one.

Rajan Iyer

Managing Director,
Rajan Outdoor Media and In & Out Multimedia Pvt Ltd

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