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Mandeep Malhotra

Senior Vice President | 15 Jun 2010

Media owners are getting increasingly organised. Industry status for outdoor advertising and the formation of outdoor associations and tools are being recognised as common currency, and outdoor is getting its due respect in the business… We could not have asked for a better year. Awesome sounds like a mild word referring to the performance of Primesite. We intend to be holding 40 per cent custodianship of the OOH market in coming two years.

Mandeep Malhotra, popularly known as ‘Mandee’, heads the out-of-home solutions at Mudra MAX. A Masters in Business Advertising from Melbourne, Malhotra has over 12 years of rich professional experience in outdoor media. Prior to this appointment, he had worked with Clear Channel India, Rediffusion Y&R, 141 Wall Street (the OOH arm of Bates 141), Asian Age, Pioneer and Total Media Melbourne. He has managed brands such as Tata Indicom, Airtel, Reebok, Discovery, CNN-IBN and Nokia, among others. He has won four One Show awards, three Pencil Awards and a few dozen awards at the Outdoor Advertising Awards (OAA).

He has been part of the Gold Lion team at Cannes and has also received an award for The Entrepreneur of the Year along with bagging The Suit of the Year twice at Ogilvy and RMG.

Malhotra is the brain behind the recent successful campaigns of Aircel, Pepsi, Reebok, HT, Jet Airways, Reliance Capital, Micromax, and Amway, among others.

In this interview with exchange4media’s Pallavi Goorha Kashyup, Malhotra talks about the outdoor industry in India, the latest technological advancements in this sector and future plans.

Q. How has the journey been for Primesite in India?

The journey has been great for Primesite. We have seen growth in our aptitude, the number of people, quality and quantity of awards won, revenues and thought leadership. I also feel that the senior management appointments have truly accelerated the growth at Primesite.

Q. How would you compare the Indian outdoor advertising industry with the global market?

While in terms of size, India boasts of a mammoth outdoor media industry as compared to most countries across the world, there is a visible gap where technology is concerned. Across leading nations, digital media like LED and LCD exist in huge numbers and content is digitally controlled live via satellite. Further to this, there are statistics to measure vehicle count and feasibility of a site used abroad. To conclude, it is growing at a tremendous pace.

Q. What kind of innovations have you undertaken for your clients?

Innovations play the role of catalyst between an ordinary and unconventionally extraordinary OOH campaign. Cut-outs, use of lights to create effects, projections, pulleys, props, etc., are used in various types and quantities to take OOH advertising to a completely different level. Primesite has put a raft on a hoarding, conducted a live ‘aarti’ on a billboard, moved an aircraft seat further, made Hrithik Roshan evolve out of a cantilever, projected the Aircel logo on the Gateway of India, and several other innovations.

Q. What are the technological advances that the medium is witnessing today?

1. Printing machines with quick dry to accommodate large volume orders
2. Online and CRM models to aid booking of sites
3. Monitoring tools available
4. Good advancement in terms of transit media branding
5. Single vision/ Perforated vinyl on glass buildings, etc.

Q. What kind of innovations in terms of outdoor formats did you bring into this sector?

Back to back prints or more commonly known as block out printing.

Q. What are the major changes taking place in the outdoor space currently?

Media owners are getting increasingly organised. Industry status for outdoor advertising and the formation of outdoor associations and tools are being recognised as common currency, and outdoor is getting its due respect in the business.

Q. What is your view on advertising in radio cabs?

Radio cabs with exterior branding are far superior to the ones with mere interior branding. It adds a lot of value to brands wanting to see themselves in the omnipresent space.

Q. Which are the new clients that you have bagged in 2010 so far?

The list is long and known to all. A lot of large clients have entrusted Primesite for their OOH duties. These include Indiafirst Life Insurance, Colors, Reliance Capital, Apollo Munich, Viacom18, L’Oreal, Metlife, Goodyear Tyres, Inorbit, Wrigleys, Hindware, HCC, Birla Sunlife Insurance, Logitech, and movies such as ‘Prince’, ‘Toh Baat Pakki’, etc.

Q. Of late, several players have entered the outdoor market in the country, including international players. How do you look at the competition?

It is imperative that international players entering India bring with them technology. While competition gets stiff, it ensures economic efficiencies. With the WTO coming into effect, and products and services getting homogeneous, the essential unfair advantage lies in customer service. Any agency with superior customer-centric approach will not be insecure by the presence of these international players.

Q. How has the performance been so far and what are your objectives for the current year?

We could not have asked for a better year. Awesome sounds like a mild word referring to the performance of Primesite. We intend to be holding 40 per cent custodianship of the OOH market in coming two years. We will help brands create OOH stories and deliver desired objectives on time-to-time basis, with cost effective solutions.

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