Indian Railways appoints consultant to tap advertising potential of stations and trains

By | March 8, 2016

Indian Railways appoints Ernst & Young (EY) as consultant to tap advertising potential of stations and trains  

EY to identify assets and pricing strategy across 7000 stations for the purpose of advertising 

This is the first time in the country that such a large scale project on advertising for Railways has been initiated. 

The move aims to enhance revenue through non-fare box route as emphasized by Railway Minister 

The exercise to help develop packages meeting specific demographic and geographic needs ensuring ease of business to advertisers and increased transparency and accountability 

The exercise also to help create a neutral assessment on the return of investments by advertisers in this medium 

EY is a global leader in its Assurance, Tax, Transaction and Advisory services. 

 

Initiating a large-scale significant exercise to identify and leverage pan-India advertising opportunities at Railway Stations and Trains, IndianRailways has appointed Ernst & Young (trading as EY) as Consultant to undertake this job on its behalf. EY is a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom and is a global leader in its Assurance, Tax, Transaction and Advisory services. The organization operates as a network of member firms which are separate legal entities in individual countries. The Railway PSU – RITES, the consulting wing for Indian Railways, awarded the mandate to EY following a multi-party bid.

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has always been emphasizing on increasing revenues through non-fare box route especially through advertising.  Initial estimates have indicated an advertising potential on Railways in excess of Rs. 5000/- Crores over the next few years.

EY has been assigned the job for tapping the advertising potential of Indian Railways assets including fleet of trains spread in a wide network of about 7000 railway stations across India. EY with its specialized offering Marketing and Advertising Risk Services (MARS), will help the Indian Railways to identify assets across its stations for the purpose of advertising and will also develop a pricing strategy to evaluate them for advertisers. The firm has commenced its exercise.

In preliminary discussions held between Railway Officials and EY officials, it was emphasized that the exercise is to be completed in a time bound frame. In these discussions, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital pointed out  this current move by the Indian Railways will allow for revenue enhancement for the enterprise without putting any burden on its passengers. EY and Indian Railways will engage with leading advertisers through the course of this project for effective optimization of railway assets.  In the past, the railways has used its assets to earn revenues through advertising but limited to train wraps and display spaces in stations. This is the first time in the country that a large-scale project to identify and leverage pan-India advertising opportunities has been initiated.” Mr. Farokh Balsara, Partner and National Leader – Media and Entertainment, EY India, said, There has never been a nation-wide assessment of advertising potential of assets at such a large scale. We are excited and proud to be associated with Indian Railways on a project that will generate advertising revenues and in turn help to expand and improve services for commuters. This aligns with EY’s purpose of building a better working world.”  Bharat Rajamani, Director, EY India, said, Through this mandate, we will be creating a new medium for advertisers to leverage in order to reach their target audience. With a large expanse of assets and high measurability of its reach, the Indian Railways’ assets will be beneficial to local and national clients alike.

Currently, advertisers face a lot of concerns in the outdoor media industry including lack of reliable data pertaining to site visitors and vandalism of the outdoor assets. Hence, an important aspect of this exercise will be the creation of packages that meet specific demographic and geographic needs. Further, the advertising contracts need to be modified that allow ease of business to advertisers and increase transparency and accountability.

A unique aspect of this exercise will be the creation of a neutral assessment on the return of investments by advertisers in this medium. Advertisers struggle with the measurability of traditional media. In the case of railway assets, they will remain comforted as eyeballs, quantity of time spent and segmentation of viewers is highly quantifiable as the Railways maintains ticketing and station footfall data as part of their database.

 

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